Letter to the palace from Council Leader and Chief Executive

Published: Tuesday, 13th September 2022

Letter to the palace from Council Leader and Chief Executive

Dear Sir,

On behalf of the City of Oxford and Oxford City Council, we would like to extend our sincerest condolences to the Royal Family on the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Throughout her reign, the Queen was a symbol of stability and light during some of our nation’s darkest times. Her resilience, duty, and commitment to public service will always be remembered.

Oxford looks back fondly on the life of The Queen, and will remember her visits to our city.  

We have been honoured to have received many formal visits from Her Majesty. However, her first official visit, in May 1948, was quite unusual, and the media made much of her surprise meeting with Oriel College’s mascot, ‘Mr Testudo’ the tortoise.

Since then, we were privileged to have her attendance at Oxford’s biggest hospital, the John Radcliffe, to officially open the Children’s Hospital and the West Wing in 2008. She also helped Oxford mark the 750th anniversary of University College in 1999, and the 550th anniversary of Magdalen College in 2008.  

Over the years we were always struck by her generosity. In particular, Her Majesty always took time to meet with Oxford residents during her visits to our city. A great many residents have life-long memories because Her Majesty, when visiting to open the historic Oxford Castle, spent time meeting and talking to residents outside.

It was during Her Majesty’s reign that the civic post of Mayor in Oxford was raised to Lord Mayor, a truly special honour that we are very proud to hold.

Oxford is home to people from across the country, Commonwealth, and the rest of the world. We know that we speak for many when we say thank you to The Queen for a lifetime of service to our nation, and that we all feel this tremendous loss.

In line with agreed protocol and to mark this solemn event, Oxford City Council will fly its flags at half-mast during the period of national mourning until the day following the funeral.

Our thoughts, and those of the people of Oxford, are with the King Charles III and the Royal Family at this time. 

Yours faithfully,

Councillor Susan Brown, Leader of Oxford City Council

Caroline Green, Chief Executive of Oxford City Council

A PDF version of the letter is available to download here.