When Fulford Nursing Home first opened its doors in 1990, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II had already been on the throne for almost 38 years.
Her remarkable reign would span 70 years and 214 days in total, and for our residents and staff, she was a reassuring constant in our lives.
We were shocked and saddened when the news broke of her passing on September 8. And in the lead-up to her funeral on September 19, we spent the time reflecting on her life and impact.
Remembering Queen Elizabeth II
For many in the home, thoughts turned to earlier in the summer and the wonderful Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The home was decked out in red, white, and blue, and we came together to enjoy a sumptuous afternoon tea, wave flags, and toast our country’s longest-serving monarch.
It was a memorable day for staff and residents alike, and one we will cherish for a very long time.
For others, memories of the Queen were more personal. Her Majesty visited York no fewer than ten times over the course of her reign (most recently in 2012), and several of our residents still recall seeing her in person. Whether she arrived by car or train, cheering crowds gathered to be met with a gracious smile and wave.
Some of our staff, meanwhile, have had the pleasure of seeing residents receive a telegram from the Queen to commemorate their 100th birthday over the years. This was always such a lovely time for everyone, and something we hope continues under the new King.
And for one resident, in particular, a special moment looms large. She once received a letter from the Queen thanking her for a painting she did of Her Majesty on the palace balcony!
Marking the Queen’s Passing
On the day of the funeral, everyone was invited to celebrate and acknowledge the Queen as they saw fit. For some, this was simply a moment of quiet reflection. For others, it was an opportunity to share stories over a cup of tea.
Many of us then gathered in the sitting room to watch the moving coverage throughout the day, and we capped it off with a toast to the Queen and our new King.
We also sent cards of condolence to His Royal Highness, King Charles, and the newly crowned Prince of Wales. And our Managing Director, Elizabeth Hancock, took flowers from our garden to lay among the tributes in Green Park, along with a card signed by the residents.
Thank You, Your Majesty
Saying farewell to the Queen was an emotional time, especially as so many of our residents are of that same generation. They still remember the day she was crowned.
We shall miss her steady presence and, in particular, her Christmas messages — something we all looked forward to every Christmas Day.
It is truly the end of an era. Thank you, Ma’am.
In loving memory of Her Royal Highness, Queen Elizabeth II (1926 – 2022), from all at Fulford Nursing Home.