One year ago today, New Zealanders joined the world in mourning the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was a significant moment for our country, and a time to reflect on both Her Majesty’s unprecedented 70-year reign, and the extraordinary role she played in modern history.
As Queen Elizabeth’s 16th Governor-General in Aotearoa New Zealand, I was honoured to represent my fellow New Zealanders at Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in the United Kingdom – and then, just a few months later, to join world leaders at her funeral ceremonies. I was very moved to witness the outpouring of respect and affection for Her Majesty, in recognition of her life of dedicated service.
Today, let us take the opportunity to once again reflect on Her Majesty’s remarkable life, her commitment to the Commonwealth, and the wisdom and selflessness with which she served as our Queen. As Her Majesty said in her annual Christmas message, nearly 25 years ago: ‘Fairness and compassion, justice and tolerance; these are the landmarks from the past which can guide us through the years ahead.’