Charity Chair reflects on attending The Queen’s funeral, with care home veterans
One of the few privileged people invited to the funeral of Her Majesty The Queen has spoken about the poignant day with residents at Royal Star & Garter in Surbiton.
Royal Star & Garter Chair Major General Tim Tyler discussed the Westminster Abbey service and the historic days that preceded it following the death of The Queen, when he visited the care home on 26 September.
Royal Star & Garter is a charity which provides loving, compassionate care to veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia. The Queen became its Patron in 1953.
Major General Tyler was representing the charity at the state funeral, and was one of only 2,000 mourners in the Abbey.
He spent time at the Surbiton Home talking to fellow veterans, listened to their thoughts and feelings surrounding The Queen’s death, as well as sharing his experience of the funeral.
And he gifted to the charity his Order of Service and ceremonial programme booklets received at the funeral, for residents to view and read through, across Royal Star & Garter’s three Homes.
‘We were lucky to have The Queen as our Patron’
Speaking afterwards, Major General Tyler said: “Representing the charity and our residents at Her Majesty’s funeral was one of the proudest moments of my life, but of course it was also terribly sad and emotional. At Royal Star & Garter we were lucky to have The Queen as our Patron for nearly 70 years. I know residents here loved her dearly, and are upset at the news of her death. Spending time with them and sharing my experience of the funeral is important.”
‘Fascinating and interesting’
Air Force veteran Vera was one of the Royal Star & Garter residents who chatted to Major General Tyler. She said: “Hearing what he had to say was fascinating and very interesting.”
Major General Tyler was commissioned into the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers in 1972, becoming a Colonel Commandant in 2005. He was appointed Director-General Logistics (Land) and then Director-General Land Equipment as well as Quartermaster-General to the Forces, before retiring in 2008.
Royal Star & Garter also has Homes in Solihull and High Wycombe, and is welcoming new residents. For more information on this, or to find out about working for the charity, please go to www.starandgarter.org