Commemoration Service

 

A Special Commemoration Service to Mark the Death of HM The Queen

Our school community gathered in the chapel on Friday evening to attend a special Commemoration Service to mark the death of HM The Queen. 

The Queen’s Banner, given to the school by Queen Elizabeth II, lay on a drum altar of the school’s ceremonial drums, forming a poignant backdrop to the service. Four of our Guard Commanders stood in vigil at each corner of the drum altar, next to a beautiful hand-crafted image of The Queen, which had been created by pupils and staff out of felt to mark her 90th birthday.  

The heartfelt service, led by our Chaplain, the Rev Dr Philip McConnell, included reflections from members of our community, who had either met The Queen, had served for her or had their own personal memory. Head Boy Toby Chavasse grew up in Kenya and lived close to Treetops where, as Princess Elizabeth, The Queen first heard the news that her father had passed and that she was to ascend to the throne. Tim Carleston, a housemaster at RHS, who was previously a Lay Clerk in the Choir of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle and met Her Majesty on many occasions spoke about his personal interactions with The Queen. Sarah Williamson, our Head of Business and Economics, who had served in the Army prior to becoming a teacher spoke on how The Queen was head of the armed forces and their commander-in-chief. 

The congregation was led by the Choir in a number of traditional hymns, including ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’, said to have been a personal favourite of The Queen, and was also sung at her wedding to the Duke of Edinburgh in 1947. Peter Crompton, RHS Organist Emeritus, returned to the school to accompany the congregation on the magnificent organ. The service ended with a rousing rendition of ‘God Save the King’, the first time that this had been sung by most of the congregation, and certainly not in the school chapel for over 70 years.