The reign of The Queen will be remembered for many things.
It was the longest reign in history, spanning 70 years, and saw the growth of the Commonwealth to a family of 56 countries. It was a reign that witnessed the first man on the moon through to the extraordinary developments of SpaceX and the expeditions to Mars. It followed the early days of radio and television, through the rise of mobile communications, internet and digital streaming services. Throughout those years, The Queen was always engaged, interested and involved as new technologies emerged and social trends developed, recently video calling with QCT young leaders from the Commonwealth.
During a reign which saw the expansion of international travel, The Queen visited every corner of the Commonwealth, meeting people from an enormous variety of backgrounds and circumstances and always found ways to connect with those she encountered. The countless numbers of those who met her over the years would always remember exactly what happened: what she said, what she did. As it has been reported, The Queen always loved to meet people, to be out and about, and they loved to meet her: to be seen was to be believed.
For The Queen herself, there were constants throughout her long life: enduring loyalties of all kinds, a Christian faith, a lifelong interest and encyclopaedic knowledge of horses and racing, and, of course, a belief in young people. To the youth charities she supported, The Queen signalled encouragement, belief and support.
A long reign gave rise to a number of Jubilees. Two of these – the Silver Jubilee in 1977 and the Diamond Jubilee in 2012 – created organisations that, with The Queen’s blessing, had the interests of young people at heart. The Silver and Diamond Jubilee Trusts both supported young people who, in turn, were supporting others in some way.
It was The Queen’s own dedication to service and duty which has been heralded as the defining quality of her reign. On her 21st Birthday, The Queen gave this promise: “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.” It was a promise that she kept to the very end.
We remain eternally grateful to The Queen, our late Patron, for the example of a life so well lived, for service and duty, and for a reign that brought so much to so many.