George Gelber OBE with HM Queen Elizabeth II
George Gelber (Chair of WPD) receiving his OBE from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2004.

On the 8th September 2022 Buckingham Palace announced the sad news that Her Majesty The Queen has passed away at the age of 96.

“When life seems hard, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat; instead, they are all the more determined to struggle for a better future.”
The Queen’s Christmas Broadcast in 2008.

As a small NGO, Widows for Peace (WPD) and the grassroots widows of all ages whom we represent can resonate only too well with her words.

Widows for Peace is deeply saddened by the passing of an extraordinary woman whose life was dedicated to her people. We celebrate her fortitude and her ability to reach out as a beacon of hope, decency and strength for many including some of the most marginalised ‘invisible’ people across the world.

Throughout her long reign, The Queen showed unstinting dedication to public service and charitable causes – ‘giving back to the community’ is how someone described her lifetime of service yesterday. It was of course so much more but these simple words echo the spirit of WPD members and the grassroots communities in which they live – often under extraordinarily difficult circumstances.

George Gelber receiving OBE from HM Queen Elizabeth IIYou may be interested to know that George Gelber, Chair of WPD, received his OBE from Her Majesty in 2004 for services to overseas development and aid, through his work for CAFOD where he was then Head of Policy. As with everyone she met, Her Majesty showed sincere interest. We find comfort in knowing that WPD has this special link with an extraordinary woman whose like will not be seen again.


Her Majesty’s wise leadership, deep faith and integrity of character will be greatly mourned by so many.

Alice Fookes
WPD Trustee and Advocate
September 2022