A Queen and a King, universal and eternal love of a mother and son

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, now King Charles III, London, 2009 ©Sang Tan/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Solomeo, 16 September 2022

It is with great emotion that I set to write on the occasion of the death of Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, an event that is a true watershed in the history of the world, taking place at these times of great human transformations.

I am reminded of the special person that Elizabeth was, loved for her humanity not only by her people, but by everyone; my mother adored her to the point of even having a photo of her, which makes me think of the very one I am posting here, a loving image of her with her son, now King Charles III.

The Queen was kind, wise and considerate, truly lovable, and her spontaneous cheerfulness was compatible with the strict court etiquette, a joyful spirit that didn't fail to display a cheerfulness and sometimes gracious irony that survived in her until the end, despite the bitterness and sorrows that life holds for each of us.

She was constantly thinking of others: in private, when she stood by her grandfather King George V during his illness; and in public, when, only 14 years old, she evacuated from London because of war threats, and her thoughts went to the other children who, like her, were in danger from the war, and she addressed a heartfelt and reassuring radio message to them.

My mother made me love this sweet lady from an early age; she felt close to her as a mother, and because – as Queen – Elizabeth had a simple and provident, thoughtful and thrifty heart and mind. We were simple people, and in her strict and natural worldview I recognised something akin to our own vision, where the unity and ethics of the family were the firm guide and necessary rule of every action in life. It was uplifting to think that even a Queen who reigned over so many peoples could be a little like us, and that perhaps, as in a fairy tale, we could one day welcome her in our Umbrian farmhouse and dine with her. This was the fantasy of my childish mind, awoken by my mother's stories.

Today I think that – among so many other very important things in politics and family life – Elizabeth, who liked to be called by the delightful name of Lilibet, with her death also took away part of those fairy tales of kings and queens who lived in enchanted castles and enlivened the imaginations of children all over the world with a creative fantasy. I am sad today, therefore, but this only makes my gratitude stronger and firmer, my thankfulness to a great soul who, in some way, was Queen of all, always respectful towards politics and open to human compassion towards others.

This is also the noble spiritual legacy that Elizabeth II gave to the world, a legacy that she left in the hands of her children, and of the new King Charles III; as Prince of Wales, he honoured me with his esteem, and allowed me to participate in one of his countless and incisive initiatives in favour of humanity in various fields, including regenerative agriculture in some areas of the planet.

From a young age, he was attracted to the great issues that have become urgent today, benevolently inclined towards nature and life. Many in the world recognise themselves in his important actions, and I am among them. I remember with ever-present emotion and a feeling of honour our very amiable joint meeting as speakers at the G20 in Rome in 2021: he advocating the issues of Global Warming, I speaking on Humanistic Capitalism and Human Sustainability.

Now that he has gone from Prince to King, his engagements will multiply, and my dream of having him as a guest in my beloved Solomeo is increasingly waning; however, I keep my hopes up, because among his many favourite topics, that of the survival of historic towns, of small villages, of the landscape is a thought in which I recognise myself, and I have tried to translate it into practice, along with humanistic work conditions. I see his mother's aspirations shining in the King's eyes, and this is the value of the family that passes on dreams and ideals from generation to generation. Today, King Charles III summarises in his person very great tasks in the fields of politics, economics, society and the safeguard of the planet, and to these I'd like to add an intimate task, but no less great than the others, that of honourably perpetuating the memory of his mother, our beloved Queen Elizabeth II.