It is with great sadness that we report on the loss of our nation’s treasure, Queen Elizabeth II, 1926-2022, the longest reigning monarch in British history.
Since the announcement, tributes have poured in for a woman dedicated to duty. The embodiment of resilience, who during some of our darkest days gave light, most recently during the coronavirus pandemic. A voice of calm to rally the nation in a time of need.
She has been a constant presence in a changing world, defining a century. Her Majesty The Queen was the head of state to 138 million people and showed an unwavering commitment to her people and her country. She supported more prime ministers and world leaders than any other monarch.
The Queen saw her public and voluntary service as one of the most important elements of her work. She had links, as Royal Patron or President, with over 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations. Her patronages and charities covered a wide range of issues, from opportunities for young people, to the preservation of wildlife and the environment.
Her Majesty worked hard to honour a pledge she made when she was just 21, and was true to her word, right until the end.
“I declare before you that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.” HRH Queen Elizabeth II, 21st April 1947.
In an official statement from Buckingham Palace, Prince Charles, said, “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family.
“We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.
“During this period of mourning and change, my family and I will be comforted and sustained by our knowledge of the respect and deep affection in which the Queen was so widely held.”
As we now enter a period of mourning, tributes are pouring in from our Swindon and Wiltshire community. A Book of Condolence has been set up by Wiltshire Council, and Swindon Borough Council will be sharing further details on how you can pay tribute in due course.
Leading the condolences, Mrs Sarah Rose Troughton, HM Lord- Lieutenant of Wiltshire, said, “As Her Majesty The Queen’s representative in Wiltshire and Swindon, and on behalf of the Wiltshire Lieutenancy, I send my deep condolences and prayers to Her Majesty’s immediate family. Her Majesty’s long, unique reign and her steadfast, dedicated life of service and devotion to our nation will be remembered with deep affection and gratitude. We can of course look forward to His Majesty the King as her true successor and assure him and his family of Wiltshire’s loyalty and support.”
Cllr Richard Clewer, Leader of Wiltshire Council, added, “Her Majesty The Queen was one of the most important figures of our time and will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with the Royal Family at this very difficult time.”
In an online tribute, Michelle Donelan MP for Chippenham constituency and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said, “Words cannot express my sadness at the news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has passed away.
“Like most people, I have never known a world without The Queen as our Head of State. She has been a figure of service, dedication and strength through my entire life. Her lifelong devotion to serving our country and the Commonwealth is simply unprecedented.
“As we enter a period of national mourning, I will be reflecting on The Queen’s extraordinary life, and my thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family, The King and the nation at this time.”
At the moment the Queen died, the throne passed immediately and without ceremony to the heir, Charles, the former Prince of Wales. He will be known as King Charles III.
Rest in Peace, Your Majesty. God save the King.
Pictured above: Flags flying at half mast in Colerne village, near Chippenham.