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.