Lady Dannatt pays tribute to Queen Elizabeth 

The Lady Dannatt MBE, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk, has paid tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II following her death on Thursday at Balmoral at the age of 96.

"It is with profound sadness that I write on hearing of the death of our beloved Queen this afternoon. Here in Norfolk, we all join in sending the Royal family our most heartfelt sympathy on the death of our deeply loved monarch, recognising everything she stood for: absolute integrity, committed and unwavering service to her nation and the Commonwealth, and a deep and abiding love for her family. We mourn with you in the death of The Queen, a mother, a loyal friend, a Sovereign, who quite simply broke the mould.

"We knew with our heads this day would come, yet our hearts never quite accepted it. Few of us can remember a time when Her Majesty was not central to our lives over the decades, and fewer still can imagine how life in this country will be without her at the helm. Just as The Queen once described her beloved husband Prince Philip as ‘my constant rock, my strength and stay …’ so she has proved to be for all of us - more, I dare say, than most of us ever realised.

"Here in Norfolk, we felt a very special connection to The Queen through her family home at Sandringham. It is the home she has come back to almost every Christmas for generations, St Mary Magdalene, the church where she worshipped, Wood Farm the small farmhouse where Prince Philip chose to spend his retirement. Her Majesty was a much-loved member of the Sandringham and District Women’s Institute, presenter of prizes at the Sunday School, and a keen supporter of the annual Sandringham Flower Show.

"Sandringham proved a sanctuary, a place of near normality, where The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh could oft pass unremarked upon, thanks to the loyalty and discretion of friends and locals alike. Thus, the deep affection Her Majesty shared with The Duke of Edinburgh for this remote northern corner of East Anglia where ‘the sky meets the sea’ was repaid tenfold by its inhabitants.

"It is those very same people, from every walk of life, who today nurse hearts hung heavy with grief. Norfolk men and women who have known, respected and loved their monarch throughout her 70-year reign. On behalf of them all, it is my privilege to say Thank you Ma’am, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

"From this precious county, our thanks for steadying us in times of trouble, sharing with us in times of joy and for quite exceptionally and fiercely embodying everything that is fine, good and true. You have been a constant in the sands of an ever-shifting world and you will be missed beyond measure by us all. A light has gone out, not only in our country, but across the nation today. We mourn your death, but we will do our utmost to uphold your extraordinary legacy of service to us all. In that, you will live on as few have done before.

"The Monarchy continues. It will not be the same and it will evolve around the personality of our new Sovereign. That is one of the abiding strengths of our unwritten constitution. As The Queen breathed her last, a new Sovereign was proclaimed: “God save The King.”

Pictured above is Lady Philippa Dannatt. Picture courtesy of rcdea.org.uk

Published: 09/09/2022