The Daily Telegraph

Tears of sadness for a Queen who brought joy to every corner of the globe


SIR – I well recall waving to Princess Elizabeth and the Royal family during the 1947 tour of South Africa. My parents shed tears of joy as they passed through my home town of Springs.

Little did I imagine that 75 years later I would be here in Britain, shedding tears of sadness at the death of our beautiful, beloved Queen Elizabeth II.

Frew Mcmillan


SIR – I grew up in Canada and have lived in London since 1970. As a child we sang God Save the Queen in school. I have a very special memory of Queen Elizabeth. I was 12 years old, at a summer camp in Orillia, near Toronto.

One day we were taken to the train station as the Queen was travelling through Orillia. The entire camp was there to greet her, about 200 girls and the counsellor­s and the heads of the camp. The train stopped and she came out to the front of the train on to the platform. We said the special Jewish prayer for royalty, and she smiled and waved her familiar wave, then she went back in and the train moved on.

I thought she was beautiful, and I was close enough to her that, had I stretched my hand out, I would almost have reached her. She was my Queen then and practicall­y throughout my life. What a sad loss.

Margaret Benmayer

London NW4

SIR – We are all of us orphans now.

Tom Stubbs

Surbiton, Surrey

SIR – When I told him the news of the sad death of Queen Elizabeth, my Zimbabwean gardener shed a tear. I don’t think the woke brigade in Britain have any concept of the love and respect felt for the late Queen across the globe.

Chris Ash

Johannesbu­rg, South Africa

SIR – As a six-year-old child, living in bomb-damaged Coventry, I recall the sheer joy of listening to the wireless broadcast of the magical wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatte­n on that grey day in November 1947.

Throughout her long and unique reign, Queen Elizabeth brought joy to her subjects wherever she went in this country and around the world.

We cherish her memory and are thankful for her life, which has enriched us all.

Tessa Keymer

Haywards Heath, West Sussex

SIR – In 1953 I was at a Streatham primary school. We won one of the London county council’s raffle prizes to witness the coronation procession.

By 5am I was on a rainy Embankment with a teacher and some classmates. It was a long wait but we cheered anything that moved.

I will be forever grateful for my fleeting glimpse of our late and hugely missed dear Queen.

John Taylor

Purley, Surrey

SIR – She smiled at me once.

Brian Roe


SIR – Not long after Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne, she came to visit Lancashire. The royal chauffeurs stayed with us and parked her car in our old carriage stables.

Imagine my delight, as a seven-yearold, when I was allowed to sit where she had been sitting earlier in the day. To me, it felt like sitting on the throne.

Kevin Cottrell

Grosmont, Monmouthsh­ire

SIR – General Lord Richard Dannatt eloquently expressed the sadness of the service community at the loss of Queen Elizabeth (“It was for her the Armed Forces risked life and limb”, Commentary, September 9).

In discussing the conflicts that took place during her reign, he could also have mentioned that, at the time of her coronation, British soldiers as part of the Commonweal­th Division were fighting a vicious war in Korea.

The Chinese had vowed to take a strategic position called the Hook before the Queen would be crowned. The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment had withstood an assault of divisional strength. The Royal Fusiliers, of which I was a junior member, remained on the Hook for the next three weeks to deny the Chinese their objective.

Afterwards, and on our retirement to a reserve position, we were shown a film of the coronation.

Queen Elizabeth did indeed come to the throne and experience turbulent times.

Mike Mogridge

Henley-on-thames, Oxfordshir­e

SIR – I have not wept since the first night at my prep school in the year Queen Elizabeth was crowned. On Thursday, I could not control my tears. God save the King.

Mark Sutton

Southport, Lancashire

SIR – Through the tears and solemnity, let us not forget Queen Elizabeth’s sense of fun. Remember when she used a ceremonial sword to cut a cake at the Eden Project, rather than using a knife? “This is more unusual,” she said.

Linda Hepburn

Chatham, Kent

SIR – On Friday, I had a marmalade sandwich for breakfast.

Michael Davies

Tatworth, Somerset

SIR – I suspect that the best way of honouring Queen Elizabeth is to keep calm and carry on.

David Dodds

East Markham, Nottingham­shire

SIR – In 1985 I received a national award from Queen Elizabeth.

It was the highest such award in British hang gliding, and I won it for creating a competitio­n system, the National League, which had made British hang glider pilots the highest rated in the world. The British team was also at the ceremony, but by this time I was set to coach the Americans at that year’s World Championsh­ips in Kössen, Austria.

I received the trophy from the Queen, and the British team pilots and I indulged in some cheerfully aggressive badinage. I was standing at the end of a line along with other dinner-jacketed pilots when the Queen started walking around the room.

I believe she had a collection of stories to put everyone she met at ease, and sure enough she had a hang gliding story. It concerned her Scottish home in Balmoral, and had to do with having a quiet time one day when a hang glider pilot whistled past the castle window and landed in the royal grounds. Apparently, the gardener removed him.

I had taken three or four glasses of wine by then, but it still was not enough for me to step forward and point a trembling finger at Robert Bailey, four to the left of me, whom I had once made captain of the British hang gliding team, and roar: “There, Your Majesty, is the offender!” Bailey had indeed landed on the grounds of Balmoral in 1978, on a cross-country competitio­n flight.

Brian Milton

London E2

SIR – I was the Member of Parliament for Scarboroug­h and Whitby in the early 1990s. I was also Betty Boothroyd’s parliament­ary private secretary, which was a great privilege.

After PMQS one afternoon she beckoned me to her and asked me if I’d like to meet the Queen – an offer I quickly took up. She explained that she was hosting a dinner in her state apartments for MPS and peers at which the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would be guests of honour.

The only condition was that I play the piano in the drawing room afterwards.

On the night in question, as the dinner plates were being taken away, she tapped a spoon on her glass and asked everybody to retire to where her PPS would play the piano. I started with Mozart, then a little Beethoven, followed by Chopin, drifting effortless­ly into Danny Boy and then a singalong medley. Everybody was soon singing at the tops of their voices.

As I was furiously banging out It’s a Long Way to Tipperary, I looked over my shoulder to see if Her Majesty was singing, too. The Duke was roaring with laughter and song but the Queen was not. Instead, she had that wonderful grin and her foot was tapping away to the beat of my song.

As I draw my last breath, I shall treasure that special memory.

John Sykes

Huddersfie­ld, West Yorkshire

SIR – Queen Elizabeth II was the first British monarch to be wholly above politics. Her father, George VI, sought occasional­ly to influence Cabinet appointmen­ts, and vetoed one or two nomination­s to the Privy Council.

When all political parties began to elect their leaders in the 1960s, the Queen ceased to select the prime minister.

The disappeara­nce of the last vestiges of political power strengthen­ed the Queen’s position as the transcende­nt symbol of national unity at a time of domestic strife, and she remained, as Churchill put it on her coronation day, “enthroned for ever in our hearts”.

Lord Lexden (Con)

London SW1

SIR – The anachronis­m that is the monarchy in a modern democracy such as ours is completely nullified by the glorious example set by the late Queen.

The people need a non-political, ethical, steadfast figurehead they can believe in and trust. Queen Elizabeth provided this in spades.

I feel a little part of me died on Thursday.

Martin Smith


SIR – The country has not only lost a monarch but also a moral compass.

Simon Wragg

Hatton, Shropshire

SIR – Following the death of Queen Elizabeth, the United Kingdom will now demonstrat­e to the world how a change of head of state and prime minister should be done: without violence or acrimony.

Harry L Barker

North Berwick, East Lothian

SIR – Queen Elizabeth was the enduring symbol of 1,000 years and more of the history of these islands.

At the age of 25, on the death of her father, George VI, she committed herself to a lifetime of service to all her peoples here in Britain, and to the millions in Commonweal­th countries around the world.

Through decades of political and social turmoil, she gave us hope.

Now she is gone, and we look to a dangerous and unpredicta­ble world where her wise counsel, sense of stability, and optimism will continue to inspire and guide her son, King Charles, in bringing the nation together in the dark days ahead.

John Barker

Prestbury, Cheshire

SIR – I feel our new Prime Minister should be congratula­ted for her outstandin­g address to the nation outside Number 10 on Thursday.

It was dignified, carefully crafted, perfectly delivered and reflected the mood of the nation.

Having voted for her, I feel totally vindicated.

Roger Laing

Iver, Buckingham­shire

SIR – I believe many will share my consternat­ion that the BBC has elected to cancel the Last Night of the Proms as a consequenc­e of the sad death of Queen Elizabeth.

Clearly, the programme would have required total recasting but there is plenty of music, both from Britain and elsewhere, that could have expressed solemnity and consolatio­n. Vaughan Williams and Elgar provided plenty of it, Brahms and Beethoven plenty more.

Music has great power to console and provide space for reflection; to lose the opportunit­y to demonstrat­e this on a national stage seems to me to suggest that those in charge have no grasp of that power.

Let us hope that BBC Radio 3, at least, selects its material very carefully for that evening, and draws upon the huge well of repertoire that can express the national mood better than words.

Hilary Davan Wetton

Principal conductor

City of London Choir

Steeple Claydon, Buckingham­shire

 ?? ?? Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in Kiribati, a Commonweal­th country, in 1982
Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh in Kiribati, a Commonweal­th country, in 1982

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