Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II

We were deeply saddened when we learned of the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II on 8th September 2022.

Her Majesty was a beacon for the UK, and for peoples across the globe, and an incredible example of selfless service and dedication during her 70 year reign.

The thoughts of all of us at ANSL are with the Royal Family at this very sad time. In honour of HM Queen Elizabeth II, we asked members of our team to describe what the Queen meant to each one of them and want to share some of these stories with you in memory and honour of the Queen.

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth IIThe Queen of our hearts

“I was never lucky enough to meet The Queen but did see her once in a local town. She was in her 80s by that point. She got out the car and was so surprisingly small compared to all the burly men around her. However, the minute this tiny old lady appeared, in bright lime green, the atmosphere in the crowd I was standing in lifted. That was her secret power. She made lots of people feel happy just by being her.  To me, she felt like a slightly remote grandmother with a kind twinkle in her eye; you believed if it all went wrong, on some level she might be able to help. She’s just always quietly been there; a reassuring constant in a world of turmoil and change. A unique person, the ultimate role model.”
Lucy Kirkland, ATC Operations Specialist, ANSL Edinburgh

“Growing up in South Africa we learnt about the Monarchy mainly through the tabloids and bits of news. My Nana was English and a Royalist and I remember she would collect all the magazines that the Royal family were mentioned in. She always said that the Queen was so graceful and full of dignity and always showed a manner of calm even when times were tough. Since immigrating to the UK I have enjoyed the love for the Royal family and how lucky we are to get a little glimpse of their lives both the glamour and the workmanship. I admire the Queen for her grace and good sense of duty. I think she was an exceptional role model for young people.”
Larné Johannie, Management Accountant, ANSL Head Office (Gatwick)

“I’ve never been too involved in the finer details of our monarchy but it’s undeniable the effect Queen Elizabeth II has had on the UK over the course of my entire life. To me, she represents something unique to these isles; during her reign, we have seen the Royal Family adapt to Britain’s changing political and cultural landscape. I firmly believe this is purely because of the Queen and how she has been able to keep her and her family so relevant. Personally, I don’t even think the impact has fully sunk in and we’ll all mourn her again when she’s not there to deliver her speech on Christmas Day.”
Maidul Islam, Head of Commercial Services, ANSL Head Office (Gatwick)

“The Queen was a source of constancy and stability for our nation. She transcended the ebb and flow of day-to-day politics, and provided wisdom, grace and reassurance in good times and in bad. In many ways, she was like everyone’s favourite other grandmother. We might not have known her personally, but held her in affection, and also in respect for what was in every sense a lifetime of service.”
Charlie Hampton, Pembroke & Rye (ANSL’s PR Partners), London

The Queen of our skies

A meticulously planned ceremonial routine has followed the passing of Her Majesty, the Queen, and is defining every step of the journey leading up to the state funeral on the tenth day  after her death. In addition to the personal and emotional meaning that the passing of the Queen has had for our teams, there are a few practical implications also that our teams have been involved with.

Due to Queen Elizabeth II dying in Scotland, the first part of the well-rehearsed plan was executed under what is known as Operation Unicorn, named after the national animal of Scotland. Before being transported to London by airplane, the Queen was taken by road from Balmoral Castle, closer to Aberdeen, to Edinburgh – first to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and then to St. Giles Cathedral where she lay in state at for 24 hours. On the day she was driven to Edinburgh Airport, schools in the city closed early to allow people to get home before roads were closed on the route to the airport. Similarly, the airspace around Edinburgh was temporarily restricted and at the time when the Queen’s coffin arrived on the airport, all airport operations came to a halt, ensuring a ‘sterile’ airport environment out of respect for the Queen.

Her flight – KRF01R – from Edinburgh to Northolt near London on board a Royal Air Force C-17 Globemaster – became the most followed flight in the history of Flightradar24. It took place on an aircraft with the suitable registration of ZZ177 which, turned on its head, reads

The second part, Operation London Bridge, is the funeral plan for the Queen that details events following the arrival in London. Numerous Head of State, Royals from the UK and other countries, and other world leaders are expected to attend the state funeral in London on Monday, 19th September 2022. That is why, when ANSL’s team in Edinburgh sent Her Majesty off and Operation Unicorn came to an end, the team down south in Gatwick, and in nearby Crawley where ANSL’s Head Office is based, continued preparations, in support of Operation London Bridge.

Being most royally prepared is the least that anyone can do in order to pay Queen Elizabeth II the respect that she deserves, having committed her entire life of 96 years and her 70 years as Queen to the UK and the Commonwealth and its peoples.

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