The first week of the Michaelmas Term was, of course, overshadowed by the very sad news of the death of our Patron, HM The Queen. By coincidence, just a few days earlier our Principal had received a new portrait of the Queen, signed personally by Her Majesty, to commemorate our upcoming 175th Anniversary and her Jubilee this year. This new portrait is now hanging in our main corridor, next to the picture of the newly crowned Queen from the 1950s which many of you may remember. Mr Tillett led a special Prayers for the whole College on the morning following her death, where he used the example of the troubles in Northern Ireland to illustrate how Queen Elizabeth always put her duty to her country first. You can read the full text of his speech here.
Last week many pupils and staff paid tribute to Her Majesty with some lovely messages in our Book of Remembrance, which we will keep in the College archives for posterity. We’re also aware that a large number of families in our community went down to Buckingham Palace to lay flowers, stood for hours and hours in the queue to pay their respects to her in Westminster Hall or lined the route to the state funeral yesterday. One lovely example of this outpouring of affection for the Queen is this interview on BBC News by one of our new C3 pupils, Angelica, who spoke in front of Buckingham Palace about what the Queen meant to her, as a pupil of Queen’s College, London.
As Mr Tillett said in his special Prayers, you don’t have to be an admirer of the institution of the monarchy to be an admirer of the Queen and this last week truly has been a momentous time in our history as we have all witnessed “the end of an era - the end of the Elizabethan age”. On behalf of the whole College community, we will miss you Ma’am.