Updated September 20, 2022 3:49 p.m
David Burt, the Prime Minister, attended the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey followed by the signing of Her Majesty’s Book of Condolence (Bermuda Government Office in London)
Prime Minister David Burt spoke on camera yesterday, on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral, about Bermuda’s desire to become a sovereign state in an on-camera interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation.
Mr Burt paid tribute to the Queen and in response to a question on how relevant the monarchy will remain in Bermuda in 2022, he replied: “I think this is a day to reflect on the Queen’s long life and service, but what I would say is that our relationship is with the UK government and it is up to the UK itself to choose its path.
“Certainly our next step is to be a sovereign state and what form that sovereignty will take will be discussed another day, but today was a day to reflect on the life and ministry of the Queen.”
Mr Burt, who attended the funeral with Rena Lalgie, the governor, said the Queen discharged her duties with “dignity and grace” and that world leaders honored her service to her country and the Commonwealth at large.
Mr Burt said: “The service was an incredibly sombre event, but it was an event fit for the UK’s longest-reigning head of state and longest-reigning monarch.
“Queen Elizabeth’s life service was without question unprecedented. I think she will be remembered as someone who fulfilled her role.
“The crowds that came out today, the pageantry that was on display, was a fitting farewell for someone who has dedicated his life to ministry.”
Mr Burt spoke about their last visit to the island in 2009, citing comments he made at a joint session of the Legislature in the House of Assembly last week.
He said: “I spoke about her visiting so many places, how she enjoyed the local culture and how she fondly remembered her time there.
“I remember when I had the opportunity to meet Her Majesty at Buckingham Palace in 2019, there is a Royal Box in the Theater of the City of Hamilton and within it is a note from Her Majesty written of her first trip to Bermuda in 1953 and my kids saw it.
“I was able to pass that note along and say my kids saw it and I said I’m going to Buckingham Palace to visit the Queen and they said, ‘Make sure you say ‘hello’ from us .”
Mr Burt was asked what kind of relationship he hopes Bermuda will have with King Charles III. will have.
He said: “I think what King Charles was saying was that he will continue his mother’s view of staying out of politics.
“I think what’s crucial and important is that King Charles spoke about a very important issue for small island nations, and that’s the environment and climate change.
“Bermuda is a world leader in making sure we protect our oceans and address climate change, so I think with its leadership in the Commonwealth, that’s going to be something that’s going to take center stage, and it certainly will be something.” I think that mixes with where Bermuda wants to go and position itself as a country.”
Mr Burt said he had heard from many people since the Queen’s death, adding: “People recognize that you must honor a person’s commitment to service, regardless of your individual political views.”
When asked what the Queen’s legacy would be in Bermuda, Mr Burt added: “I think the Queen’s legacy will serve the world and the Commonwealth.
“I think the affection for Queen Elizabeth, the visits she’s had to Bermuda, the memories that people have at this time will remain pristine and I have to remember that people just want to pay tribute to someone, who has served with dignity and grace for 70 years.”