A friend of the countryside

In our house, a rather jolly photo resides. It is of the now departed Queen Elizabeth II, standing happily between two white fell ponies at Windsor Castle, on the occasion of her 96th birthday back in April. The good queen loved her horses of many sorts and was truly a friend of the countryside and rural life, in all its formats. She was in many ways a force for decency and honour, and I suspect King Charles III’s long apprenticeship with her will show similar characteristics as he settles into the position.

As we all know, the sovereign operates in a non-elected, ceremonial post. It is a job that you are born into, not elected. While Charles has known about this for years, I suspect there must be some personal dread, knowing that the only way you get the job that you’ve been preparing for, is to see your parent die. At an age where a lot of people are retiring, he is stepping up to the primary job. I think he must be wished all of the good luck as he steps into her very large shoes to fill.

So, I have to say I think France’s president Macron said it best, when he said, “To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was the Queen.” Justin Trudeau, the prime minister of Canada, looked emotional as he said she was “one of my favourite people in the world.” She was indeed a global figure.

With his background, hopefully the new king can persuade the new prime minister Liz Truss that the rural life, where all the food comes from, can be top of the agenda for the whole country. It would be a fitting legacy for a woman who thought so highly of it.

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