THE CHAIR of a Solihull veteran care home has said attending the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II was ‘a long and emotional day.’
Major General Tim Tyler represented The Royal Star and Garter at the funeral of its patron, The Queen, on Monday, September 19.
He was one of 2,000 people invited to the state funeral at Westminster Abbey alongside the Royal family, world leaders, religious leaders and those who have were on the Queen’s honours list.
In a blog he said: “My wife and I walked to Westminster from Kensington. The roads were closed, there were police and security personnel to be seen but otherwise silence as if the world had stopped.
“As we got closer people emerged from everywhere, all going the same way; there was a sense of expectation.”
He said he was sat next to Brian Roberts, who has been awarded an MBE for his work with Healing Hands Network which provides support to those who are suffering from the mental, physical and emotional after-effects of war, and Victoria Clayton of the Shire Horse Society.
As 11am approached and Westminster Abbey started filling up Maj Gen Tyler said he found himself thinking of the weight of history at that moment.
He added: “The atmosphere changed from the moment the coffin was carried into the Abbey.
“The service was, of course quiet, contemplative and with a sense of sadness for an irreplaceable loss.
“But the Archbishop of Canterbury reminded us that this was a moment for celebration of a remarkable life and the transition of Her Majesty into the heavenly estate to which Christians aspire.
“For me the highlight of the service was the singing of the anthem composed for the service by Sir James MacMillen CBE based on St Paul’s letter to the Romans in which, after a quiet opening, the choir erupted into a joyous and almost chaotic ‘Alleluia’.”
Maj Gen Tyler added: “I lost count of the number of people who thanked me for all the organisation of the period of mourning and the funeral – I explained that I had had no responsibility, but they just wanted to thank the Armed Forces who are held in such respect.
“We will continue to provide our Care with courage to our veterans, following the example set by Queen Elizabeth and with the continued love and commitment of our President, Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra.”
The Solihull care home looks after veterans and their spouses with dementia and disability.