A man from Steinbach feels that we have lost the greatest monarch the kingdom has ever known.
Bill Richards has British roots and has great respect for the life and accomplishments of the Late Queen Elizabeth II, saying her 70 years on the throne is an incredible legacy, as the world's longest-serving monarch.
Richards reflects on his family’s connection with the Royal Family.
“My great-great grandmother was a seamstress and she actually, true story, she made dresses for the Royal Family, long before Queen Elizabeth though,” he says. “There's some connection there, and we've suffered a great loss, I feel personally, and I know the nation will too.”
When Richards signed on with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, he signed an oath to Her Majesty, the Queen.
“And that meant a lot to me, it still does and always shall,” he says.
When the announcement was made of the Queen's passing, Richards says it was a tearful moment and he is still grappling with the emotions.
“I’m still in shock,” he admits. “At my house, you’ll see the British flag flying at half-staff.”
Richards has always had a lot of respect and admiration for the Queen.
“She never rocked the boat,” he says. “She never interfered directly with the politics of the United Kingdom or the Commonwealth. But she was there to help and serve as needed, and that’s incredible. Because it’s so difficult with all the different things that have happened over the last 70 years, she remained neutral and a dedicated servant. And that I appreciated most about her.”
Richards speaks highly of the Queen’s dedication and commitment to serve, noting that she served right until her last day on earth. That is something he greatly admires. Richards says the Queen was a role model for him.
He had a couple of opportunities to see Her Majesty. And even though it was from a distance, he values those experiences. Richards notes that he particularly loved seeing how she enjoyed connecting with children, always delighted to meet the young ones.
We will have an opportunity to sign books of condolences for the Royal Family.
Steinbach M.L.A. Kelvin Goertzen says he will deliver the books on Monday morning to City Hall, a place the Queen herself visited in the late 1960s.
Goertzen says the books will be ready after 10am for the public to sign.