Friday, September 9, 2022

Seventy Years . . .



When I was nine years old, I was completely consumed with the upcoming coronation of Princess Elizabeth. I filled a scrapbook with clippings and magazine stories about the event--a fairytale golden coach, a handsome prince, jewels, and robes of state--my young self swooned.

And when I wasn't swooning or adding to my scrapbook, I was relentlessly badgering my grandparents about getting a TV. No one in the family had one and they were the most susceptible to my pleas. I suspect, my grandmother was also interested in the coming spectacle. And her bridge club would probably be too.

Done. We watched and admired--not stopping to think that what we were seeing was the door of a solid gold cage of tradition closing on this solemn twenty-five-year-old who would spend the rest of her life as a symbol, a figurehead with no political power, a cutter of ribbons and shaker of hands.

I'm not a Brit so I'll not get into the pros and cons of a constitutional monarchy. But seventy years later, I'm still a fan of that seemingly indomitable woman, who, to all appearances, did her duty in the stringent and mostly boring job she inherited. I admire her grace in adversity and her devotion to her role. 

And to die in one's sleep, two days after a last formal reception of a new Prime Minister--what a final curtain!

                                                                                          

7 comments:

Sandra Parshall said...

The whole world will miss this gracious, courageous woman. My very best wishes for success to King Charles, whom she trained well to take over.

Barbara R. said...

I too remember the coronation, and perhaps even her marriage. I do remember that a princess for my childhood didn't have any of the images from Disney. But the wonderful gold coach and all the hoopla gave me such pleasure. A woman who was a symbol, Elizabeth II was definitely the model of a twentieth century queen.

Marcia said...

She was a marvel and someone to be admired.

Anvilcloud said...

I think she did her job with dignity and did change with the times to some degree.

Ida said...

And to die at Balmoral surrounded by dogs and horses and in a place where I like to imagine she was free and happy. I feel like this last act, as with all her life she did what she felt was best for all involved. I have deep admiration for her.

Bethany Robinson said...

There’s no more fitting a comment on how she chose to live the life foisted upon her than this, I don’t believe:

We did not ask for this room or this music. We were invited in. Therefore, because the dark surrounds us, let us turn our faces to the light. Let us endure hardship to be grateful for plenty. We have been given pain to be astounded by joy. We have been given life to deny death. We did not ask for this room or this music. But because we are here, let us dance.
Stephen King

She was such an example of living well a life one did not choose.

Vicki Lane said...

Thank you, Bethany--what a great quote!