Allan Campbell – Thursday June 9, 2022

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’S math an sgàthan sùil caraid! Dh’fhaodte sin a ràdh cuideachd a thaobh beachd mhòr-shluagh na dùthcha air na seachdad bliadhna seirbheis aig an dàrna Banrigh Ealasaid, is milleanan ri subhachas a’ comharrachadh a cuid obrach. Cluinnear tric iomradh air gliocas na h-aoise agus tuigse eòlas bhliadhnaichean, ach bho thoiseach ar slighe beatha tha feum air toinisg is mothachadh gus a’ bhuannachd as fheàrr dhuinn fhìn is dar coimhearsnachdan.

Fhad ’s a bha ise a’ fàs fhuair Ealasaid oideachadh air na h-uallaichean a thigeadh oirre, agus ann an òraid a liubhair i nuair a bha i bliadhna thar fhichead gheall i dealas agus dìlseachd ann a bhith a’ lìbhrigeadh leithid de dhleastanasan dhan Rìoghachd. Bu bheag a dùil gun tuiteadh na h-uallaichean sin oirre cho luath, nuair a chaochail a h-athair an Rìgh Seòras VI ceithir bliadhna air adhart agus chaidh a h-ainmeachadh mar Bhanrigh. Còrr air bliadhna an dèidh sin aig Abaid Westminster, air an dàrna latha den Ògmhios 1953, chaidh Ealasaid a chrùnadh mar Bhanrigh na Rìoghachd Aonaichte, Chanada, Astràilia, Shealainn Nuadh, Afraga a Deas, Phagastan, agus Ceylon. B’ e seo an ceathramh crùnadh Breatannach den fhicheadamh linn, a’ chiad fhear a chaidh a chraoladh air telebhisean, agus a rèir tuairmse ann an luach an latha an-diugh chosg an tachartas mu thimcheall £45 millean.

Bidh beagan cuimhne aig cuid agaibh ’s dòcha, mar a th’ agam fhìn, air a bhith an làthair aig fear den liuthad cuirm a ghabh àite feadh na dùthcha a’ leantainn a’ chrùnaidh, agus a bhith a’ faotainn tiodhlac de mhuga crèadha air an robh dealbh den bhanrigh. ’S fhada bho chaidh am muga agamsa air chall, car mar a’ chuimhne air na rudan eile a bha a’ gabhail àite air an latha a fhuair mi e! Ach tha cuimhne mhath agam air nach deach m’ athair idir gu ruige Dùn Bheagain cuide rinn, bha e trang a’ spealadh feòir agus a’ gabhail brath air deagh aimsir. Bha seòrsa de cho-fhaireachadh aig ginealach mo phàrantan le Ealasaid, màthair òg a bh’ air a h-athair a chall bho chionn ghoirid, ach a bha a-nise misneachail à sìth a’ leantainn àmhghar is call sgriosail an Dàrna Cogaidh. Cha robh sinne san aon saoghal ris an teaghlach Rìoghail ann an seadh eaconamach, agus bha an cuid beartais a’ ciallachadh nach robh is nach biodh tuigse aca air gainnead neo bochdainn, neo cò ris a bha e coltach caomhnadh ’s dòcha fad bhliadhnaichean airson goireasan gu math bunaiteach! Ach a dh’aindeoin farmaid den t-seòrsa sin bha ùidh leantainneach aig mòran ann am beatha na Banrigh ’s a teaghlach, agus bha am meas dearbhte a bh’ aca air tadhal air a’ Ghàidhealtachd a’ neartachadh cheanglaichean.

Ann an iomadh dòigh lean na ceanglaichean sin thar nam bliadhnaichean agus tha an Teaghlach Rìoghail air iomadh taic a chur ri cor na Gàidhlig agus a cultar. Choinnich mise riutha air fad aig caochladh amannan agus gu cinnteach b’ e tlachd agus urram a bha sin!

 

A Gaelic proverb says that a friend’s eye is the ultimate mirror of personal achievement. For Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the volume and scale of public appreciation for her 70 years as monarch has been singularly special and she must have taken great, and justifiable, pleasure in its scale and variety.

Well prepared for her future responsibilities at the time of her 21st birthday, Elizabeth eloquently confirmed her commitment to delivering her responsibilities and she has fulfilled that promise fully.  Sadly, the responsibility of monarch fell on Elizabeth sooner than expected and at the age of 24 she became Queen. Just over a year later she was crowned Queen of the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon! Following the coronation, the Queen and Prince Philip toured the UK and some of you will recall, as I vaguely do, attending one of the many celebratory events which resulted from that tour and remember receiving a commemorative mug decorated with the Queen’s picture.

Despite their economic disparity there was a sort of affinity between most of my parent’s generation and the Royal couple, young parents recovering from the horrors of the Second World War and living in the new hope of peace. Despite some envy of wealth and knowing that Royalty could never totally understand poverty and how the majority of people might require to save for many years to achieve basic amenities, there was continuing interest in the Queen and the Royal Family. That interest was reinforced by the obvious pleasure the Royals took in visiting the Hebrides and North West Scotland, and over the years they have also given significant support to Gaelic language and culture.

It has been a great honour and pleasure for me to have met Her Majesty and all of her family over the years.