The Queen is dead.
Queen Elizabeth II died September 9th. Thanks to a bunch of rowdy rebels, the first patriots, the true patriots, she wasn’t my queen (sincerely, thank you) but it made me sad all the same and I’m not sure why.
I have stared at the television screen over the past few days much the same way I watched after John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Is it the pageantry or watching history or just morbid curiosity that keeps me glued to the screen? Again, I’m not sure.
I was only 9 when JFK was assassinated but all these years later, I still remember the grief on Jackie’s face. Bobby’s, too.
Funny how things stick with you.
There have been hateful yet somewhat deserved comments about the monarchy and poignant quotes about the Queen being reunited with Prince Phillip. Both are fair. Queen Elizabeth was a person, a person who headed "the firm". There are two sides to a pence.
Apparently plans for the Queen’s funeral - Operation London Bridge - have been in place for years with the Queen herself having the final say for her final journey. The code word for when she died was “London Bridge is down.” I heard the name was changed to Operation Unicorn since she died not in London as was probable but in Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands, the place she loved most.
The Queen was 96, old by my standard that 94 is old, so her death shouldn’t have been a surprise, but it was. Just two days before she was greeting the new prime minister. Was she just holding on long enough to get rid of boorish Boris Johnson? Looking at the picture from their meeting, you can see her hand is bruised, as is often the case when there’s an IV. Had she been sicker than we knew?
Losing your mother is hard in itself but I can’t imagine the pain of having to immediately take on a new job (like Charles) or having to grieve in public. I’ve watched Edward and Andrew - poor Randy Andy! Who will protect him now? Charles appears to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. I guess he does – the weight of commonwealth, anyway.
I’ve never been a fan of Charles. Maybe I was being superficial, but I always thought a prince should be, well, charming…and he just wasn’t. Not being British I was unaware of all the good he’s done through various charities and organizations.
And Anne! She gets little respect or recognition, but she’s the one who is there – really there! I read that she’s the one who is out there, who attends the most events and who was with her mother the last 24 hours of her life. She’s the one who spent six hours in a car following the hearse carrying her mother’s casket. She was the one curtseying as the casket was brought into Edinburgh’s Palace of Holyroodhouse. I’m not sure my knees could have handled it, especially after six hours in a car! She’s the one who flew on the cargo plane (not exactly a smooth, luxurious ride) as the Queen’s casket was brought to London. She stood on the tarmac watching, waiting, stoic…but the pain was written all over her face. The country lost a monarch. She lost her mother.
Then there are the grandkids. William and Harry were not the Queen’s only grandchildren – there are six others who are missing their grandmother – but as relative “unknowns” they have a little more privacy. I’m sure that will fade as her funeral gets closer.
William and Harry…. how I wish they would grow up and get along! Don’t let a girl come between you. My sister did not have a good relationship with her daughter-in-law, a mutual disdain. I told my nephew it was a shame neither of them loved him enough to put him first. He eventually divorced and my sister died less than two years later. So much wasted time, so much unsaid. Same goes with these two. Find some common ground. Find a way! I promise you there will be a time when you’ll be glad you did.
Do it for your kids. They might be princes and princesses, but family is their greatest treasure.
Do it for your dad. He has enough to worry about without this drama.
Do it for your grandmother. It would make her happy.
The Queen is dead.
Long live the King.