It is with great sadness that The GM marks the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and our heartfelt condolences go out to the Royal Family for their loss.
The Queen’s death marks an extraordinary moment in history, the dawn of a new era that will change the course of the country, one that will resonate in every town and city across the UK.
During the last 70 years of the Second Elizabethan Age, we have witnessed enormous cultural, social and political changes. In the early 1950s, when the Queen first ascended the throne, Britain was rebuilding in the post-war period. It was the dawn of the welfare state and the National Health Service, the start of a housing program that saw our cities expand.
It was the era of the Windrush generation and a time when the lives of women, fresh out of their war efforts, were changing dramatically.
As we enter this new era, we find ourselves welcoming a new king, with many echoes of this post-war period. This time we are rebuilding the post-Covid UK, with huge issues facing both the public and the accessibility of public services.
The focus is again on cohesion, equality, diversity and inclusion. The world has changed dramatically and it will continue to do so.
Throughout her 70 years as President of the country, the Queen has tirelessly dedicated herself to public service. Until the very end of his life, assuming the duties of a prime minister and seeing the next in his last days.
It is a devotion shared by many readers of The GM, never more so than in recent years of turmoil. When major events occur, local government responds – and the Queen’s death was no exception.
From proclamations to processions, local government is working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure our communities can offer their condolences in times of national mourning – as they always do.
Looking at our archives, The GM commemorated the death of His Majesty King George VI in February 1952, in turn quoting his father from 1934 when he said: “In no area of our lives is the spirit of public service more clearly manifested than in the sphere of local government.
It noted the king’s devotion to service to his country and acknowledged that even before becoming queen, Elizabeth had shown “abundant evidence” that she too would dedicate her life to public service.
As we mourn the loss of a queen and welcome King Charles III, The GM in 1952 ended eloquently. To paraphrase it lightly: those engaged in local government service pledge their support now. May God save the king.