“In the midst of life we are in death…” goes a familiar phrase from the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer. There can be many ways of thinking about its meaning but we are currently living through and witnessing at least one fundamental element of its truth. As we mourn the death of our late Queen, we are also all participants in the vibrant life of our Monarchy and our nation.

The death of our Queen is not the end of our history but the passing of a memorable moment in our long island story. The historic and solemn events surrounding the Queen’s journey from Balmoral and ultimately to Windsor Castle are occurring alongside the beginning of the new reign of King Charles III. Individual lives are lived, beginning and ending. The national life of our country continues ever forward.

At the Accession Council there were many moments of interest. One of them was watching the six living former Prime Ministers lined up in a row in what, it has to be said, looked a little like a jostling crowd.