Sunday, 9 June 2013

A New Elizabethan

I was thinking, sitting here in warm and almost-sunny Redmond, what does it feel like to be British? I get asked some wonderful questions by Americans I meet that lead me to think that they are far more patriotic than I am - and I'm talking Royalty.

I dig deep to recall why, having fought a civil war and established a republic, we went back to crowning somebody. I may have embellished my story-telling somewhat, for which I apologise, but Regicide, Restoration, Glorious Revolution and Abdication were all a long time ago, and I am a little fuzzy around the edges when it comes to facts. But, you know, I get by: nobody  complains.

My late father, whom I loved deeply and miss terribly, was a red-hot socialist and would hear nothing good said about Monarchy, but nevertheless, when Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth Ii visited Gloucester in 1955, we were lining the route. I was lifted up to see this lovely lady in a sea-green coat and hat, waving a gloved hand in my direction, smiling broadly... . 

I could take you to the very spot, opposite the war memorial and monument to 'The Glosters', adjacent to Gloucester Park.

But I wasn't impressed. I was only four years old, , but I remember bursting into tears and yelling, 'She innt a queen! She annt got a crown on!' 

At school, we were pretty much all enrolled in a 'National Savings Scheme'. We bought savings stamps. The shilling stamps had the face of the boy prince, Charles, on them, the sixpenny ones, the adorable  baby Princess Anne, with a head full of bubbly curls. I envied those curls, but console myself that she grew up to look like a horse, and I didn't.

I was born a Georgian, actually, in 1950, becoming an Elizabethan when King George VI died in 1952. That Royal Tour of the new queen, is one of my earliest memories. 

Jean, in her forties, lives in a specialist care home for adults with learning difficulties. She adores the queen and regularly writes to her, with the help of my husband who tutors her. 

Of all the stories of the diligence and dedication to duty that are told about Queen Elizabeth II, HERE's one to add to it... 

Jean writes to the Queen about everything that affects her, and the Queen writes back! Can you believe that? To be more accurate, one of her Ladies in Waiting does - a personal message, from the Queen's office, to a lady whom hardly anybody cares about, sad to say. 

That's what keeps me from being a Republican. We have a Head of State that has time to read Jean's letters. 

I was there!:

No comments:

Post a Comment