WE join with the people of Dorset to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, our longest reigning monarch and head of state.
For 70 years she was a shining example to all of us and an enduring inspiration to those who put their communities first. We, like all of our partner organisations, fellow community foundations and the countless voluntary sector workers and volunteers who followed the example she set, pay tribute to her loyalty, devotion and ever-present sense of calme and grace.
Every day we see in Dorset the embodiment of her values – the quiet, caring commitment to service of others – among the wonderful grass roots groups and charities who work so hard to make life better in our communities.
We know that through that work and commitment her legacy will continue.
Just a few months ago we were so proud to be able to distribute £112,000 from Arts Council England and Superior Seals in Poole to help those communtites celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee through arts events all over the county.
We echo the words of Dorset’s Lord-Lieutenant Angus Campbell who said: “The country is in deep mourning following the loss of Her Majesty. All our thoughts are with the members of the Royal Family at this most difficult time.
“While still a Princess, on her 21st birthday, Her Majesty broadcast a declaration to the country and the Commonwealth which included the words ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.’
“Those words encapsulate the love, service and pure strength of character with which Her Majesty has led the monarchy of Great Britain and the Commonwealth over her extraordinary 70 year reign. It is so special to see the words of a 21-year-old Princess so perfectly foreshadowing her long life of dedicated service to us all.
“We have all lost a unique, loving and determined monarch who has, over seventy years, not only delivered the extraordinary, devoted service and support she promised at such an early age, but given us so very much more besides. Our loss is incalculable.”
Our thoughts are with the Royal family, particularly our new King, Charles III as he prepares to follow the 1,000-year-old tradition and take up the crown, as they grieve for a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. This county will never have another figurehead, ambassador or guiding light like her. Rest In Peace.