Friday, September 9, 2022

Her Majesty, The Queen

Yesterday was a sad day.

Yes the Queen had a good innings, as my gran would say. She and her husband had a very long and happy ( but not all sweetness and light!) marriage to Philip, and I'm sure she'll be up there with him now, with her favourite horses - Burmese was one of her steadfast ceremonial horses - and her corgis. The dogs had been banned from running around freely at the palace in recent years as they  were a tripping hazard. No doubt they were allowed in the Queen's presence once she had sat down and got herself comfy.

I never met to Queen. I met Charles twice - dicussed the issue of flat feet.  I met Anne three times, she gave me my degree. I walked onto the stage, she shook my hand,  handed me my scroll and  this was the conversation, bearing in mind I attended what is now the university of Westminster.
;Was it terribly hard work?
At times.
You don't sound as if you are from down here.
No, I'm from Glasgow.
Oh, how wonderful. It's so beautful up there. Are you going home to practice?
yes I am.
Well I wish you all the best.

Another time was a charity thing for guide dogs for the blind and she was asking me what the traffic was like in central edinburgh as they were going to the rugby. I recall saying something like 'Does it matter? You're Princess Anne can you not just get the security to blue and two it?'
She replied something like, they would if they needed to but they weren't really supposed to do that.

I guess that was an important point, priviledge that was well used.

I also met Diana. Not much to say there I'm afraid.

You can have your own thoughts on a inherited monarchy, in many ways it makes no sense at all. But, in other ways it does - or it did with Elizabeth II.  She'd meet with the Prime Minister weekly when parliament was sitting,  and question them.  Okay, she'd be briefed by the highest policy makers in the country, she knew her stuff.  She let them know if the country  was not happy with what  the government was doing. She wasn't supposed to excert pressure, but I'm sure she did. As a young Queen Winston Churchill showed her the way. Fourteen Prime Ministers later she was still doing it.

Special meetings would be called  for disasters like Grenfell, Aberfan, The Ibrox Disaster and Hillsborough to judge the response correctly. She visited Grenfell with no obvious security. 

Some PMs she sat and had  tea and sandwiches and a chat about the affairs of state.  Others I'm sure quaked in their shiney shoes.

Yesterday I was trying to explain to an overseas  person who had called the Royal Family celebrities, that they are the exact opposite of celebrity, in a strange way. They may have tradition that may seen ostentacious, but they themselves are not. The palaces are notoriously cold as the Queen didn't like to run up the heating bills. They may wear expensive clothes, but they were reworn and refashioned. Private life is private life. Public life is something else entirely.

As you may have noticed, those who talk publicity about what goes on behind those doors don't last. And anybody who marries in,  is well warned and taught how to behave.

The Monarch is not allowed to state an opinion on anything, however much she'd like to.

I thank her for her service. I like any woman who  breaks up her bread roll and sneaks it to her dog that's under the table. Her face  was polite and smiley as she inspected the troops, but lit up when she saw the horses of the Queens Cavalry.

I think her son will be a good, but very different Monarch.  He's very bright, a bit introverted and, like his Dad,   is a keen enviromentalist. I think his mother once referred to him as 'odd'.

After Charles, I can see the Monarchy taking a new direction, more like the Dutch or the Danish royal family.

Interesting times ahead, I'm sure.



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