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Rest in peace, Your Majesty

Her Majesty the Queen was the epitome of commitment to public service, who inspired generations of Jersey people to dedicate at least some of their lives to serving their fellow Islanders. The tradition of honorary service in the parishes is at the heart of what so many individuals do when they take their oaths in the Royal Court to serve in the Honorary Police and to fulfil other parochial roles, and I am sure that the Island’s Honorary Police, in particular, will have found the passing of Her Majesty especially poignant as they have committed so many hours to the arrangements for Royal visits, not only the visits to Jersey undertaken by Her late Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh but also the other Royal visits that we have been privileged to receive. The fact that Her Majesty was fulfilling her own personal oath to serve her people right up until the last days of her life is a further example, if any were needed, of her extraordinarily selfless and generous character.

Her Majesty last visited the Island for the 60th Anniversary of our Liberation on 9th May 2005, and I was honoured to be invited to introduce her to some of my parishioners as well as the Burgermeister of Bad Wurzach and his wife who were visiting Jersey at that time following the signing of the twinning agreement with St Helier in 2002. Friendship and reconciliation between our communities was a particular theme on that Liberation Day with a moving performance by the Jersey Youtheatre, and I am sure that this added to Her Majesty’s appreciation of what was to be her final Liberation Day in Jersey.

Every Islander who has suffered bereavement, especially when their loved one has been of an advanced age, will have realised how inadequate is the frequently made comment that the deceased lived to a ‘ripe old age’ or had ‘a good innings’. For the older one’s lost relative is, whether it be mother, father, or grandparent, the deeper one’s roots will have grown into the relationship. Therefore, as well as wishing to express my gratitude for her 70 years of absolutely exemplary service, I wanted to express my sense of loss at the passing of the Queen, which I am sure is shared by all of my parishioners.

Simon Crowcroft, Constable of St Helier