Goodnight sweet queen and flights of angels see thee to thy rest. pic.twitter.com/fOI4cLNEhF
— Henry Tapper (@henryhtapper) September 8, 2022
It has been ten hours since the BBC interrupted programs to announce the death of Elizabeth II. I am sitting looking across the Thames at a blackness that is Windsor Castle – unlit.
A new dawn breaks pic.twitter.com/Lg2VvN3SsT
— Henry Tapper (@henryhtapper) September 9, 2022
White swans sleep on the water, discovered by the camera’s flash. All is very still , the same but strangely different. The Queen is dead.
In London as the news broke , the sky called tribute
The rainbow appeared above Windsor Castle too, as the flag dropped.
I hope she died peacefully, fulfilled and happy with herself. She always possessed self-composure , it seems hard to think she died differently. I hope she had some of her children with her and I hope that the family will unite in grief and grow stronger in her memory.
She was at 96, working in the week of her death, performing the important duty of appointing a new Prime Minister within hours of her death. There was for this woman, no retirement.
If you, like me, find it hard to find words to express your personal feelings – I suspect that you are part of the wider royal family which includes all those who this woman touched with her quiet and effective service. She set the tone, she led in the quietist most feminine way.
Now we must decide what to do
The temptation is to say that nothing really matters and cancel things, I have two crews on the Lady Lucy this weekend, but I have decided not to cancel. I will ask my crews to drink a toast to the dead Queen and to the King who is now our monarch.
The nation cannot stop, I must write to the FCA and meet people in the City and these things will happen as if the Queen was not dead, because that is how we cope with bereavement. It is the same but it is different.
We must decide to carry on and live our lives as we would have done had she not died, but she in not here and we must adjust to a new way, to sing God save the King – to see a new head on our stamps , we will pray for King Charles and we will try to replace our respect and affection to him. Oh but it will be hard.
Half mast – a picture of what we have lost.
The union flag above Windsor Castle tells us more than that the Queen is not here. Like that flag I am looking for an image that reflects my loss and might touch yours.
Stella saw the flag coming down and called me outside. When we heard the news , we knew what the flag had dumbly intimated.
The picture below was sent me by my friend Andy, he received an honour from the Queen, so has his wife. I never met her but I feel as close to her – through this picture – as I will ever get. That is enough.