People in Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth share their heartfelt memories of the Queen

Our thanks to everyone who took the time to share their memories with us

As the nation mourns the loss of the Queen, here are some readers' experiences and memories of the late Queen Elizabeth II.Send us your thoughts to [email protected]

'The Queen was constantly polite. We should all follow her example'

Shortly after her coronation, the Queen opened the Parliament of South Australia in Adelaide and a throne was made for her.

As the nation mourns the loss of the Queen, some readers have been sharing their experiences and memories of the late Queen Elizabeth II. Here are some of them.

About 10 years ago, Sheila and I visited the building and to our astonishment we were invited to sit on the throne. I was the only one of the visitors to do so. I felt very grand up there.

I do not know if it is still allowed, but an unforgettable day.

My wife and I met the Queen at Buckingham Palace in 2017, when she enquired politely about my motorised scooter (I am disabled because of serving overseas).

We met our new King in Germany in the 1970s when I was concerned with his security. We met Prince William in the War Memorial Park, Coventry, in 2017 and Princess Anne was so gracious when presenting my MBE at Windsor Castle in 2022 that I burst into tears. And my three Queen's Commissions are so very precious to our family.

We obviously believe that the non-political Monarchy should continue but accept that some people would prefer an elected Head of State. They are certainly entitled to make their points but it should be done in a factual, polite way.

The Queen was constantly polite. We should all follow her example.

Honorary Alderman David Skinner MBE

We bowed to the Royal couple of got a lovely smile in return

Among the many hundreds of recollections of meeting her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, I have yet to see another one, similar to mine.

In August 1957, I was working for the Warwickshire County Council school dental service, in a mobile dental caravan based in mid-Warwickshire. Together with a colleague with another mobile dental caravan from North Warwickshire, we were asked to provide emergency dental treatment at the 9th World Jubilee Jamboree held in Sutton Park. Birmingham - 12 days in August 1957 marking the 50th anniversary of Scouting.

As well as 33,000 participants from 85 countries, an additional 17,000 British Scouts were camped on other organised sites over 15 miles radius of Sutton Coldfield. Interpreters were made available to help decide on the necessary treatment.

The Jamboree was formally opened on August 1, 1957 by Prince Phillip Duke of Edinburgh.

Our two mobile dental caravans were parked on part of the medical site.

The Queen and Prince Phillip toured the Jamboree in their Land Rover, which when they arrived at the Medical Centre was parked very close to our mobile caravan.

When they emerged to continue their drive, we stood outside our caravan and bowed to the Royal couple, getting a lovely smile in return.

Peter Bailey, Leamington

Schoolgirl memories

As a ten-year-old schoolgirl, Vinitaraj Aulak presented a bouquet of flowers to the late monarch who had come to officially open the Warwickshire Justice Centre in March 2011. The moment was captured by former Leamington Courier photographer Jass Lall.

She spoke to our reporter Oliver Williams about her memories of the occasion.

Sermon at the Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving in St Mary, Warwick

Here are three sections taken from the sermon preached by The Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Dr Christopher Cocksworth, on the occasion of A Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving in St Mary, Warwick, on the Eve of the Funeral for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

We will never forget this week. The moment we heard the news that our Queen had died will be for ever etched on our minds. I was in St Nicolas Church, Nuneaton about to put a new vicar into the parish. I was strengthened by the High Sheriff’s words: This – church, in the presence of God – is the right place to be at such a time. And here we are now, together in the presence of God.

We have been on a profound journey since that shattering moment. A journey embodied in the lines of hundreds of thousands of people queueing to bid their farewell to our Late Majesty. I’ve been privileged to witness that long line of people in London and to see local lines of people queueing for as long as it takes in Coventry Cathedral and churches across Warwickshire to sign condolence books.

And what of us? What does all this say to us gathered here for this Civic Service of Warwickshire with our

callings to be public servants through our different institutions and organisations?

Three things come to mind.

First, that greatness is to be found in service.

Second, that service is grounded in being with the people we serve, so that we know their life circumstances, and

can see the stresses and strains, the pressures and problems of the people we are called to serve.

Third, that authentic service – the sort of service that makes a difference to people’s lives – is only possible

through constancy of presence, dedication to duty, faithfulness to promises.

‘Who am I that I should go?’, said Moses, quaking at the responsibilities before him.

For over eight decades her people prayed and over eight decades God most willingly answered our prayer: God was with her.

If we call our Late Majesty, ‘Elizabeth the Great’, it will be because her greatness was found in her commitment to be among us, in the midst of our sufferings, like Jesus, as one who serves.

For that is how she signed her name in a letter to each of us at the beginning of this Platinum year: ‘your Servant, Elizabeth R’.

God will be with us too as we follow her example, the example she followed of Jesus Christ, the Servant of all.

The final journey home

Here is a poem, titled 'The final journey home' by Natalie Russell from Kenilworth

Our hearts feel slightly broken,

As we watch you pass us by,

Your final journey taken,

So peaceful in the sky.We knew one day you would have to go,

But we hadn’t thought it through,

Our queen for many, many years,

The only queen we knew.So special to so many,

And although we never met,

You were so very wonderful

A queen we won’t forget.So although our hearts feel heavy,

We stand and shed a tear,

To see your final journey,

For a moment you are near.Your Christmas message every year,

Bond and Paddington,

You always made us smile,

And now it hurts you’re gone.Your family are in our thoughts,

Now it’s time to rest,

As we thank you for your service,

You really were the best.So now it’s time to say goodbye,

The grief is clear to see,

Because you were so very loved,

Rest in Peace, your Majesty.

Our Queen

This was written by Christine Thomas from Leamington

Our darling Queen has now departed,

She will be sadly missed for many a year.

The entire globe are in deep mourning, showering the earth with the flowers she loved. The sun has been kind and keeping her warm. Not even a storm.

The day of the announcement it rained over the the palace. Sending double rainbows for her and Philip.

But since then the sun has been kind,

To help us all to reflect from time to time.

This great lady who had endless strength,

Never gave up her promise she made.

All those long years ago, when she was a wife, mother, with husband to tow.

She took on her duty at just 25 to take care of us all which she carried out her promise with pride...till the day that she died.

At least she spent some very happy times when her husband was posted to Malta. The Maltese are kind, loving people, letting them enjoy a normal wedded life. They were both so grateful to enjoy and share, a little of the true Maltese hospitality.

Now knowing what was in store, she never forgot these happy times,

They both showed empathy to these battered islands. The rubble was massive from German bomb bombardment, They held up their heads, and shared with the people of what was left standing, the culture the people they never forgot.

Elizabeth and Philip for a short part of their lives experienced the joy of loving and experiencing normal happy times. Thank you Malta for giving them this.

We all have fond memories of photos we have seen of this happy family, especially the Queen. The Queen was our ROCK she looked after her flock. With such care and attention but sadly we are still in shock.

Dear Queen you are now in the arms of your loved one, Philip. I am sure he will be waiting at the door.

May your angels surround you both for your new venture together.

Dedicated to my darling Granddaughter Giselle Grandma

Memories of her visits to Leamington and Warwick

Back in the spring, we also asked for your memories during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and published photos of the Queen's visits to Leamington and Warwick. Here is the article we published in May, with memories from Richard Lyttle during her visit in 2011.