Queen Elizabeth II – a truly remarkable individual

I almost remember like it was yesterday. In June 2012, literally after leaving hospital, I had an opportunity to meet the Queen in Hatfield House. I am certain, whether someone is a royalist or not, meeting the Queen is quite a special moment. I was invited as a result of my work with the Polish community in Welwyn Hatfield. My short encounter with the British Monarch lasted maybe 2 minutes. She asked me about my nationality, what I did for a living and whether I was happy to move to the UK from Poland. At that time, she was already 86. Apart from me, she met another 20-30 people. She looked “intellectually sharp” and genuinely interested in what I was saying. Her gentle smile, “down to earth” personality and a simple “being in the moment” with some strangers; I was impressed. 

Moreover, only less than a week ago, on Saturday 3rd September, I was visiting Aberdeen and my Polish cousin, who has just completed his Degree in dentistry. We actually visited Balmoral Castle, which feels now, at least for me, like a historical moment…

In my view, she will be remembered as someone who had a profound sense of public duty. Her life story is truly remarkable. She has seen 15 British Prime Ministers, 13 US Presidents. She has been part of a huge number of political events; from the Cold War to COVID, from assassination of President Kennedy to the creation of the NHS. 

She served her life with great dignity and purpose. Although I am not a royalist, in my view, the Queen was most of the time a “unifying and not divisive” figure. It is clear that she meant a lot to so many people. The news of her passing made the headlines in all countries around the world. I am certain that she has already become a symbol of Britain and a true role model for many people in the UK and across the globe. 

 

* Michal Siewniak is a Lib Dem activist and councillor for Handside ward, Welwyn Hatfield.

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One Comment

  • I did not consider the Queen to be a truly remarkable individual. IMHO she no more provided devoted and selfless service to this country than, say, a neonatal doctor in the NHS. Fearful parents bring their sick new-borns to the doctor and ask her (or him) to save their baby’s life. The doctor does 12-hour shifts on their feet six days in a row, making life-saving decisions each day, working inside a demoralised service in sometimes crumbling buildings, for which they receive a respectable salary. I very much doubt the Queen worked that hard physically or mentally, she did so within a service that pampered to her every need and whim, inside grand palaces, and was granted many tens of millions of pounds in payment each year and afforded incredible privileges that were given uniquely to her.

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