Cornwall and Scilly pulled out all the stops to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee just three months ago and it was such an uplifting occasion. For many it marked a turning point following the disruption of the pandemic. We are united again in mourning for Her Majesty the Queen. We have lost a lady of great humility, service and strength of character and we have lost someone that brought stability and constancy in changing and uncertain times. Most of us have known no other Head of State and she served with graciousness and kindness.
Many talk of an end of an era which is right, but I hope we never lose the assurance and comfort we took from having a Head of State who places their faith and commitment to public service before themselves. With King Charles, I sense these foundation stones remain secure and I look forward to his long reign over us.
Last week closed with Parliamentarians paying tribute in the House of Commons to Her Majesty the Queen and this week opened with Parliamentarians from both Houses addressing the King and hearing his response.
Here in the Duchy, we are uniquely privileged to have enjoyed the regular appearances of the then Duke of Cornwall and I hold a sense of gratitude towards King Charles for the way he engaged with us during his royal visits and the interest he demonstrated in what, at times, were very mundane but very real issues facing us both here in West Cornwall and on Scilly.
On several occasions, as I had the privilege of introducing him to others, he demonstrated a remarkable understanding of the challenges we faced, the underlying causes and what was needed to address these. He also went off the prepared script if given any time in his schedule to ask other pertinent and insightful questions and I felt honoured each time I met him. The new King and his wife Camilla were generous with their time and I’m certain the new Duke of Cornwall, Prince William and his wife Kate will follow their lead.
The most recent time I heard King Charles speak as Prince of Wales was at the Freedom of Religion or Belief Conference hosted by the Government in Westminster in July. He demonstrated a deep routed concern for people around the world who suffered as a result of having a faith. For many years, those who share this concern, have appreciated how he has championed freedom of belief and lead world leaders and others in seeking to bring to an end this oppression wherever it manifests itself. We underestimate how significant our monarchy is in relation to the pursuit of freedom and democracy.
As we mourn this week and as we observe the State Funeral on Monday, we contemplate all that Her Majesty the Queen meant to us and remember her with fondness and love. We also recognise the personal grief King Charles and the Royal Family endure and remember them in our thoughts and prayers.
Long Live the King.