Baker’s Beacon Blog – Week 1

13 October 2022

Dear Parents,

It has been a day of reflection for everyone in our community today as we commemorate and celebrate the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Our Union Flag has been at half mast since yesterday evening’s news and this afternoon we held a special Assembly to mark such a symbolic time in our history. Though the news was developing through the day yesterday, I still travelled into London after school to attend Westminster School’s Prep School Heads’ Dinner. As I got off the tube at Westminster and walked across Parliament Square, I received a text from a colleague informing me of the news. The event was understandably cancelled but the few of us that had assembled decided to make the short walk up Birdcage Walk to Buckingham Palace to pay our respects. It was an intensely moving and sombre experience for the thousands of people in attendance and seemed absolutely the right thing to do in the circumstance.

Queen Elizabeth meant so much to so many, not just in this country but around the world. Her life was a constant narrative for us all and the reliability of her reign acted as a counterweight of calm, pragmatism and decency when world and national events conspired to create the opposite. As I left Buckingham Palace I listened to the radio and it was when the reporter mentioned, “…with the King and Queen Consort by her side…” that I had to stop and take a breath; just those words have such symbolism as none of us have known anything but a ‘Queen’ as the monarch of this country.

And we must not forget that whilst the country and the world look for leadership from the new monarch, he and his family have their own personal grief to contend with. Though none of us knew the Queen personally, her passing prompts memories of those close to us that we have lost. My father died in 2005, and I think of him everyday and more so in times of national sorrow like this. For King Charles III, I send our heartfelt condolences and wish him a successful and fulfilling reign.

God Save the King!

Nick Baker

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