As Britain and the world mourns Queen Elizabeth ll’s death, Gambians are also sending tributes to the UK’s longest reigning monarch, who died peacefully at the Royal Balmoral retreat in Scotland at 96.
The outpouring of tributes on social media includes special condolence from Lamin Dampha, Lecturer at the University of the Gambia, who claimed his grandfather was Queen Elizabeth’s Gambian interpreter.
“My late grandfather was the official interpreter during the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Gambia, which was part of her Royal tour of West Africa in December 1961. In the early 1990s, Queen Elizabeth II invited Second World War veterans to London for an award of medals. My late grandfather was part of the three-man Gambian delegation to Buckingham Palace.
On behalf of my uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters, I extend my condolences to the family and people of the United Kingdom for the death of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” Dampha, who lectures accounting at the UTG, wrote on his social media page.
Queen Elizabeth was a global icon of resilience and longevity who espoused and promoted equality, fairness, and voluntary service with a hold on the stability that saw Britain enjoy a golden era under its longest reigning monarch, a seasoned Gambian diplomat told Alkamba Times.
Another prominent Gambian, Dembo Fanta Bojang, also wrote:
” In 1961, the Queen attended a Mansabengo in Brikama Ba Lang Comma(Lamin Comma’s father) was an interpreter at the Commissioner’s Office in Western Division. He played a major role in the interface between the young Queen and the Seyfolu.”
Buckingham Palace issued a statement confirming the Queen’s death at the age of 96, reported the Beep, which had an extended program on the event.
It also broadcast the statement of the UK’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss, who announced that the Queen’s successor is King Charles III (age 73), who waited that long – and said to be the longest successor-in-waiting in British history – to fulfill his destiny.
“Long live the king,” declared Truss outside 10 Downing Street, where she moved into just 48 hours before the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
Observers say it is a shame that State television in the Gambia did not interrupt its programs to link up with the BBC to convey the breaking news about the death of a monarch who was the country’s pre-independence head of state of The Gambia, and the head of the Commonwealth.
The late Queen visited The Gambia when her aircraft landed in the country in the early 1950s (1952?). During her visit to Africa, when her father passed away, she had to rush back to the UK to be crowned Queen.
A TV viewer in Banjul told TAT he had to tune in to Joy News to follow the running news.