Tuesday, March 5, 2024

A pledge of lifelong service

By Sharon Stewart, QSM

Sharon Stewart
On September 8, Britain’s longest reigning monarch Queen Elizabeth ll passed away at the age of 96. Councillor Sharon Stewart a royalist at heart, pays tribute to Her Majesty, the Queen.

Never before has a person touched the hearts of so many people, not only in our country, but across the world for such an enduring length of time.

As news broke of the passing of Queen Elizabeth 11, it was hard for many of us to contain our emotion. Queen Elizabeth II is simply irreplaceable and much loved. She defined an era.

Queen Elizabeth was born Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor, on April 21, 1926. She has two birthdays—the Queen’s Birthday weekend in June is a time when we celebrate publicly her birthday—it falls in Britain in the summer months so everyone can be outside celebrating.

She died peacefully on Thursday afternoon at her Scottish estate where she had spent much of the summer. A favourite home for Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

It was an honour to have received a Queens Service Medal for public work for the Howick Community, an honour I am very proud to have received.

Over the years I have organised Queen’s Birthday celebrations inviting recipients of the Queens’s birthday honours.

This year we celebrated her Platinum Jubilee. We hosted the celebration at Fisher House which was the house of Woolf and Lady Fisher. They were friends with the Royal family and shared the love of horses. In 1953, the Queen on her visit to New Zealand enjoyed the company of Woolf and Lady Fisher on their 177-acre racing horse stud farm.

Back in September 2021 in the Eastlife Magazine Q&A, I was asked who would I most like to have dinner with? I choose Queen Elizabeth II who I greatly admire and who had lived through many significant times and events.

It had been both, humbling and a highlight of the year, organising the annual High Tea to celebrate our wonderful Queen since the year 2011. I have two books recording the 2021 and 2022 Queen’s Birthday luncheons at Fisher House in Highbrook ready to be sent to Queen Elizabeth before her passing, and will now send them to King Charles III, the new king who has pledged to renew his mother’s ‘promise of lifelong service’.

I now look forward to organising the King’s Birthday High Tea.

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