IN my early wartime isolated childhood, Princess Elizabeth spoke directly to – and for – me, all children and disrupted families.

First by radio, then by Pathe news in the cinema. We knew we were not alone. Her voice identified with our distress and assured us we were all fighting for a better future.

I wished she were my elder sister rather than my discouraging brother.

Her eyes always shone, her speeches went to the heart of the matter and her actions were exemplary.


She has always shown love and compassion whether the conflict was personal or global.

Her death impacts on us all and resonates with collective grief. It takes time to adjust to loss and appreciate the significance.

Every death is a wake-up call for the living. The recent death of my brother comes vividly to mind.

When he was in end-of-life care we had the time and focus for the difficult conversations that the gathering together of estranged siblings and second families involve.


We were enabled to truly let him be laid to rest, united in love and understanding. We honour lives lost best by living our lives well in memory and recognition.

Love endures. Whatever our beliefs or political opinion, the world recognises Elizabeth II as an outstanding example of service, tolerance and humanity.

She engaged with us all. If we take time and have the conversations to focus on what we have in common, reconciliation is possible.

May her family, in coming together in grief, keep her spirit alive.

I believe that is what she would ask us to do. May she rest in peace.






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