Queen Elizabeth II died last week on 8th September 2022. We all knew it was a day that was going to come but perhaps not so suddenly as it did. News channels and social media are flooded with images of the Queen both past and present as we lead up to her funeral next Monday 19th September. Rituals and traditions are being performed each day that most of us have not seen in our lifetime. There was the proclamation of King Charles III and the new King and his siblings taking part in the Vigil of the Princes, standing guard by the coffin of the Queen.
As expats we can often feel distant from our home nations, especially the emotions and sense of community surrounding historic events. More recently for the British expats; the death of Prince Philip, the Platinum Jubilee and England winning the Women’s Football Euros!
No matter where you stand on the idea of the Monarchy, it seems that the outpouring of grief is more for the Queen herself and not the crown she held and that’s what makes it as unique as her reign. The longest serving Monarch in British History, we are unlikely to see another Queen reign Great Britain for generations to come.
And Royal admirer or not, we can draw inspiration from a woman who wore many hats (and crowns) both literally and figuratively, with titles galore. But one thing remained true to her always – Queen Elizabeth II’s deep devotion to her country and 70 years of total commitment, service and duty to her people.
A mischievous smile, sense of humour, love, respect and genuine interest in people from all walks of life made her special. The same attention was given to Presidents, Kings and World Leaders as to the thousands of members of the public she encountered throughout her life. She saw 15 UK Prime Ministers serve in her name, from Winston Churchill to Liz Truss, elected just three days before she died. Her passing will have an impact not just on the British and Commonwealth Nations but all around the world.
Described as The Matriarch of the United Kingdom, Mother and Grandmother of the Nation. Throughout conflicts and controversies she remained steadfast, calm and neutral. A constant that has been there throughout our lives is now gone and her passing marks a generational change as she witnessed global history. The Queen has seen so many changes in her lifetime that are unique to that era. In a man’s world she became a Queen.
The Queen and Switzerland
As news broke of her passing, tributes poured in from leaders around the world – Switzerland’s own President included. President of the Swiss Confederation since 1st January 2022, Ignazio Cassis tweeted “Deeply saddened by the passing of HM #QueenElizabeth II. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family on behalf of the Federal Council and the people of Switzerland. She will be remembered as a woman of great strength & steady leadership”. He had met the Queen just recently in April 2022 on a trip to the UK and he will be attending the funeral on Monday 19th September.
The Queen came to Switzerland on a state visit in 1980 with Prince Philip. Her one and only trip was celebrated with a military parade as Her Majesty spent four days touring Switzerland, including Lausanne, Montreux, Berne and Zurich and the Red Cross in Geneva. As a mark of respect, Switzerland’s flag on the parliament building in Berne, was flying half mast last Friday.
King Charles III
With King Charles III, we move from the Elizabethan era to a Carolean one. As Queen Elizabeth II brought the monarchy into the modern age, this new era is one of hope and progress. King Charles III, an early and fierce advocate for climate action has been a frequent visitor to Switzerland. He has skied in his preferred resort of Klosters in the German side of Switzerland for over 40 years. Here he is below talking about his experiences skiing in Switzerland and the tragedy that occurred where he lost a friend in an avalanche he was also caught up in.
Does it change anything?
For those who hold UK passports they remain valid for travel until they require renewal. This is when the wording from Her Majesty will be updated to His Majesty to reflect the new Monarch. The UK passports have already undergone a recent change to a dark blue colour from burgandy following Brexit.
Stamps will change as will money, cash and coins that all hold the image of Queen Elizabeth II. New versions will be rolled out slowly and eventually the older coins and notes no longer being used. The iconic red post boxes which have the Queen’s cypher EIIR will remain the same and King Charles’s chosen royal cypher will be applied to new post boxes.
Services held in the La Côte region for the Queen this week
Queen Elizabeth II’s Christian faith provided comfort and guidance throughout her life and she was the head of the Church of England, Defender of the Faith and Supreme Governor of the Church of England. As special services of prayer are being held across the world, there is a chance to pay tribute and mark your respect here if you wish to do so.
At the Temple de Gingins everyone is invited from all faiths and traditions who would like to remember Her Majesty. This Sunday 18th September 16:00, there will be a Service of Prayer conducted in English as well as a book of condolence. All this week leading up to her funeral at the Temple de Crassier, there will be a table of Remembrance with a book of condolence and an opportunity for quiet prayer. More details here.
Living in Nyon’s Mandy Bronsil will be on Nyon Région Télévision further discussing the Queen’s passing and the impact within the international community. Let us know your thoughts and comments too!