Community shares their memories of the late Queen

Wednesday 14th September 2022 07:17 EDT

An audience with the Queen

On Wednesday 14 February 2018, Sruti Dharma das, Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor, joined 1000 dignitaries across the British Commonwealth at Buckingham Palace. He was then invited to a private audience with the Queen and other royal family members. Upon meeting Her Majesty, he discussed her visit to the Krishna Avanti School in 2015, which she remembered well. She also confirmed that the tapestry of Lord Chaitanya gifted to her hung on one of the walls of the Palace. 


The Queen is no more. God save the King

As an Immigrant, I have lived under Her Majesty's reign for over half a century. Her legacy is such that she was the most famous person in the world and the most dedicated public servant for over 70 years. She carried her public duties with utmost grace and elegance. She has been the nation's figurehead throughout some of history's darkest and most joyous moments, our constant in

a world of perpetual change. It is with immense gratitude and sorrow we bid her farewell with enduring respect and affection.

I am one of those fortunate people who received the Royal Honour on eight occasions. I was fortunate to meet Her Majesty on several occasions and received honours from her hand. Whenever I came across her, I found her as the epitome of grace and kindness. She always had her famous smile whilst greeting people.

I thank her for her service, dedication, commitment, and sincerity to the nation and the Commonwealth countries. She travelled to many countries and received tremendous love and affection everywhere. She provided the British pageantry at its best; without her, it would not be the same again. She gave an immense sense of security to her subjects. She was above party politics and could unite the nation regardless of race, religion and colour. Her presence meant her subjects could sleep comfortably, knowing that Her Majesty was looking after her subjects.

She will be immensely missed, and our world will be forever changed without her. May she rest in peace in heaven.

God Save The King.

 Lord Rami Ranger CBE


"This is the image of Her Majesty that will remain with me.

Beaming whilst greeting people and making everyone she interacted with feel special and genuinely taking an interest in them and their work.

This photo was taken on 23rd July 2013. There was a huge media presence outside Buckingham Palace as it was the day after Prince George was born. I took the opportunity to congratulate HRH on the birth of her Great Grandson and she reciprocated by congratulating and thanking me for my work in promoting entrepreneurship. 

Her Majesty leaves behind a huge legacy, one where she has been the Patron of 600+ charities. She also championed the work of businesses through The Queen's Awards for Enterprise and those of individuals through the Queen's Awards for Enterprise Promotion.

RIP Your Majesty."

Rajeeb Dey MBE, Founder & CEO of Learnerbly and Holder of the Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion 2013


Charity supporter and IT chief, Ashok J Rabheru, was awarded a Knighthood in the 2022 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. He became Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in recognition of his work for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, which he has supported in various capacities for over twenty-five years.

Sir Ashok was appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order by Her Majesty The Queen in 2011. In the same year, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire.

Sir Ashok said, “I am fortunate to have met the Queen on several occasions, it was a great privilege and indeed to receive the knighthood award from Her Majesty.  Her legacy will continue to reach countless people to the benefit of communities around the world”.


 Dedicated in service to her country and others, we will remember Her Majesty as a beacon of hope and a constant throughout our lives. I have had the fortune of meeting Her Majesty a few times in my life and I will always remember the care she took to engage with people. She also recollected her many trips and could recall her experience of all those countries she had visited. I had the great privilege of serving as a Lord in Waiting as part of Her Majesty’s Government for two and half years. Her love for the Commonwealth was not only evident in her service to it but in the way she interacted with people regardless of their background. Her Majesty's legacy will live on and we will look back to realise how incredibly fortunate we were to have lived during her reign. As the Head of the Commonwealth, the Queen has had a special place in the hearts of Indians and Africans across the world. An emblem of inclusivity, representing universal values of compassion and love. In the year we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the expulsion of Ugandan Asians, the passing of the Queen is ever more special, as we remember the role she played in welcoming us and reminding us how we are bound together by the universal threads of the Commonwealth.

Lord Dolar Popat 


Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was truly amazing. She was the best example ever of a true service leader. Through her dedicated hard work and commitment, she served the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth selflessly for 7 decades. The following is the speech I was privileged to make in the House for Lords the day after she sadly passed away.

In his speech, in the House of Lords, he said, “Some of my earliest memories going back to my childhood are of seeing the photographs, which are in our house in India to this day, of Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh on their state visit to India in 1961, when Rajendra Prasad was the President of India and my father, at that time Captain Bilimoria, was the senior ADC to the President of India.

 “Little did I know that years later, I would be privileged to not only meet but get to know them both. What I saw was a couple who were devoted to each other. Her Majesty the Queen was absolutely devoted to His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh, and he to her. A few years ago, when His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh came to visit the Zoroastrian centre in Harrow, I accompanied him. When we went up to the prayer room, we had to take off our shoes; when we came out of that room, we were sitting next to each other, putting our shoes on and tying our laces, and he said to me, “Do you know, I’ve had these shoes since the day I got married?” Such was the sentimentality between this couple.

 “As we heard from the noble Lord, Lord Howell, Her Majesty was not just the Queen of the United Kingdom but Head of the Commonwealth—a Commonwealth of 56 countries, all voluntary. Not one of those countries has to be a member of the Commonwealth; they do it out of choice. She was not just the figurehead but the leader of this array of nations—from giants such as India with its 1.4 billion people to tiny Caribbean countries—making up a third of the world’s population. We heard just now from the noble Baroness, Lady Grey-Thompson, about the Commonwealth Games. I am privileged to be chancellor of the University of Birmingham and was there on 7 October when Her Majesty drove up in the courtyard in front of Buckingham Palace, stepped out and handed over the baton to its first relay holder. It went all around the world, across all the Commonwealth countries and territories.

Prime Minister Liz Truss described the Queen as the rock of the nation over seven decades. Republics do not have this advantage that we have. Presidents change regularly; we have had continuity for 70 years—not just continuity but somebody who has been apolitical, objective and completely independent. She cared for Great Britain and for Northern Ireland; she cared for the Commonwealth. Her stamina, of course, is legendary. I remember that at the state visit of the President of India to Windsor Castle, it was late into the night at a post-dinner reception when I was suddenly summoned by the Master of the Household, saying, “Her Majesty would like you to accompany her for a while, please.” So I went up to her and asked, “Your Majesty, where is the President?” The Queen said, “She and her husband have retired”, yet she stayed on until past midnight, meeting visitors.

“This year, I was proud to be a member of the committee at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Her Majesty always came to attend the final night, and that night we were warned: “She may not come and if she does, she may come only for a few minutes. She has not been well.” If your Lordships remember, she had missed the State Opening of Parliament just before that. We were all seated at 8 pm when she walked in, on time for the show to start. She stayed the full two hours—clapping, smiling, laughing and enjoying every minute, and it did not stop there. She then got into the Range Rover and did a whole lap of the arena, waving to everyone who was there. She left after 11 pm.

“I have been proud to be a deputy lieutenant, representing Her Majesty in Greater London. I was appointed on 9/11 in 2001, when I was still in my 30s. I remember the vice lord-lieutenant at the time, Sir Michael Craig-Cooper, telling me a story about accompanying the Queen. She was going through crowds and stopped in front of a teenage girl. The teenage girl curtsied and, at that moment, her phone rang. The Queen said, “Maybe you should answer that. It could be somebody important.” That was her sense of humour.

 “I remember sitting opposite her at a lunch at Buckingham Palace. There were the famous stories about the corgis. The corgis were sitting around her and one of the butlers, or waiters, walked behind her—she did not see this happen—and tripped over one of the corgis. It was like slow motion in a comedy movie; somehow, he managed not to drop the tray.

 “She was the Queen of all Queens, the monarch of all monarchs. She was not only the most famous monarch in the world but the most respected, by miles. I have said time and again that the United Kingdom has one of the strongest combinations of hard and soft power in the world. Of that soft power, the number one factor is our luckiness as country to have had Her Majesty the Queen, our strongest element of soft power. She is the most priceless asset our country has had.

“His Majesty King Charles III has not just a hard act to follow but an impossible one. Yet I hope—I know—that, looking ahead, like Isaac Newton, he will be able to say:

“If I can see further, it is because I am standing on the shoulders of giants”,

and of one giant in particular. Your Majesty the Queen, we will miss you but your inspiration will live on with us forever. We offer our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to His Majesty the King and the Royal Family. Long live the King, King Charles III. Long may he reign.”

Lord Karan Bilimoria of Chelsea, CBE DL 


A great ruler, a most compassionate and noble soul has left us. This Great Britain and its citizens shall overcome these days of grief and deep sadness with courage, steadfastness and loyalty. 

There are no words to express my emotions. Go through any study of history, in this country or any other country, no one ruled the nation for 70 years in a democratic form, engaged from transferring Empire to Commonwealth. That was the greatest Queen, the world had ever seen and perhaps it is difficult to see in future. The fact of life is she became more and more effective, more and more lovely for all of us as the years moved on. At the age of 94, she performed 506 engagements in the UK and abroad. Even at this age, she never got tired because she considered it her job and her commitment to serve the country. She enjoyed the responsibility. Her Majesty has touched the hearts of the generations and has become their inspiration.

Her Majesty has not left us as orphans. I had the privilege to meet King Charles at Preston, in London at Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace and Windsor Palace. He has been well groomed. People should remember that he is 73 and he and the Queen Consort have watched the Queen perform her duties for decades. The Great Queen, the Royal family and King Charles III, in particular, have been great friends of India. We are proud of the legacy left by the greatest Queen.  

Long live the memories of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II… Long live the King.

Om Shanti. 

CB Patel, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samacha


As British Hindus, along with the rest of the country, we are deeply saddened and shocked to learn of the demise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

We pray to The Supreme Parbrahma to grant Her Divine Soul eternal peace and a place of abode at the Lord's Feet. We know that these thoughts are in the minds of all British Hindus and prayers are being offered for Her eternal peace at temples all over the country.

Her steadfast, inspiring and long reign steered the country with dignity, earned worldwide respect and became the rock of modern Britain. She carved a unique place in the annals of British history and will be remembered for her profound strength of character as she oversaw the nation throughout all these years with a tremendous sense of duty and service towards her country and subjects. 

Under her reign, she was proclaimed to be the Queen of all faiths in the UK. As such, I had the honour of being commanded to attend a luncheon at Buckingham Palace in 1993 and was left awe-struck by her power of presence, and knowledge of world affairs and yet possessed a humble persona. She was simply a worldly Statesperson commanding respect from all corners of the globe.

 British Hindus, as much as they are saddened at the demise of Her Late Majesty The Queen, shall continue to pledge their sincere loyalty to His Majesty King Charles III, and offer prayers for his long reign and that He may follow in the inspiring footsteps of our beloved Queen Elizabeth II.

Long Live The King.

 Hasmukh Veljibhai Shah, Vice President, Vishwa Hindu Parishad UK 

(on behalf of the Trustees of World Council of Hindus, UK)


It is an end of an era, an end of selfless service, and an end to a bygone age of duty and discipline where the nation came first. At this testing time for the Royal household, our thoughts and prayers are with the family. It is a life that we should celebrate. She leaves behind history as it was being made, and a legacy of protecting the monarchy during uncertain times. In our Hindu tradition, we say: Om Shanti Shanti Shanti. May peace visit the Royal household at their time of great sadness. King Charles the III takes on a role that hitherto has been synonymous with Her Majesty. We wish His Majesty a reservoir of inner strength to discharge his new and most challenging duty to the nation.

 Kapil Dudakia

Socio-Political Analyst


 As President of the Hindu Forum of Britain and on behalf of Hindus throughout the UK, I wish to express my profound sorrow at the passing of our beloved monarch, Her Majesty the Queen. I felt honoured and privileged to have met Her Majesty on various occasions and deeply touched by her warm and affectionate nature.

Throughout her reign, the Queen was a pillar of strength to people of faith both here and throughout the Commonwealth, always guided by her deeply-held religious views. They taught her to be compassionate and kind and to be accepting of everyone. She was always a great supporter of the Hindu community, and as with others, made concerted efforts to understand our faith so that it could be embraced within the fabric of British society. We still have work to do, but she served as a beacon of hope and we owe her a great deal of gratitude.

We offer our prayers.

Om Shanti

Mrs Trupti Patel 

President Hindu Forum of Britain & Trustee of the HFB Charity


On behalf of the worldwide BAPS Swaminarayan Hindu fellowship, Sadhu Keshavjivandas, His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj (Swami Keshavjivandasji), the sixth and present spiritual guru of the BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha wrote to His Majesty King Charles III expressing heartfelt prayers, sympathies, and condolences with the Royal family in the most difficult time. He also wrote, “Her Majesty was respected and admired not only in the United Kingdom but across the world. She was an inspirational monarch, who personified the values of service and public duty, guiding the United Kingdom and Commonwealth with dignity, courage and selfless dedication for 70 years. 

He also extended his best wishes to the King as Monarch, and above all as a friend of the British Hindu community. “I knew you had met His Holiness Pramukh Swami Maharaj and always spoke warmly of your visits to Neasden Temple in London and Swaminarayan Akshardham in Delhi as well as of the good work of the wider Hindu community in the UK and around the world. 

Sadhu Keshavjivandas

His Holiness Mahant Swami Maharaj (Swami Keshavjivandasji)

As chairperson of Shree Vallabh Nidhi temple in London, it is heart-warming to see King Charles III’s inclusion and respect for all faiths and religions and this gives all British Hindus a great sense of belonging and togetherness. On behalf of my Board of Governors and the devotees at our temple we pray for HRH Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s soul to rest in eternal peace and for the Almighty to provide you and your family with the strength to deal with her irreplaceable loss.

Narendra Thakrar

Executive Chairman

Shri Vallabh Nidhi UK


We would like to thank her for her service, hard-work and dedication over the last 70 years; as she worked until the very last moment. She will be mourned most deeply as we continue to honour her memory.

Sital Singh Gill

General Secretary 

Indian Workers Association (GB)



I am deeply saddened to hear of the Queen’s demise. She was an extraordinary woman who fulfilled her destiny with dedication, dignity and grace, using her power behind the scenes as a cohesive force, bringing people across the globe together with overall perspective of future unity. In challenging times, she was a rock. Her demise marks the end of an enormously long Elizabethan era.

Many tributes have alluded to the Queen’s greatness. To that, I would add my voice by saying that the greatness of Queen Elizabeth lay not in harking back to the days of Empire, or in asserting dominance over others, but in the service and humility that characterised her reign and opened the door to new beginnings.

I pay tribute to Her Late Majesty for the contribution she has made, which has undoubtedly made the world a better place than it would otherwise have been. It is her legacy that in an increasingly uncertain world offers hope for the future.

Lord Raj Loomba CBE


It’s with the deepest sadness that I pay tribute to the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who the UK and Commonwealth owe a great debt of gratitude to, for her selfless, life-long, service.

As a child of the Commonwealth, I have grown up with the Queen as the head of this global collective of 56 independent and equal countries. Her contribution to leading many of them as their Head of State has been profound, as has been her unwavering passion and influence, which our new King will now take forward.

 I have enormous admiration for Her Majesty and everything that she has achieved over the past 70 years, which has undoubtedly touched the lives of the Commonwealth’s 2.5 billion people, during her long and distinguished reign.    

She has ushered in a new Elizabethan Age that has seen enormous change to global societies, which have been made better because of her desire to do good and her perseverance to succeed.

As a Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire, the proud holder of an Order of the British Empire (OBE) and a loyal subject, l thank your Majesty for your unwavering commitment to duty and steadfast resolve over the past 70 years.

My condolences to King Charles III and our thoughts and prayers are with him and the Royal family.

Dr Nik Kotecha OBE DL


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