The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. As the world mourns the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, our community will take time tomorrow and during the national period of mourning, to reflect on her life and her commitment to our nation. Queen Elizabeth II was the longest-serving monarch of the United Kingdom. During a period of remarkable change, she proved herself one of the most effective and best-loved sovereigns the nation has known. She made clear her dedication to the task of being a Queen on the occasion of her 21st birthday when, as Princess Elizabeth, she made a moving declaration from Cape Town that was broadcast across the Empire:
“I declare before you all 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. But I shall not have the strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.”
In her role as Queen, she succeeded to a degree that could not have been expected or even hoped for. Our own community celebrated this at her Platinum Jubilee. We now take time to reflect as a community and be together at a sad time and one that will evoke a variety of emotions. The nation will mourn a Queen and a wonderful woman – may she rest in peace.