In tribute

queen1969Queen Elizabeth II, 1926–2022

Derek Inkpin from local solicitors Wiseman Lee offers his thanks and pays tribute to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, or as he believes is a more fitting moniker, Elizabeth the Great

By the time this edition of the Wanstead Village Directory is read, the seismic and utterly unique circumstances which happened to the UK in September 2022 after the death of our dear Queen will be passing into the near distance of the autumn.

Millions of words, both written and spoken, not just in the UK, but globally, about the most famous woman in the world, have been articulated.

It is quite clear we will never see her like again. We all know that she has been praised for her selfless devotion to duty, her friendliness, her humour and her hard work for 70 years in representing this country and the Commonwealth. She was ‘our’ Queen, but to the rest of the world, she was ‘the’ Queen.

Her dedication to duty in front of the camera at such a young age to confirm whether her life be short or long clearly told us we were dealing with someone special. In time, over many years, she became the nation’s granny and has earned our deep respect.

The announcement of the Queen’s death on the afternoon of 8 September 2022 was received with shock, even though we all knew that at the age of 96 she would not live forever. Nevertheless, we hoped her life would not end. When the end came, we were simply not prepared for the news.

My firm was started by Cyril Wiseman in East Ham in the year of the Queen’s Coronation in 1953, and there are not now many people who remember those days, when Winston Churchill was prime minister, the four young men who became The Beatles were still at school, sweet rationing was still in force and the man who is now king was four years old. King Charles III has had the longest apprenticeship in the world.

Some years ago, when the Queen and Prince Philip visited Essex, we were told their car on returning to London would progress along Cambridge Park, Wanstead, before turning left into Blake Hall Road. I left my office and as the car passed we all applauded. It only took a few seconds, but those who witnessed it knew we had to be there to pay our respects.

Since her death, the Queen has been referred to as Elizabeth the Great. I would like to think to the generations that follow she will become known by that title.

I can think of five words, which for me, summarise the last 70 years in the words of Paddington Bear at his famous meeting with the Queen earlier this year: “Thank you, ma’am. For everything.”

Wiseman Lee is located at 9–13 Cambridge Park, Wanstead, E11 2PU. For more information, call 020 8215 1000