• Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

Oxfordshire town mayors pay respects to Royal Family

Byoxfordnewspaper

Sep 8, 2022

TOWN Mayors across South Oxfordshire have shared their well wishes for Queen Elizabeth II’s family after her death was announced this evening (August 8).

Buckingham Palace announced the Queen had passed away this afternoon at Balmoral Castle with senior royals by her side.

Pam Siggers, Mayor of Didcot, said: “My thoughts and best wishes are with Her Majesty’s family.”

READ MORE: The Queen dies aged 96, what happens now? ‘Operation London Bridge’ explained

Mayor of Henley, Michelle Thomas, said: “Our thoughts all her family and we will be seeing what we can do as a town council to send our best to Balmoral.

“It has been such an honour to be a Platinum Jubilee Mayor this year and I’m looking forward to going to all the schools and continuing to plant trees for the Jubilee which was one of Her Majesty’s wishes.”

Jim Sibbald, Mayor of Wantage, said: “On behalf of Wantage Town Council, the councillors, the staff and the citizens of Wantage, we wish her Majesty’s family well.”

Recalling meeting the Queen, he added: “I met her once in 1988 as I was Captain of the Queen’s Guard for two months.

“As I was a Scotsman and the rest of the regiment was Englishman they all wanted to go to London at the weekend but I was more than happy to guard the Queen at Windsor Castle during the weekend.

READ MORE: Arrangements for Queen's funeral will be 'biggest ever Thames Valley Police operation'

“One day she crept up on horseback and surprised me but I managed to keep it together. I also had the honour of meeting His Royal Highness Prince Phillip as well.

“Another story I remember was when I was asked by Her Majesty to do the Guard of Honour for Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir John Grandy in February 1988.

“The Queen gave him use of one of her cars and he was intended to have one salute but the Queen asked for two which was highly unusual.

“We practised and practised and practised and he arrived, we did the salute, and he inspected the guard.

“He looked at me and I thought, ‘Oh no he has found something wrong’ but he said to me, ‘I’ve got a question for you…what do I do now?’

“So I told him and I got a very nice telegraph from him thanking me for that. He was a real favourite of Her Majesty.”

Andy Foulsham, Mayor of Abingdon, said: “The Queen is very much in all our thoughts and prayers as well as the rest of the Royal Family members.

“We’ve not been fortunate enough to have a royal visit during my time as Mayor here but we’ve had very many royal visits in the past such as Princess Anne coming to Abingdon for the annual bun throwing which was marvellous to have her here for such an historic tradition.

READ MORE: King Charles issues first statement as Queen Elizabeth dies, aged 96

“So we do have such a huge amount of affection for the Royal Family here across the whole of Abingdon.”

Marcus Harris, Mayor of Wallingford, said: “It’s heart-breaking news. Thoughts and prayers are with her family.

“The percentage of people that haven’t known any other monarch is going to be so few now. The vast majority have grown up knowing that Queen Elizabeth is on the throne.

“What a great leader for our country – what a momentous figure. My first memory of the Queen was during the first Jubilee and I was a boy scouts and for some reason she came to our scout group and that was my first memory.

“It’s terrible sad – everyone was expecting it for a while but she seemed so full of life.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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