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Gloucestershire Business News

Gloucestershire business champion was guest at Queen’s funeral

Ian Mean MBE, Gloucestershire director of Business West and vice chair of GFirst LEP, attended the Queen's funeral yesterday (September 19). Here he shares his experience.

To be invited to attend the Queen's funeral at Westminster Abbey was, without doubt, the most momentous day of my life.

I was humbled and honoured to be invited after being awarded an MBE in the Queen's last Birthday Honours list for services to Gloucestershire.

In over 50 years in journalism, editing and reporting for regional and national newspapers, I can honestly say that Monday is the day I shall always remember.

When the Cabinet Office called a week ago to invite me, we had no hesitation in postponing our holiday to Italy this week.

And on Monday morning, after staying in London overnight, I was up at 4.30am feeling excited but nervous.

The funeral service was memorable and handled so warmly by the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, the Dean of Westminster Abbey, who we knew from his time at Gloucester Cathedral.

And I was particularly touched by the Archbishop of Canterbury's sermon recollecting the Queen's 'We will meet again' words in her address to the nation on Covid.

These last 10 days of mourning for our Queen have very much restored my faith in humanity and unity, with the amazing friendship of the lying-in-state queue so thought provoking.

I would like to thank everyone in Gloucestershire who has supported my endeavours over the last 20 years to try and make a difference.

That is exactly what the Queen did so well throughout the world, and I am sure that King Charles will rise to that challenge equally.

Ian is a former editor in chief of the Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo and the Western Daily Press.

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