“Punctuality, said Louis XVIII of France, is the politeness of kings. Royalty arrives on time and leaves on time. So it is with Her Majesty the Queen, with one memorable exception.
The day was 27 January 2005, the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and the place St James’s Palace. The Queen was meeting a group of Holocaust survivors. When the time came for her to leave, she stayed. And stayed. One of her attendants said that he had never known her to linger so long after her scheduled departure. She gave each survivor — it was a large group — her focused, unhurried attention. She stood with each until they had finished telling their personal story.
It was an act of kindness that almost had me in tears. One after another, the survivors came to me in a kind of trance, saying: “Sixty years ago I did not know if I would be alive tomorrow, and here I am today talking to the Queen.” It brought a kind of blessed closure into deeply lacerated lives.” – Rabbi Sacks
In this photo: January 27, 2005, Queen Elizabeth II, left, meets Holocaust survivor Gena Turgel during a service to remember victims of the Holocaust in Westminster Central Hall in London on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Photo: AP