“I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.” While these were her words as Princess Elizabeth in 1947, they became the life story of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as she became the longest-serving Monarch of the United Kingdom.
Today as I join the global community in mourning the loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I can truly say that our world has lost a soul of immaculate kindness, strength and courage, which enriched so many for decades.
Her Majesty’s life was an inspiring one as she demonstrated that neither youth nor gender would prevent her from undertaking a role with such great responsibilities.
Her Majesty’s many acts of goodwill throughout our Commonwealth, her words of wisdom throughout our global community and most of all the way she managed the tribulations that faced her life, her family and society were shining examples of courage which offered strength to many.
As the first Female Chair in Office of the Commonwealth and first female Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, I had the esteemed pleasure of meeting Her Majesty on the Commonwealth stage and was greatly enlightened by her humour as well as her great humility, but even more so enriched by her desire to see a better world.
Her Majesty lived a life of service to the British people and our Commonwealth to the very end, as this week she appointed the 15th Prime Minister of her reign. For her years of love, kindness, and dedication to the Commonwealth, we will always be grateful.
Today, on behalf of the Opposition Members of Parliament, members of the United National Congress and citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, I offer our sincere condolences to the British people in this time of mourning.
However, I ask them to find strength in Her Majesty’s own words, “The courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future”.
Together as a Commonwealth we must move forward stronger, and united by the loving memory of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for a better future.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition