She has faced many challenges throughout her reign, including the fire at Windsor Castle, her children’s divorces that created several very public scandals and the deaths of her sister Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother, yet she has always remained stoic in the face of adversity.
The Queen is intensely private, and although she may be perceived by some as cold and distant, there is much photographic proof that she smiles and laughs, particularly when conversing with children or spending time with her beloved horses and corgis. It has even been reported that she has an excellent sense of humour!
Her priorities have always been her duty to her country, her family and her faith, but like any human being she is not perfect. When the country mourned the death of Princess Diana she was widely criticised for not immediately reacting to her subjects’ outpouring of grief. Back in her father’s day a stiff upper lip was the norm, but times had changed over the years and she finally recognised that in some respects she had to change with them.
The Cayman Islands as a British Crown Colony have had their fair share of disagreements with the UK government, but the Caymanian people have always had a special place in their hearts for their queen. When she visited for the first time in 1983, the excitement was palpable and although she was only here for two days, her gracious and easy manner left a lasting impression.
Through her dedication and an unwavering strength, she has proven herself to be royalty in every respect and there will never be another like her.