What did Queen Elizabeth II think about Brexit? And what was her last request?
As the long serving British monarch was laid to rest, anecdotes and revelations were shared by the likes of the former Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.
Monday 19 September 2022 saw the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II -- here’s how it unfolded -- with some 2,000 guests present, including a wide array of world leaders. The globally televised event took place in Westminster Abbey in London, ahead of her burial in the chapel of St. George in Windsor Castle, 35 kilometers from the British capital.
Did Queen Elizabeth II have a last request?
There has been a lot of talk in the build up to the monarch’s funeral, with many figures close to her sharing their experiences and anecdotes. One of those was the former Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, who revealed one of the her last requests. The Queen, explained the clergyman, “did not want what you call long, boring services. You’re not going to find boredom, but you’re going to be lifted to glory as you hear the service.
“You’re going to hear this wonderful English at its best,” he explained ahead of the event. “Also you’re going to hear angelic voices of the choir of the abbey plus the Chapels Royal … voices that are singing to the glory of God.”
In addition, he revealed another of the comments that Elizabeth II made to him, in a personal letter she sent him after the death of her husband, Prince Philip, in 2021. She thanked him for his support and closed the letter with, “When you are grieving someone you deeply love, it isn’t easy when you’re having to do it in public.
“My thought would be, to the new king and the whole Royal Family, they are grieving publicly and to find a space to do it.”
The service at Westminster Abbey was led by the Dean of Westminster, the Most Reverend Dr David Hoyle MBE, who also delivered the blessing. The service was sung by the Westminster Abbey Choir and the Royal Chapel Choir, under the direction of James O’Donnell, organist and master of choristers. Trumpet Major Julian Sandford led the state trumpeters of the Household Cavalry, and sub-organist Peter Holder played the organ. The Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland, read the first lesson from the Book of Corinthians, while the second, from the Gospel of John, was read by the Prime Minister, Liz Truss.
In addition, it was the largest event with foreign leaders that the British Foreign Office has coordinated in modern times, as well as the first state funeral to be held in the United Kingdom in the 21st century. Previous comparable ceremonies include those surrounding the death of George VI, her father, in 1952, and that of Prime Minister Winston Churchill, in 1965.
What did Queen Elizabeth II think about Brexit?
If the monarch was characterized by one thing, like the rest of the British royalty and something that happens in other monarchies around the world, it was for her neutral position on the different political issues of the country over the years. At least publicly.
One notable recent revelation, however, was revealed by her former director of communication, Sally Osman, who stated that the Queen did not agree with Brexit, the decision made via a referendum for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
“I don’t think so,” said Osman with a laugh when questioned about it on the U.S. network CNN. And she should know.
Ironically, one of the identifying images on social media and beyond for hard Brexit supporters has been the Union Jack flag and others tightly linked to the crown. It would be interesting to know how that referendum would have turned out had she spoken out. The pain of the EU departure is already being felt.