There were signs all around me. They had been there silently, muted by the modern world which had grown and evolved around them. Simple crosses embellished on stone tiles, built into the quaint exteriors of the cottages which had stood for centuries. An old manor house which garnered no attention as you drove on by. A medieval church – one which I had seen its tower rise high behind the rows of modern houses for 28 years – yet never fully taken notice of. And finally, a majestic Tudor mansion whose presence had dominated the landscape for hundreds of years. This village of Whitkirk, which I had always called home, that I had always arrogantly deemed mundane, was anything but.
Saving Private Ryan, Battle Of Britain, Dunkirk; there have been numerous war films throughout the years which have told the story of selfless bravery and strength endured by the men who fought in conflict. Each one has brought something new to the structure of war films. Who could forget Stephen Spielberg’s breath-taking opening to Saving Private Ryan? Or the heart-stopping score of Hans Zimmer in Dunkirk? Was it ever possible that a film could come along and achieve the impossible and become the greatest war film of all time?
It is perhaps one of the most iconic pieces of Royal film ever: a 21-year-old Princess Elizabeth dedicating her entire life to the service of her people and further Commonwealth family. Her historic words – “my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service” – set a precedent for her reign, and in the near seventy years of service as Queen and Monarch, she has unflinchingly, stoically and tirelessly honoured each and every word.
There are those rare events where you can apply one simple question; where were you when they happened? Throughout history this question has mainly been linked with a global event, which has shocked, moved, or wowed the world. Twenty-two years ago today, such an event took place, one which would plunge an entire Nation into a deep-seated grief, and would bring a thousand year-old institution to the brink. It would begin with an article in the magazine Vanity Fair, and tragically end within the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris.