The Death of H.M.Queen Elizabeth II (21 April 1926, Bruton Street, London, United Kingdom - 8 September 2022 Balmoral Castle, United Kingdom )

The significance and magnitude of the death of Queen Elizabeth II is beyond language and mere words to sufficiently engage and reward mind and heart.

She had always seemed an immortal figure for me, indestructible.

As time passes and we approach this planetary funeral, it seems in death she has become the subconscious acknowledged moral and spiritual leader of the world

She reigned but she did not rule

There is something of an inexplicable metaphysical power that hovers about the nature of royalty. Echoes seem still to resound over centuries of the Divine Right of Kings, a Royal destiny determined by God. Surely only this can explain such profound mass emotional devotion, 'paying respect' and sense of loss. A phenomenon almost beyond rationality.

Finally as an author, I can now write a little, even at such a deeply melancholic moment.

A moral beacon of great constancy and continuity has been extinguished at a time of instability, immense social and cultural change, nothing less than the transformation of our civilized values. 

She stood to represent older, perpetual standards and values that have largely been swept aside. However, she adapted to these changes with extraordinary skill and a strong British sense of compromise and Christian tolerance of difference. This is perhaps the overriding reason vast queues have formed along the Thames to pass her coffin and for mourners who consciously or subconsciously recognize this, to 'pay their respects'. 

Both a private (for the Royal family and the personal loss of our own loved ones) as well as a national sense of grief pervades the whole phenomenon.

The Queen was our Head of State and Head of the Commonwealth in addition to many other roles and responsibilities 

As an Australian ‘colonial’ citizen I felt a very special form of affection for her and now for her memory. I do not resent in the slightest my recently maligned 'colonial' status - but then I am not an Indigenous Australian who suffered at the hands of the British.

Upon her accession to the throne on 6 February 1952, Anglo-Saxon Australians predominated in the country and most considered themselves British. The United Kingdom was then considered by many to be our  'Home'. My maternal grandfather was an officer in the Gordon Highlanders during World War II.

I met her once as a fourteen year old child in Rome when my father was the medical doctor for the Australian Embassy. She was planting a tree in the garden, as was often her wont on such occasions. I was a pupil at St. Georges's English School at the time, standing to attention in an immaculate school uniform.  

In talking to me she showed her sensitive manners, love of  children, a glorious smile, the warm side of her nature and a gentle sense of humour in making an excellent witticism in response to a remark I made. 

Years later as a young man I lived for some years on tiny, remote Norfolk Island in the South Pacific, some nine hundred miles off the east coast of Australia between New Zealand and New Caledonia. This idyllic island was once the most dreaded and cruel penal settlement during the entire period of nineteenth century convict transportation from Britain to Australia. It is now home to the extraordinary descendants of the Mutiny on the Bounty. Queen Victoria granted the island to them in 1856 after Pitcairn Island became overpopulated. 

Queen Elizabeth visited Norfolk Island on the 11th February 1974 on her tour of New Zealand, the New Hebrides, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Queen Elizabeth on Norfolk Island above Emily Bay on 11th February 1974. She is in a white hat about to descend the ramp on the right 

An account of that glorious day

Recently, I attended all the joyful Platinum Jubilee celebrations and pageantry in London, loyally taking my place on the chilly Mall at 6.00 am. The general outpouring of love rendered this sudden present event, just three months later, so shocking and poignant.

Hologram of the Queen waving from the priceless gold State Coach during the Platinum Jubilee procession as she was indisposed to travel  (Metro)

Everything in life comes down to strength of character in the end, a strength she demonstrated incontrovertibly in her sense of duty, honour, integrity, compassion and service displayed throughout the many unprecedented years of her long reign. 

Even though this childhood encounter lasted only a few minutes, it has made an indelible impression on my entire mature life. I  will soon lay flowers at the British Embassy here in Warsaw as travel to London at such short notice was both logistically and financially challenging.

Uplifting, simple yet astounding rituals of profound spiritual and symbolic significance continue to unfold before us. Intense private family grief and a cloud of national distress settles over Britain. 

Many Scottish connections and affections have been revealed, most never before been seen or simply forgotten. The healing she offered to a troubled Northern Ireland has also been remembered.

One cannot help but marvel at the evolution of civilized human life and its aspiration to noble values through the many centuries of British royal history.

The accession speech of King Charles III was deeply moving and noble in poise

I shall miss this Christian beacon of hope and principle, this wise, calming figure of faith, immeasurably.

Thank you Ma'am

Australia, February, 1954: Accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh 

The Queen loved travel and was greeted by many thousands of people on her first visit to Australia, so shortly following her coronation in June 1953.Two-thirds of the entire population of the country turned out to greet her.The tour included the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia

She visited Australia 16 times during her reign

Gestures of affection and remembrance for H.M.Queen Elizabeth II at the
British Embassy, Warsaw
 The city is my present home

(photo Samanta Monko FB)

This morning (17th September) I attended a simple memorial service in Warsaw at the Anglican Church in conjunction with the British Embassy conducted by the Rev. David Brown. They held a Service of Thanksgiving and Commemoration of the life of Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

There were hymns and moving addresses by the British Ambassador Anna Clunes, In addition there were addresses by Witold Sobkow, Political Director of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Australian Ambassador Lloyd Brodrick, the Canadian Charge d'Affaires and finally the New Zealand Ambassador Alana Hudson who spoke mainly in the Maori language. The Queen's State Visit to Poland in 1996 was recalled with some emotion.

 The Service concluded with both the British and Polish National Anthems.

The British Ambassador Anna Clunes at the Anglican Church, Warsaw

H.M.Queen Elizabeth II meets Lech Wałęsa during the Polish state visit to London
April 1991

'Poland needs Europe, but Europe also needs Poland' 

H.M. Queen Elizabeth II's historic speech to the Polish Sejm (Parliament) on her State Visit to Poland March 1996 (TVN)

Thoughts on the Funeral

An unprecedented and unforgettable sight on The Mall

The reason the funeral appeared so magnificent in pageantry is not fully realized by many. The explanation is complex for such formidable numbers of participants 'to pay respect', the presence of immense and ancient traditions perfected in performance over a thousand years, vast crowds of grief-stricken mourners in person and millions online  

The Queen as a constitutional monarch meant her roles were different to historic kings and queens. She fulfilled multifarious functions and duties which brought her into contact with numberless of her subjects 

This heavy responsibility is now passed on to King Charles III as

Head of State

Head of Nation

Head of the Commonwealth

Head of the Church of England

Head of the Armed Forces

Constitutional Responsibilities

Patron of Charities


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