The entire St John’s School community sends its heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

It is with great sadness that we join the nation, and millions more from every corner of the world, in mourning as we fly our flag at half-mast in honour of our much loved, longest reigning monarch.

Whilst observing the period of national mourning, Rebecca Evans, Acting Head, spoke to the St John’s community in Chapel about The Queen’s death, and the immense example of lifelong service and dedication she demonstrated. The Acting Head explained to pupils that service can come in many forms, some more obvious than others, but the impact can be positively life changing. ‘The Queen was an extraordinary woman who was universally loved for her inspiring ability to unite people; she lived her life true to the words she spoke on her 21st birthday, whilst on a tour of South Africa with her family – ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong’.

On Saturday 10 September, we showed our respects at sport fixtures with a minute of reflective silence before each game.

We held a service of remembrance for the life of The Queen for pupils and staff on Friday 16 September. The memorial service was a moment for our community to come together, solemnly lining the four sides of the Quad. Reverend Moloney led the School in prayer, and a moment of silent reflection, which was followed by the National Anthem.

A wreath, inspired by those at the royal residences in Balmoral and London has been placed in the Chapel for our community to reflect and pay their own personal respects. The wreath contained dahlia, phlox, and heather (inspired by Balmoral) and freesia, pittasporum, lavender and rosemary (inspired by London).

Whilst our community and the nation spend time reflecting on The Queen’s selfless duty and devotion, we are creating a condolence book, which will be printed and stored in the School archives so that future generations of the St John’s community can reflect on how we marked this historic occasion.