You will have heard the sad news of the passing of Her Majesty the Queen.It really is the end of an era. Neither I nor any of my British colleagues have known any other monarch. Her iconic image has been a feature of our everyday lives, ever-present and recognisable on coins and notes, on stamps, in portraits. Perhaps only Marilyn Monroe or the Mona Lisa is a more celebrated image. She was our leader. We looked up to her as our Head of State. She was universally admired and respected. You could always rely on her to fulfil her role with grace, elegance, and consummate class. Queen of the United Kingdom and fourteen other Commonwealth realms following the death of her father in 1952, she was officially crowned Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953, at the age of 27. She has reigned therefore for over seventy years.
Her devotion to a life of service and national duty is legendary. As a figurehead, she is almost unique in my experience of never having put a foot wrong. Quite simply she has played an exemplary role as monarch.Her time as Queen has seen extraordinary social and technological change. Her calm presence has done much to ensure stability during a volatile period of history, as former states of the British empire became independent, the Cold War raged and waned, as astronauts landed on the moon. Her reign took in the collapse of the Soviet Union, advances in medical science, the entry and later exit of the UK from the European Union. She witnessed economic and climate crises, battles against racism and sexism, the rise of computer technology - her time as monarch coinciding with an era of unprecedented change.
Even before she became Queen, as a young Princess appearing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace during the Second World War, she symbolised along with the then Prime Minister Winston Churchill, the image of human decency in the fight against Fascism.As a British School, we always seek to represent and uphold the values which she so obviously and consistently embodied - dignity, hard work, resilience, fortitude. Regal was a word that she deserved, just as she merited the definite article. She was the Queen. As a mark of respect, we will be lowering the Union flag that flies outside the school. We will deliver assemblies to the children to commemorate the Day of Mourning, and we will observe a two-minute silence at 11.00. In the meantime, we wish her successor, HRH Prince Charles, well as he becomes the new King. The Queen's family and the nation will mourn his mother, whose passing has for so long seemed unthinkable. There are many in the UK and around the world who will feel a lump in their throat as they sing for the last time, "God Save the Queen".
A letter from Her Majesty to the Queen to the school in 2012.Best wishes The Principal and all at the British School of Milan
- School Values