Over the past couple of weeks, many of us will have felt the keen sense of living through a moment in history.
The passing of the Queen was an event few had truly contemplated, despite her advanced years.
As we have heard amongst the many reflections on her life, the Queen’s remarkably long reign accompanied so many extraordinary transformations from the post-war years to the present day. Her presence – however favourably disposed or not we may have been to the institution of monarchy – was a commonality across the generations.
It was possible to admire her dedication and appreciate her service regardless of our own views on the concept of royalty. The fact she passed away in Scotland, and the immediacy of resultant unprecedented events, has allowed communities here to reflect all the more on her seven decades as Queen.
Almost every part of Scotland will have a story to share, and to share in, about its association with the Queen. Angus is certainly no exception. Glamis Castle was, of course, the childhood home of her mother and a place closely associated with her own early upbringing.
Amongst the wall-to-wall coverage of her passing and funeral, though, one thing – for me – attracted too little focus. That was the personal grief felt by her own family – her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
To lose a matriarch or patriarch who has been such a long-standing presence within the family is a devastating thing to deal with, as many of us know.
The Royal Family have lost both in a very short time, and it is difficult not to empathise with them on that level. Especially when their own grieving has largely had to take a back seat to participation in the public spectacle and succession-related changes of these past weeks.
I genuinely hope that with the funeral now having taken place, all of them can find time to grieve and come to terms with the personal and emotional impact of her passing – following, as it did, that of the Duke of Edinburgh.
That is surely something that nobody – whether monarchist, republican or agnostic – would begrudge them.