The Beacon Lighting Event at Portchester Castle was a particular highlight, and it was great to see so many familiar faces in such a brilliant atmosphere.
I am immensely proud to serve in Her Majesty’s Government and over the weekend I have been reflecting on her own long years of service and her personification and embodiment of what it means to be British.
Her vow taken on her 21st birthday in 1947, that ‘I declare before you all that my whole life – whether it be long or short – shall be devoted to your service’, attests to a deeply held sense of duty that we should all aspire to.
A duty that has taken many guises, from her donning of uniform in the Second World War, right up to her duties as the matriarch of her own family and the wider Commonwealth.
This duty has often been exemplified by a strong but silent work ethic, she has avoided the temptations of other monarchs to self-publicise and wade in on thorny issues.
Instead, her concise speeches and steadiness at the helm, have provided millions of Britons with a sense of reassurance, purposefulness, and togetherness.
Steering the nation back from the brink in innumerable times of crises.
She has also presided over change.
The Queen played an instrumental role in the abolishment of the system of male primogeniture – the male heirs right to inherit.
Also the overturning of the 310 year rule that any member of the royal family marrying a Roman Catholic would be debarred from the line of succession.
We can say with confidence that despite the monarchy being steeped in traditions and idiosyncrasies, the Queen has always been regent of the here and now.
With one eye on the present and the other on the past, she has been a shibboleth that has continued to galvanise the nation, reminding Britain of the importance of kindness, morality, and duty to others.
It is an example to which we can all aspire in our daily lives and for this I can only conclude; God save the Queen!