For 70 years our monarch ruled with charm, poise and grace. Queen Elizabeth II reigned with dignity, often under the most intense pressure. She is someone we should all be inspired by.

We were saddened to learn of the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.  She has been a constant throughout most of our lives and her work is valued in the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and beyond. We know that her loss will be felt as keenly by our colleagues not just here in the UK but also in Canada and those working in the English schools in the UAE.

I am old enough to remember seeing grainy Pathé News pictures of the Queen’s coronation in the cinema. Images of grandeur that left a lasting impression on a four-year-old.

Much later, as I took on more senior leadership posts in schools, I was aware that she was one of the few leaders who managed to successfully role model many of the attributes we would want from our students and ourselves. It was not just what she did but just as importantly the way she did it that drew our admiration.

She carried out her duties, many of which form the foundation of our democracy, consistently, graciously and with attention to detail. From her tone of speech to her mannerisms and her dress, she was unmistakably the Queen. There was no confusion. Through the stability of her actions, others were able to carry out their roles with confidence.

We also admired the professionalism she brought to her role as monarch. This rarely wavered, even as her personal life and that of her family came under intense public scrutiny.  She was a true example of how one’s professional life should not be affected by one’s personal life.

Most recently, as we have had reason to question the suitability of our leaders as role models for our students, and as the pandemic and the energy crisis have disrupted our lives, her constancy has been a source of great reassurance. Her presence will be missed by many of us.

As the autumn term gets fully into its stride and whatever your feelings and reflections are on the death of Her Majesty, we hope you are taking care and staying safe.