Sara’s Blog: Celebrating 70 years of Queen Elizabeth II

Sara Williams

My blogs of late have been somewhat doom-laden, reporting on the latest sets of economic figures, soaring costs and global crises caused by the terrible situation in Ukraine.

So, this week I have decided to take a break from the bad news and celebrate a remarkable achievement from a remarkable woman.

As we head towards an extended Bank Holiday to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, I wanted to pay the Chambers’ own tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

Over the course of her reign, she has always been a gentle, thoughtful, and reassuring presence as the world around us has changed, and through the highs and lows we have experienced as a nation.

I cannot think of a head of state anywhere else in the world that commands the level of universal love and respect that the Queen does.

Throughout her life, and on her many travels around the world, she has always managed to negotiate the delicate art of being seen as a representative of the people of the United Kingdom rather than a representative of its government.

At the start of her reign, she was quick to recognise that the Commonwealth bore no resemblance to the Empire of the past and that our relationship with Commonwealth nations was one of friendship and cooperation for the common good of the people.

To some, the Commonwealth symbolised the decline of Britain’s influence in the world. Its early years also coincided with tensions over the arrival in the UK of immigrants from former colonies.

But the Queen’s enthusiasm remained undimmed. “To that new conception of an equal partnership of nations and races I shall give myself heart and soul every day of my life,” she promised in a 1953 speech.

Now we have our opportunity to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, the only monarch to have reached such a milestone. It is an extraordinary moment for her and the country.

To put it into perspective just how long 70 years is, only 8.5 million of the UK’s 68.5 million population were alive when she became Queen in 1952.

The Queen is patron of the British Chambers of Commerce, and I was especially delighted and honoured to receive an invitation, along with our president Kate Beardmore, to the Trooping of the Colour on 2nd June.

The long weekend is a chance to celebrate the Jubilee, raising a toast to the Queen for the dignified and selfless service she has gifted all of us over the past 70 years.

And with hundreds of local events and parties to enjoy it just remains for me to wish everyone a happy and memorable Jubilee weekend.

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