An Extraordinary Era – Gone, Never Forgotten

Of course, I knew it would happen but now it has and it’s unreal. Surreal. The Queen, Our Queen, My Queen is dead. I’ve not known anything else than an Elizabethan era. And now it’s a retrospective.

It’s quite easy to feel undermined, uncertain, as if the fabric, the base material on which so much stands, has been shaken. But that isn’t really how I feel. I feel sad, a personal loss but I’m not despairing. After all, throughout my time under her sovereignty, there have been more ups to her reign than down.

I remember the fun, as much as the sombre ceremony. The jump from the helicopter alongside Bond to open the 2012 Olympics. The tea with Paddington during her recent jubilee.

She’s been the epitome of stability, and embodied duty, but there’s that twinkle. And I want to remember that, as much as anything else.

As the news came through, I was thinking about a weekly prompt, for #writephoto, here.

This is what emerged. I know there is flippancy here and for those who feel that is inappropriate, I do not mean to offend, but somehow, for someone who made so few missteps over 71 years, at least part of her success, has to be because she retained a sense of perspective and humour and it is that I wanted the bring out.

The Hand Of The Queen

The circle was more full than it had ever been and the ghosts jostled nervously on the bare wooden logs. Given their number and the intimacy of the setting, it was no surprise that the spectral shapes overlapped, irritating and annoying those who’d come first and who’s forms were barely visible.

The minions, nervously circling the outer ring conferred anxiously. It had never got this bad. The risk of some sort of elemental explosions, a friction and fracturing in the underworld not seen since the circle had been created to bring some harmony to the transitions between life and hereafter.

Stubbornly the Presidents and Prime Ministers, mostly men, mostly white and so used to having their way wouldn’t move, wouldn’t settle.

From beyond the trees, a stilling, chilling single trumpet sounded. A sound so long expected and yet, now it was here, so poignant and so moving quieted even the more irritable of despot.

A small stooped woman, in sensible shoes and hugging a cardigan against the unexpected chill moving easily to the only empty seat, a seat not even the most self important leader dared take and settled herself easily.

The ghostly faces stared, held captive by the serenity, the longevity, the calm that had seen seventy one years of duty. Easily, almost as an after thought a blue handbag appeared and was placed on a small table. As dozens of eyes watched, she opened the bag and extracted a small silver box, tipping the contents into a gloved hand. Looking up at the entranced audience, she smiled. ‘Twenty -one, is it?’ she inquired as she shuffled the pack. She looked at a thin, faded shadow now smoking quietly in a corner. ‘Shall we start with you, Winston?’

Let me leave you with this story about Her Majesty. If you’ve not seen it, I like to think it sums her up perfectly.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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61 Responses to An Extraordinary Era – Gone, Never Forgotten

  1. Darlene says:

    A great story and I love the video. Such an amusing story. I truly believe her sense of humour got her through a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sadje says:

    Aww, such lovely sense of humor

    Liked by 1 person

  3. elegancesicy says:

    Lovely stories – made me chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was just telling someone the other day that it would be HRM of all the people in the world I should love to meet. The video was proof as to why. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved this Geoff. I couldn’t view the video but think it’s about the American hikers asking her if she’d met the queen. That and driving at high speed with a Sheikh as a passenger who didn’t believe in women drivers. The Marmalade Sandwich will always stay with me as we missed the Bond entrance.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. KL Caley says:

    “Let us not take ourselves too seriously. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom.”
    – Queen Elizabeth II

    Brilliant post, Geoff. I loved it and thought it very fitting. A dash of your humour with a splash of her majesty’s wit, and what a marvellous combo. 👏 What a fabulous entry to #writephoto.

    KL ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a fantastic story and exactly what I would have expected from HRM. She had a marvelous sense of humor, and she is missed by many of us here in the US who have never known any English monarch other than Queen Elizabeth. Her like will not come around again and we admire her so much. Her passing made me very sad. I paid tribute to her on my blog yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A lovely tribute, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pam Lazos says:

    I’m also sad the Queen died and I don’t even live there. 😢♥️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. trifflepudling says:

    I am bereft – she was so much part of all our lives and I’ve seen her many times. We also used to see her walking the dogs on our Friday evening walks in the Great Park. This was in the days before heavy security.
    My favourite quote this week from someone who had worked for her in an advisory capacity was that she didn’t take herself seriously at all, but she took her role absolutely seriously. People’s mistake was to think she was po-faced, but as a rule she mostly laughed.
    Another one was captioning a photo of her all dressed up in matching coat and hat with Philip in uniform and wearing the most enormous busby, also grinning hugely – a swarm of bees had zoomed through and around some ceremony taking place at Windsor and all these dignitaries in huge medieval feathered hats and clanking gold chains and spurs had had to run for it, along with her and Philip!
    Btw, I think the bag was always black.
    Very hard to take in that both of them are no longer with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very well done Geoff. She would have appreciated that, I know. I cannot think of any other person in history who generated such love, such pride, and such sadness at her death. Not just in the UK, the Commonwealth, and Dominions, but in many places around the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. JT Twissel says:

    Poor Charles is going to have a hard time matching up, isn’t he? The end of an era – I hadn’t thought of it that way but you’re right. Sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wonderful story – I imagine she would be quite the poker player. And the anecdote is lovely, too. We are all diminished by the death of any human being, but some deaths make us feel it more keenly.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. willowdot21 says:

    Absolutely beautiful Geoff. I was born the year she had her Coronation. What an amazing lady 💜💜

    Liked by 1 person

  15. petespringerauthor says:

    I haven’t heard one person utter a negative word about the Queen. She had a friendly, trusting smile and always carried herself with class.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. ThingsHelenLoves says:

    Lovely story, I think you’ve captured the Queen and her humour very well. A deeply sad time for the nation.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Beautifully done, Geoff. I had not seen the wonderful video before.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Norah says:

    I love your story, Geoff. I think it’s perfect. I thought she was going to take a sandwich out of her handbag as she did with Paddington. I’d heard that story about the American tourists before, except the ending about taking the photograph. It’s hilarious.
    I feel sad she is gone. I want to remember her as she was with Paddington, not with your new Prime Minister. It’s easy to see that she didn’t have long left on that occasion. She did what she said she’d do, but only just.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Widdershins says:

    Things are in such flux these days, and swiftly pass the moments. She was, I think, the last global symbol of what it meant to be a truly ‘civil’ and compassionate being. She will be sorely missed in the years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Jennie says:

    Well done, Geoff! Very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. HI Geoff, I think this is very nice. The Queen was a special woman. I researched a lot about her family’s role in supporting the public during WW2 and thought they were all very admirable. It is the end of an era. I’m not sure how I feel about the new king – Sigh!

    Liked by 1 person

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  23. Hi. This is amazing. And beautiful. She was an incredible leader. She was as loved and respected by people from all walks of life. Her majesty always handled herself with grace and was a shining example of consistency and stability! I felt sad when she passed🙏🏾💙💙

    Liked by 1 person

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