There is of course only one subject that I can choose to discuss with you in my latest blog piece, and that is of course the very sad death of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
As the great lady herself said; grief is the price we pay for love. Never a truer word has been said, and based on the astounding public reaction to the death of the Queen, she was loved by so, so many of us. It was a very strange and sad moment when we learned of her passing. Not only was she a kind, warm and thoroughly dedicated human being, but she also had an incredibly calming effect on all of us. She was the consistent, ongoing and steadfast figure we have known as our head of state for all of our lives (most of us anyway). I was struck by how upset I was by the news, but also of the unexpected feelings of anxiety and worry… what do we do now? Will this change things? This was the power of the Queen and the steadfast way she stuck by us, relinquishing so much for the sake of the nation. She really did see Great Britain and the Commonwealth, and the people all over the world who live in it, as her responsibility – it was her duty to make sure we were ok.
Of course I’ve spoken many times about how my MBE, which was awarded to me by Her Majesty in 2016, was my greatest and most proud moment. It was, not only because of what the recognition of the MBE meant, but because it meant one other thing – I got to have a one-to-one conversation with the Queen. What an experience! It is something I will never, ever forget and it means so much more to me than any award or MBE possibly could. It is a conversation I have played over so many times in my head, and of course since the sad news earlier this month I have gone over it many more. I was truly in awe of the Queen, she made me feel to comfortable, at ease and welcome in her house (Buckingham Palace!). She even asked me about my ‘big parties’ in Manchester which was absolutely incredible! It was such a priceless experience and now that she has passed, I am even more thankful for it.
And now of course we look to the future and to a new head of state. As I said before, I was initially anxious, but I think this was a natural, instant reaction to sad news. I know that King Charles III will be an incredible monarch and I truly believe that we should all look ahead with certainty and excitement. I new era is upon us!
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