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Cayman will miss Britain’s much loved monarch

Government 13 Sep, 2022 Follow News

Her Late Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II

Dr Tasha Ebanks Garcia

Her Late Majesty the Queen knighting Sir Vassell Johnson in 1994

Her Late Majesty The Queen opened the Botanic Park in 1994

Her Late Majesty The Queen addressed Commonwealth leaders in 2018

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson with his family at Her late majesty’s 92nd Birthday Parade

By Staff Writer

Since the passing of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral on the afternoon of 8 September, Cayman began 11 days of mourning, along with the United Kingdom, other British Overseas Territories and the wider Commonwealth. This period began from the announcement that Her Late Majesty had passed away and will end at 8:00am on the day after her State Funeral, which will take place on Monday 19 September.

Her Late Majesty reigned for a remarkable 70 years, longer than any British monarch. She took the throne in 1952, at the young age of 25. In June of this year, Cayman celebrated the first ever Platinum Jubilee to mark her historic seven-decade reign.

Her Late Majesty was Cayman’s Head of State and, as such, visited the Cayman Islands twice in her lifetime, once in 1983 and once in 1994, both times accompanied by her late husband, Prince Philip. Her visits helped to engender a deep sense of affection for her among Cayman residents and their sense of loss will be profound. Cayman was also visited by her son, now King Charles III, in March 2019 who has acceded his mother to the throne. He was accompanied during his trip to the Cayman Islands by his wife, Camilla, who is now The Queen Consort.

Cayman residents are able to express their condolences to the Royal Family on the passing of her Late Majesty with condolence books open to the community to sign until the day of the State Funeral, and can be found at the Government Administration Building in Grand Cayman and District Administration Building in Cayman Brac. These buildings are open during usual business hours of 8:30am to 5:00pm and the physical condolence books may be signed during these hours. Additional condolence books will be circulated among the districts.  Alternatively, people can also sign the digital book of condolences here: https://www.royal.uk/  

In addition, floral tributes or bouquets can be left on the steps of the Government Administration Building and the front gates of Government House.

Cayman residents paid their own respects to the Late Queen with the following personal remarks as to what she meant to them.

“I know from my four years as your Governor just how much affection and respect there is for Her Late Majesty on our Islands. Her two visits here in 1983 and 1994 are warmly remembered today by so many. We were able to celebrate Her Late Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee this year with an extraordinarily wide variety of events across our three Islands reflecting the depth of feeling towards Her Late Majesty. 

I had the pleasure of meeting Her Late Majesty three times during my career, including at Windsor Castle on taking up my role as Governor of the Cayman Islands. Her Late Majesty vividly recalled details of her visits here.  Many of you will have your own personal recollections of Royal moments in your lives, whether it was watching her coronation, meeting her, or celebrating her visits to Cayman or elsewhere.

Her Late Majesty was a symbol of stability and permanence for over seven decades. She exemplified outstanding public duty. I know the thoughts and prayers of all of us in the Cayman Islands are with members of the Royal Family at this difficult and sad time.”

                - Governor, Martyn Roper

“She was a defender of the faith and a stalwart wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. As our Head of State, our loyalty to the British Crown was strongest and most heartfelt under her reign. We remain loyal to the British Crown, but it has definitely lost one of its most precious jewels.”

                - Premier Wayne Panton

“Her Late Majesty was an inspirational leader who I admired and respected my entire life. She set the standard for Public Service. Her words during difficult times were a source of inspiration to me. I recall her first ever Eastern Message delivered during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Her words: “As dark as death can be - particularly those suffering grief - light and life are greater”, inspired me at a time when I questioned if we would ever overcome the pandemic.  She was the best of us!

                - Franz Manderson, MBE, Deputy Governor

“I fondly remember Her Late Majesty’s visit in 1983 when I was a child of nine years old. During that visit she opened the Queen’s Highway, a coastal road named in her honour which connected the districts of East End and North Side. I can recall standing on the side of the road, waving excitedly as she passed. I have always been struck by her unwavering sense of duty and in my own life she has been a source of inspiration.”

                - Dr Tasha Ebanks Garcia, Cayman Islands Representative to the UK

“Few have had the privilege and resolve to serve their country and people as long, and dutifully, as Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who did so with resounding grace and poise.  I found her sincerity, devotion, and work ethic to be virtues that both inspired and encouraged me to be a better person.

 So, as we enter this period of solemnity, my compassion goes out to her family who now face an enormous task ahead. I hope they have as profound and admirable an impact as our Queen. But as she was a once-in-a-lifetime presence, let’s allow our new King to set his own path….”

                - Woody Foster, MD, Foster’s

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