The late Queen Elizabeth 11 will surely be missed by the world society for her deep love for humanity. She was a people’s queen whose life has left an indelible mark on all mankind. Her 70 years on the British Throne saw the dismantling of the then British Empire ushering the Commonwealth of Nations, of which Trinidad and Tobago maintains membership despite being a Republic on August 1, 1976.
I vividly remember her three visits to our country in 1966 on a Caribbean Commonwealth tour, then again in November 1985, and finally in 2009 to attend the historic Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. Her three visits were measured with great admiration, respect, benevolence, features which would never be obliterated from our political landscape.
Under her reign, Queen Elizabeth presided over our Independence in August 1962, as indeed all of the then British colonies starting with India and Pakistan in 1947, Ghana in 1957 and with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean nations.
I recalled when she came to the throne in 1953, all schools in the British Empire were sent buttons with her photo and I was not at the Caparo R.C. School because of a bout of rheumatic fever. Nevertheless, when I returned to school, the late teacher Martha called me and pined on my shirt the button that she kept for me, and after that I became part of our history.
I remember the special greetings she sent with her aunt, Princess Royal, who represented her at the formal handover of the Constitutional Instruments of our first Independence on August 31, 1962.
Whilst there continues to be serious concerns, contradictions and issues of reparations, the genre of our political and democratic institutions, has been sourced from the British system of parliamentary democracy and politics.
Whilst the Queen remained the longest serving monarch in the British Commonwealth with 70 years of service, Louis X1V, King of France served for a little more than 72 years and remained the longest serving monarch in history with Queen Elizabeth 11 running second.
Queen Elizabeth demonstrated womanhood to the fullest, and whilst I did not have the opportunity to meet her in person, I remember waving flags during her visits.
She would remain in our hearts as a person of substance, integrity who exuded peace, order, and proper governance. These principles would be eternally immortalized in our study of history and thoughts, and like everything else, good things come to an end.
The Royal Family has endured their fair share of disappointments with her late husband Prince Phillip’s death in April 2021, and now his wife.
This is not the time to rebuke colonialism.
May King Charles 111 have a fruitful, peaceful and successful reign.