By Staff Writer
Cayman joined the rest of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world at home and on-location in London for the state funeral and other ceremonies marking the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Leading the jurisdiction’s delegation were HE Governor Martyn Roper and Hon. Premier Wayne Panton.
Both published personal accounts and updates of the sombre occasion marking the passing of the Queen and the transition of the monarchy to King Charles III, while at the same time celebrating the life of the late monarch.
At the state funeral, Governor Roper and Mr Panton shared space with world leaders including US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding, other leaders from the UK Overseas Territories, the Commonwealth, and royalty representing their respective nations.
“It was a most humbling privilege and honour to represent Cayman with the Premier at the funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” HE Governor Roper wrote in a social media post about attending the state funeral on Monday.
“The service this morning in Westminster Abbey was beautiful and poignant for an extraordinary Monarch whose calmness and dignity gave strength to so many across the world. Cayman and the Overseas Territories had a prominent role sitting with Realms behind the members of the Royal Family.”
Describing the mood as “sombre and respectful with a strong sense of compassion, dignity and community”, Mr Roper also said “it was a huge moment in the history of the UK and the Overseas Territories as we stopped to pay our heartfelt and deepest respects to our much loved late Sovereign. God Save The King.”
Cayman’s delegation at the funeral included the Governor’s wife Mrs Roper, the wife of the Premier, Mrs Panton, Cabinet Secretary Sam Rose and Dr Tasha Garcia, head of the London office along with a six-member unit from RCIPS who were invited to line the funeral route along with other OT Police Officers. The Premier signed the Condolence book with other Premiers at Lancaster House.
Hon. Premier Wayne Panton said, “It was an emotional and moving moment for all of us. I was honoured to sign the Condolence book with other Premiers at Lancaster House. It is truly touching that our country is so well represented at these events to reflect the connection and loss that so many across our Islands feel.”
The state funeral for the late monarch was a global event, attended by heads of state and royalty from many nations and broadcast live to hundreds of millions worldwide by international media companies which had descended on London to cover the historic event.
In the days leading up to the funeral, hundreds of thousands of people queued for miles for up to 30 hours at times, overnight and in the cold, in order to pay their last respects as the Queen was lying-in-state in Westminster Hall.
Thousands lined the route - as they did when her body was transferred from Scotland to London a few days earlier - as the funeral cortege with her coffin on a gun carriage and accompanied by members of the Royal Family, took the Queen to her final resting place at Windsor Castle about 20 miles outside Central London
A military parade drawn from the British armed forces and including some units from the Commonwealth provided a ceremonial escort.
The meticulously planned and executed events which went into effect from the passing of the Queen on September 8th conveyed the sadness and grief that enveloped the UK and spread globally, and were immersed in the traditions and pageantry unique to the United Kingdom.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest on Monday September 19th in touching yet elaborate ceremonies over 11 days of mourning marking the end of what had come to be known as the second Elizabethan age.
At 96 years of age, she had been on the throne for 70 years, making her the longest-reigning British monarch.
Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest at Windsor Castle alongside her husband Prince Philip, her parents George VI and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and her sister Margaret.