Leader of the Opposition Allen Chastanet has expressed shock and sorrow at the
sudden passing yesterday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and has conveyed
condolences to Buckingham Palace.
The former Prime Minister noted that Queen Elizabeth had been Head of State of
Saint Lucia for 42 years, since the island gained its independence from Britain in
Chastanet said: “For 70 years Queen Elizabeth sat on the Throne, the longest by
any monarch in history. She was a towering international symbol of grace, strength and stability, who was loved well beyond the Commonwealth of Nations that she headed and which made up a sizeable portion of the world mass and population.”
Chastanet said that the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and the Royal Family
with Saint Lucia was particularly special following two visits to the island by the
Queen during her reign.
On the first occasion in 1966 she opened the WINBAN Research Centre at Roseau, now defunct and in 1985 she laid the foundation stone for a new Red Cross headquarters at Vigie.
He added that the visits to the island by members of the Royal Family during her reign had helped to highlight some key moments in Saint Lucia’s history including Saint Lucia’s attainment of political independence.
Said Chastanet: “In addition, there was also a close personal connection between the Queen and the Royal Family with former Prime Minister Sir John Compton and his family”.
Several members of the Royal Family visited Saint Lucia over the years the latest being the Earl of Wessex who was here earlier this year.
Speaking during his visit on behalf of The Queen, The Earl referred to her long-standing pride and interest in her role as Queen of St Lucia, when he said:
“I know that she regards her role as your Head of State and your Queen as being an
enormous privilege. As you have developed as a nation, the fact that you wanted to remain as a realm, and wanted The Queen to remain as your Queen, is something that has always meant a great deal to her … and she follows your fortunes here in Saint Lucia with great interest.”
Despite the current mood in the Caribbean towards republicanism, which would result in countries severing their ties with the monarchy, Chastanet said that even if Saint Lucia was to go that route, the Royal Family’s personal ties with Saint Lucia would endure through the new Monarch, King Charles The Third, the former Prince of Wales who has also taken keen interest in the island over the years.
Chastanet praised the Queen’s unifying role in international affairs and the strength of character and dignity which she exhibited during her 70 years on the throne in dealing with issues both personal and worldly.
SOURCE: United Workers Party