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On the death of Her Majesty the Queen, a recollection from our Founder, Dame Esther Rantzen

Author: Dame Esther Rantzen
Published on 09 September 2022 11:20 AM

queen_786x500.jpgOn a ferociously hot day in 2011, a reception was held in St James’s Palace to honour the work of volunteers and we were all wilting. There was a slight stir, and suddenly and to me unexpectedly, the Queen arrived looking fresh and cool in a blue and white dress and diamonds.

She came over to the group where I was standing and I was introduced to her. “Why are you here?” she asked. I explained that Childline is answered by volunteers, and added, my brain unravelling in a way she was probably used to when people are overawed by meeting her, “you’ll probably think me mad but I’m wondering whether to try to set up a similar helpline for older people,”.

She thought for a moment, then said, “I suppose children and older people sometimes suffer the same kinds of problem”. I agreed, "particularly abuse and neglect from those who should be caring for them." Another moment’s thought and then the Queen said “I don’t think it’s mad. I think it’s rather brave.”

I wonder if she ever realised how inspirational that conversation was in the setting up of The Silver Line Helpline.


Last updated: Sep 09 2022

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