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Kalle Reijonen, a 25-year-old nursing student from Helsinki, Finland, was the first person to e-mail condolences to BBC News Online following the death of the Queen Mother. The mail arrived on 1808 GMT on Saturday, 30 March.

On Saturday, I was away from home at my friend's place in Jämsä with several other friends, enjoying the Easter holiday when I heard the news. I quickly checked the YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Service) web pages and there was about nothing, so then I decided to check the BBC site.

My mind was set on finding information that would confirm if it really was true. And then, when I spotted the link to send condolences, I didn't hesitate at all. I was shocked at the Queen Mother’s death, so I thought that I should console a nation that I like quite a lot.


I so much condole your nation about this loss of a person whom had an effect on me, even though I am a foreigner.

Kalle's original e-mail
I've been in London many times in the last 15 years so it feels almost like a second home to me.

Having seen the Queen once, it just felt right to send my condolences. I just wanted to express my feelings for your nation, and for the Royal Family, should they read the website.

As a person, she meant stability and nobility to me. I saw her as someone to look up to, who had the virtues in the right place and who still could laugh about normal things. She reminded me of my own grandmother who died several years ago.

I respected her because she could hold her family together and be a real person at the same time. At least that is the picture I saw. Now she is gone, I feel like a time period really has come to an end.

The Royal Family is something that we Finns lack. We have a president, but it isn't same. The Royal Family is historical in its lineage and it is something that has always been there. The first time I noticed the Royal Family was when Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married. When lady Diana died, I silently sympathized. Recent times have not been kind to them.

I believe that the Royal Family means more in the Commonwealth countries than in other countries. But I know that there are people like me who like them, and that what they represent. I myself would love to see the Queen again and meet other members of the Royal Family.

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