“Throughout all my life and with all my heart I shall strive to be worthy of your trust.” Those were the beautiful words of our monarch, Queen Elizabeth 2, on her Coronation speech in 1953. Seventy years on, the Queen has captured our hearts, our trust, our deep affection and has influenced all of our lives for the better.
Over the Platinum Jubilee weekend our country and our community have come together to celebrate, remember and give thanks for her reign. ‘Long to reign over us’ is the refrain from our National Anthem and she has indeed been the longest serving monarch ever. Queen Elizabeth has overseen a remarkable amount of change – political, scientific, technological and social change. She has endured wars and conflict, and suffered personal anguish and grief. Above all she has lived a life in full service. A beacon and encouragement for us all.
The Queen’s service is inspirational in the everyday of her life as well as the pomp and circumstance of being a monarch. She has carried out her Royal duties as a young woman, a married woman, when pregnant, as a mother, as a grandmother and great grandmother, as a widower and as an older lady. Through all her ages she gives her all. As people live longer, how wonderful it is that we have the role model of the Queen relishing life and getting out there in her ninth decade, as I know many local septuagenarians, octogenarians and nonagenarians do too.
The Jubilee weekend has seen a fun array of celebrations right across our area. From BBQs to lighting the South Foreland lighthouse, from flower festivals to cream teas, from tug-of-wars, coconut shys to bouncy castles. I hope that for the children taking part they will remember this weekend with the same fondness that I still have for the Silver Jubilee street parties which I enjoyed as a young girl.
These last two years we have been reminded of the irreplaceable importance of community and community life. Looking after each other, looking out for each other, that’s what makes our way of life so special. We have such a strong community spirit across Dover, Deal, St Margarets, Kingsdown, Eastry, Capel-Le-Ferne and all of our coastal and rural villages. Our communities represent the very best of British values and I am honoured to serve as your representative in our great Parliament and in our great Kingdom. This is a remarkable time for our country, its history and its people. It is a time of immense global upheaval and challenge. So this is a special moment in time – to reflect and remember our wonderful Queen Elizabeth. To commit to serve and give our time and talents to our community and our country, whether our lives be long or short. On this Platinum Jubilee, God save the Queen.