"Queen Elizabeth will be remembered for her calm and dignity, wisdom and experience"
Heather, teacher and native English speaker who has lived and worked in Italy for years, gave us an interview about the relationship between the British and the Queen and how her departure will (perhaps) leave an unbridgeable gap in their lives.
Heather, first of all, thank you for your time.
1)Let me start by asking you what did the Queen represent to you English people? Especially for those who live abroad?
Although everyone knew this day was coming, it still came as a huge shock with an emptiness inside. To some she like our own grandmothers, a strong and steadfast presence in our lives. Queen Elizabeth will be remembered for her calm and dignity, wisdom and experience; she was someone we could all look up to, and bring us together at some of our darkest times.
2) Longest reign in history, 16 Prime Ministers and also a modern pop icon....how much did the Queen influence generations?
Through war and peace, blitz and reconstruction, strife and social change, the Queen has been a constant presence. She was a role model and friend to her people, a source of strength, continuity and reassurance.
It was her commitment to being an eternally modern monarch while retaining a vital continuity in an ever-changing institution that has kept her holding this country together.
She also brought the monarchy into the public eye much more. Hers was the first televised coronation and will be the first televised funeral of a monarch.
Her Christmas broadcasts were always wonderful to see and one of the last times most of us saw the Queen close up was when she did that wonderful sketch during the Jubilee celebrations. That was the final image of the Queen for many people - that's what they remember, and so they associate her with Paddington.
3) In your memory, what is the most important event that could have undermined the crown and instead the Queen managed to solve?
I think one of the most challenging moments of her rule, criticised for not addressing the public or returning to London after Diana’s death in 1997, she showed her ability to read her public and adapt with decency and decorum.
Having been brought up in an age and environment in which it was not the done thing to show emotion, she acknowledged the national outpouring of grief and shared her own in an unprecedented address “from my heart”.
4) King Charles III... finally the prince becomes king. Will he manage to emulate (at least in part) his mother's deeds or will he only be passing through?
He's had to wait a long time to take the title and to take the job and some say he faces an uphill battle to match his late mother's popularity.
In a speech given just after the Queen’s passing, King Charles III emphasised he would emulate many of the queen's most successful qualities.
„I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty. In taking up these responsibilities, I shall strive to follow the inspiring example I have been set”.
As he begins his reign as Britain's new monarch, it will be interesting to see how he may use his position as head of state to promote causes that he's been passionate about for decades — the environment and climate change.
5) A slightly awkward question, after that 8 September, what will be the future of the crown?
I think there will be time to talk about the future of the monarchy, to speculate on who we will see in the ‚slimmed down‘ Royal family alongside King Charles III. Let’s not forget that the Windsors are a family in mourning — and a great deal of the world is in mourning alongside them. King Charles has expressed his desire ‚slim-down‘ the size of the Royal family. Age is another factor; Charles III is 73. He could give Prince William and Princess Catherine a greater role than he himself had as Prince of Wales. With her death, a light which helped guide this nation through 70 momentous years has faded out.
My dear Queen may you finally rest in peace.
Heather, thank you for your time and God save the Crown!
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