Mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II

09 September 2022 | News

Lincoln University joins the citizens of New Zealand and nations around the world in mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

As a state university, and with the late Queen as Head of State of New Zealand, Lincoln along with other Government institutions, had a formal relationship with the Monarch, which now passes to her son, the new King Charles, says Vice-Chancellor Professor Grant Edwards.

Formal relationship aside, Queen Elizabeth had a warm personal connection with Lincoln University, expressed in a Royal Visit here in March 1977, and in on-going associations through her family with Lincoln University staff members and alumni.  

“We know that relationship will continue under King Charles, who visited us as Prince of Wales in 2019," says Professor Edwards. 

The 1977 visit extended to a luncheon in Gillespie Hall, which the Queen attended with her husband the Duke of Edinburgh. The Student President of the time, Bert Eastoe, remembers the ‘privilege’ of being seated at the top table about four along from Queen Elizabeth.

Lincoln University alumnus and honorary doctorate recipient (1999) Sir Don McKinnon, Commonwealth Secretary-General 2000-2008, had a close working relationship with the Queen in his official Commonwealth capacity, but says that in their regular meetings they always found time at the end to talk about farming and agricultural matters, which they both enjoyed.   

“The Queen had an intense interest in agriculture,” he says, “and of course horses. And an affection for dairy cows, particularly Jerseys.”

He remembers her for her ‘formidable work ethic’.

“Duty came first, and she never really stopped working. But she was also very capable of relaxing.”

Sir Don received his knighthood (GCVO) from the Queen in a personal investiture at Buckingham Palace.