Last week we were awaiting ‘confirmation’ of our next Prime Minister. Liz Truss was duly announced last Monday as the winner, and on Tuesday she flew to Scotland to meet the Queen. Whilst frail, Her Majesty smiled and did her duty and no one thought that her death would be announced a matter of hours later.
There has been much written and reported since the announcement, so much of the content probably ready to be published. I was profoundly affected by the news, which hit me whilst we were travelling on Friday. We were listening to songs on smooth radio and so many were evocative for me of childhood memories: grandparents, Scotland, my Dad, and for, possibly, the first time I, felt the finality of his death. On more than one occasion my voice faltered and the tears came.
The carefully laid plans and protocols are in place, and whilst in the midst of their grief, the Royal Family have had to say goodbye and hand their beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother over to the nation, that she served so well for 70 years, as the next Carolean age begins, and accept the responsibility of supporting the new King. How hard must that be, I for one couldn’t do that.
Today the cortège drove from Balmoral to Edinburgh as part 1 of the Queen’s final journey. I didn’t watch it as it happened, but seeing the news later and posts on Facebook, I know that I have driven most of that route over many years. It was poignant to watch and again memories bubbled to the surface. The days ahead will see the Queen return to London and I am debating whether to travel up to feel the atmosphere, love and unity, as I did after Princess Diana died.
I’m not necessarily a Monarchist, but undoubtedly the Queen was true to her vow to serve our country for the whole of her life, and she did. During her reign she had to accept change, modernise and everything wasn’t always perfect or right, but she found a way to trust her faith and return to her promise and serve as promised. How hard was it for a young wife and mother to take on the role of Monarch whilst grieving her beloved father.
Whatever the future holds now isn’t the time to do anything other than grieve for our Queen, and give ourselves time to accept change: this will be far harder for her immediate family.
Elizabeth II 1926-2022 RIP