“Grief is the price we pay for love.” – Queen Elizabeth II

Rivers of ink have been spilt in the wholly appropriate appreciation of our late Queen’s dedicated service and her uncanny ability to move with the times. As a monarch who did National Service, made early use of broadcast media then moved on to social media and even allowed herself to have some fun in this most august of roles, there is much on which to reflect and learn. The King has taken up his mother’s good example and we look forward to a similarly dynamic Carolingian Age.

Whilst witnessing the ceremony associated with this State occasion, I’ve been struck with the limited time that a family has had to grieve, quietly and privately. Now that the Queen lies in state the family may be afforded this necessity. Today they will take part in the vigil in Westminster Hall a place of silence and contemplation. As Prince William admitted yesterday, the process is not an easy one.

Losing a family member is one of the most challenging situations for any child to overcome (no matter what their age). It is particularly difficult for school age children. Sadly, we have had experience of this loss as a school community, and I believe that we have provided appropriate levels of care and support. But this most public outpouring of sorrow may well affect children in school who have lost a relative, particularly during the pandemic. If you have concerns about this, please do contact our welfare team who are in a position to help and assist. Grief can lay hidden for some time, and it is difficult to predict when it may surface.

On Monday we will have another opportunity to remember the Queen’s life of service. We plan to have a two minute silence, a small gesture in recognition of this extraordinary life. Please do remember that if you would like to watch the coverage of the State Funeral live then you may withdraw your child from the school for the day and this will be recorded in our registers as an authorised absence, please send an email to the appropriate School office. A Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Queen will be held at St. George’s Church in Paris on Saturday (see page 3 of this newsletter for further details).

Unlike last weekend in the UK, there is no interruption to sports fixtures, theatrical productions or other events. We have decided that our Welcome Event will continue as planned. This is an opportunity for us to come together as a wider school community, to make new friends and renew older friendships. I really hope that you will be able to attend. Our school charity shop will be open, pre-loved uniform items will be available for purchase and a range of local groups will also attend to provide information about joining. Our parents’ association the BSPS will run their ever-popular bar and I can thoroughly recommend the pizza on offer! Do join us.

Nicholas Hammond



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