The news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II came as a shock to many. For most Britons and billions of people in the Commonwealth the world over, she was the only monarch they have known.
Regardless of what our own individual feelings might be about the institution of monarchy, Queen Elizabeth was exemplary in her service and duty to the people of the United Kingdom and beyond. We watched her age like an extended family member.
As with any death, the loss and grief is most deeply felt by those closest to her. Indeed, such is the nature of the institution of monarchy and her devotion to the throne that Charles, the former Prince of Wales, only becomes King on the death of his mother.
The pain of losing a parent never goes away.
The death of Queen Elizabeth ought to be a time of reflection and thoughtfulness, indeed if only serving as a reminder of our own mortality.
Within hours of the death of Queen Elizabeth II being announced on Thursday evening, Gwynedd politician Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas was on the airwaves, questioning whether Wales needed a new Prince of Wales following the monarch’s death.
Lord Elis-Thomas said on the S4C Newyddion programme that “it makes no sense for a democratic nation like Wales to have a prince”.
The former Plaid Cymru leader, who has served as MP and MS for Gwynedd, now currently sitting in the House of Lords, said: “It’s not a constitutional job at all. There is no meaning to it in the constitution.”
The Prince of Wales title was briefly vacant when Charles became King Charles III, and he subsequently announced that Prince William will take on the title of the Prince of Wales.
Whatever about the merits of Lord Elis-Thomas’ thoughts on the office of Prince of Wales, his callous timing was disrespectful, insensitive and inappropriate.
Now, in this period of mourning, is not the time for such a debate.
If Lord Elis-Thomas is so passionate about constitutional convention, perhaps he should look first at the merits of his own position — in an unelected chamber that provided him with refuge from voters.