By Harris Bokhari
From a young age, when my late father would let me stay up late, I would watch the BBC end its broadcast by the playing of the national anthem. But staying up late also meant he would make me stand up for it, no matter how tired, out of respect for the Queen.
My father, an immigrant from Pakistan grew up at a time when the monarchy was the bedrock of stability of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. The stability the Queen provided from a her early years as monarch as the embodiment of the “Blitz spirit” that she took on during her undertaking of public duties during WW2, has been at the forefront of her subjects’ minds no matter what difficulties the country has faced since.
So her message “that the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country” in her special address to the nation on Sunday was the message we needed to hear from our greatest pillar of strength in our country.
Having had the privilege of interacting with Her Majesty, I’ve seen first-hand how her caring nature isn’t just reserved for our television sets, but it transitions to real life gatherings, with her putting guests at ease and comfort through her humour for example.
But the resolve of service is not something unique in the Royal family. Despite testing positive from Coronavirus HRH Prince of Wales has been working tirelessly to use the numerous charities he supports to protect the most vulnerable in the country while also preforming his public duties by virtually opening the new Nightingale Hospital.
He has also spent decades championing causes which have may been unfashionable at the time but proven to be now some of the more important issues facing our country and the world. From this consistent championing of the saving the environment since the 1980s, supporting Northern cities like Burnley since the 1990s, founding Mosaic after the 7/7 London bombing to promoting Muslim role models and highlight the contributions made by Muslim communities across the county to more recently revolutionise not just the awareness of mental health in the Asian Subcontinent but its treatment through his British Asain Trust.
The same hope the Queen has in the years to come that everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge, is the same hope I have that our current young and future generations will see the contribution our Royal Family play in our daily lives.
Their role has never been more important in our of crisis as well championing and raising some of the most pressing issues of our times. I am confident and that those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any other and we had a Monarch and Prince of Wales to match them.