My family and I had felt like so many of us: the Queen seemed to belong to our lives like home, like something that has always been there, that gives familiarity and security. That era is now ending. What we are left with is the memory of Elizabeth and gratitude for more than 70 years as Queen and selfless servant of her people.
Another commonality in biography with many of you may also have been my first “encounter” with the Queen. As a young boy, I waved to her from a bridge in Lincolnshire with my parents. A few years later, my parents were invited to a reception and dinner where they sat very close to the Queen. My father had talked about this event all his life.
The news of the Queen’s death had saddened me too. But as with the passing of Prince Phillip, this moment was not all sadness. The Queen was known for her wits and many a self-deprecating remark. Despite the sadness, there was also a smile. In my memory, I saw the Queen once again parachuting into the London Stadium together with James Bond for the 2012 Summer Olympics. And also, the touching scene with Paddington Bear having tea with her on her coronation anniversary and learning from the Queen the secret of her handbag, because that’s where the Queen always keeps a jam sandwich “for later”. Finally, Paddington Bear thanks her with the words “Thank you for your service”.
Yesterday was the day of the funeral, which we watched on TV as a whole family. As a small gesture of gratitude and reverence, we had commissioned a wreath which we laid at the feet of “our” Queen in our “Little Britain”. Throughout the day we had visitors from TV stations and news agencies, and many asked what I thought of the future of the English monarchy.
I am sure that Charles will make a fine King. As described in a previous blog, the English royal family is very committed to protecting nature in the Commonwealth. This also gives hope for the future. And hope and confidence are what we all need most of all in these months!
STERN published an article:
German TV ARD:
ZEIT on YouTube: