Opinion: We might all study a factor or three from the lifetime of Queen Elizabeth II

“She was a lady of outstanding dignity and unqualified braveness.”

My mom by no means talked a lot about her childhood experiences in London through the Second World Battle. She solely as soon as talked about the time she refused to take cowl through the Blitz, opting as a substitute to run dwelling whereas bombs rained down round her. She was eight years previous. Then there was the time the constructing throughout the road was obliterated and mother knelt to take care of my grandmother, knocked unconscious by a rogue brick by means of the kitchen window.     

No, mother by no means talked a lot about any of that. However she might go on for hours in regards to the Royal Household. Her admiration as they stayed in Buckingham Palace through the nation’s darkest hours. Her respect for the dignity and decorum of King George VI. Her adolescent adoration for the younger Princess Elizabeth, just a few years older than herself.   

You are reading: Opinion: We might all study a factor or three from the lifetime of Queen Elizabeth II

The reverence my mom held for the Home of Windsor beget my very own abiding respect for Queen Elizabeth II. I spent 34 years within the service of Her Majesty, my officer’s forge cap adorned with a thickly sewn gold crown. I swore an oath to “Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the UK, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender the Religion.” Heady stuff! As I write this, a parchment on the wall behind me bears the signature of the longest-serving monarch in British historical past.  

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The Union Jack is now lowered. For a lot of causes, the passing of our sovereign is profoundly unhappy. She was a lady of outstanding dignity and unqualified braveness. In her seven many years on the throne, the world modified in unimaginable methods. She noticed the comings and goings of 15 prime ministers. She oversaw the transition from empire to Commonwealth. In more moderen years, she presided over the inevitable, and possibly pure, disintegration of her realms. However no matter winds blew at her again, no matter tragedy ripped at her material; Her Majesty was at all times resolute. All the time proud.   

And, though she was a lady of the utmost propriety, the Queen was no stranger to embarrassment. She endured many years of innuendo about her husband’s infidelity. She watched her youngsters’s marriages explode with astonishing shame. She endured the painful and public erosion of civility amongst members of her personal family. However by means of these trials, she carried along with her a way of profound objective and astonishing integrity. We might rip a web page or two from that e-book. 

About eight years in the past, I spoke to Canadian singer Bryan Adams at a small occasion in Calgary. He recounted assembly the Queen for a rigorously organized photograph shoot in Scotland. He was the final photographer of the day and the day had run late. His session was cancelled. The Queen quietly requested Mr. Adams if he would thoughts if she put her rainboots on his presence. The photographs he took of Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor in that second — an actual individual placing on actual boots to go for a stroll in actual mud — are amongst his greatest.   

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Within the days forward, there could also be a debate about the way forward for the monarchy; honest sufficient. However there must be no debate in regards to the honour and human decency of Queen Elizabeth.   

What can we take from the Queen’s passing? As a man who has had two parallel careers; one in uniform and one managing reputational crises of the best order, I’d counsel three classes. One, we are able to thank the Queen for imbuing us with a way of resilience, when the remainder of the world usually appears to be coming aside on the seams. Two, we are able to thank the Queen for demonstrating dignity and civility when antagonism and acrimony are too usually the order of the day. Three, and maybe most significantly, we are able to thank the Queen for dwelling a life that actually outlined dedication, honour and repair. Relaxation in Peace, Your Majesty. Your work is finished. Might all of us now rise to our personal sense of objective. 

John Larsen is a retired navy captain, a former consulting government and the principal of Zero Hour Technique. He’s writing a e-book on belief, management and communications.


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