I would not call myself a Royalist, and whilst I am sorry that the queen has passed away, I also acknowledge a life well lived, and dedicated to the people of Britain and the Commonwealth. When I was younger I was to a degree, anti monarchy, these days I seem to have mellowed to the point where I can appreciate aspects of it. As you will have gathered I’m not exactly a fan! Why then has the passing of the Queen moved me much more than I expected?
On Friday 9th, the day after the Queen’s passing, the bells tolled for an hour, starting at noon, in Dorchester. Not the harsh regular sound, but a gentle, more muted sound. The was no fuss, no announcements, people just stopped and reflected. I must confess it moved me. I thought about my own mother and her passing, indeed my own mortality, and my loved ones.
I have actually seen the Queen twice. Once we were dragged out of school to line the street as she passed by with Prince Philip, on their way to Portland Royal Naval Base. The other time was similar but I can’t remember what the occasion was! Of course she features on our money and stamps, and has been a fixture for 70 years. Apart from one uncle and one auntie, no-one else has been in my life entirely (now my parents have passed). I think this seeming permanence, adds an un-spoken stability that feels shaken.
The following day (Saturday) our town crier, Alistair Chisholm made the official announcement, for years I’ve heard him do his “party piece” for the tourists, this time it seemed so strange hearing him finish with “God save the King!”
I’m writing this on Thursday, exactly a week after the Queens death, it is a scheduled post, which, by the time you read, it I’ll be on holiday! I’m expecting to spend my first day there, watching her funeral on TV, for you that was yesterday!
God save the King!