“At Lloyd’s, it’s our custom to ring the Lutine Bell once for bad news and twice for good news.”
That’s exactly what Lloyd’s did on Thursday to mark not only the passing of Queen Elizabeth II but also the accession to the throne of the new monarch, King Charles III, during a ceremony in the famous underwriting room (pictured with Lloyd’s chair Bruce Carnegie-Brown, who mentioned the above in his speech) in London.
Addressing the numerous insurance executives in attendance, Carnegie-Brown said the event was a chance to look forward to a hopeful future while looking back on what he called a “cherished” life.
“[The Lutine Bell’s] note provided a moment for us all to remember, reflect, and revere the life that offered so much comfort and inspiration to so many of us over so many years – as I’m sure it will continue to do in the years ahead,” he stated.
“The Queen made three official visits to Lloyd’s: in 1952, 1986, and 2014. On that first visit – the same year as her own accession – Her Majesty charged Lloyd’s with ‘embodying the highest qualities of British commerce: keenness and efficiency, with a real and deep public spirit’.”
The Lloyd’s chair went on to say: “We continue to embrace that responsibility today. Her words are indelibly written in our history and will be cherished by all at Lloyd’s for years to come. But as we remember the legacy of one monarch, we also welcome the accession of another.”
A single ring of the Lutine Bell signified the start of what was described on LinkedIn as a moving and emotional gathering, while two rings at the end acclaimed King Charles III.
“It represents the start of a new chapter in our shared history – and for Lloyd’s, a chance to recognize the beginning of another historic partnership,” declared Carnegie-Brown, who sees the relationship with the Royal Family as an enduring one.
“That partnership already has firm foundations, as Lloyd’s has been privileged to host His Majesty, while Prince of Wales, on several occasions – most recently, in June last year to launch the Insurance Task Force of his Sustainable Markets Initiative, which we were honored to be invited to chair.”
He added: “As His Majesty takes on the great burdens of state at this time of sadness and loss, we offer our support and condolences to him and to his family. For our part, we will continue to carry the baton of building a braver and more sustainable future, as championed by His Majesty and charged to Lloyd’s and others through the work of his Sustainable Markets Initiative.”
Meanwhile Lloyd’s chief executive John Neal spoke with a focus on gratitude and the sense of duty.
Neal told the attendees: “Gratitude turns our attention away from what we lack and towards what we have. I’m determined to keep that idea front and center as we say goodbye to a cherished leader and prepare to welcome a proven public servant.
“So today – I’m grateful for ‘a life well lived’, as His Majesty so eloquently put it. I’m grateful for the family and friends to reflect on that life with. And I’m grateful for the promise of another life bound in duty to serve others, as our incoming King has pledged to all who call the United Kingdom home, or a home away from home. Long may he reign; and long live the King.”
As part of the ceremony, London Market Association CEO Sheila Cameron read the poem “For The Hardest Days” by Clint Smith.
On September 19, the day of Her Majesty’s state funeral, the Lloyd’s building in the UK and Lloyd’s global offices will be closed.