Star comment: Momentous day as world says farewell to the Queen

Today is momentous.

The military procession as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage during the ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall
The military procession as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II was carried on a horse-drawn gun carriage during the ceremonial procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall

The world is saying farewell to one of the best-loved and most well-known figures in modern history.

The Queen will receive tributes from near and far at the Abbey that proved so pivotal in her life.

The place where she made her vows to the Duke of Edinburgh and to our nation, when she became Monarch, will bid her farewell.

The United Kingdom has been just that, in the past week. Four nations that are so often antagonistic have come together as one, while King Charles III has shown remarkable skill in visiting them since the passing of his mother. He has spoken Welsh, dressed in a kilt and shown he has what it takes to be a unifying force for good.

Much more than the world’s commemoration of a global icon, however, is a simpler story. Today, a family says goodbye to a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, who has provided stability and love through four generations.

The Royal Family has not yet begun to mourn. It has served am emblematic function this past week, offering good wishes to people queuing, accepting the kind wishes of of figures from around the globe, providing leadership and seeking unity.

The extraordinary life of Queen Elizabeth II will be written about and spoken about for centuries to come. She, like a small number of other remarkable monarchs, will be a north star for those wishing to learn more about Britain and Britishness.

She witnessed remarkable world events; a World War, a man on the moon, the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Her own family suffered considerably during her reign. She was stoic and pragmatic, the human face of a global institution unlike any other.

And now a nation will put everything on hold for the day as it honours a woman who gave her all until the last.

A figure devoted to public service, a loyal and trusted leader who inspired, it is our turn to pay fulsome tribute and offer sincere respect.

We can learn so much from her example. A remarkable lady with incredible energy and a great sense of humour, she was also the model professional and a devoted public servant.

Diplomatic and quietly effective, dutiful and selfless, she put the nation’s interests before her own and served us well across an incredible 70 years.

As we say goodbye, we might reflect that we will never see another like her. The figure who has provided stability during turbulent times will be much missed.

Her dignity and grace will be remembered with fondness. Queen Elizabeth II was a force for good; at home and around the world. She will be missed.

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