Hello friends...I am glad you are here today. For this week's post I had something fun and interesting for you (at least I hope it is interesting as I attempted to add a few bits of history that you may or may not be aware of). But, this past week, with the passing of England's Queen Elizabeth II, I decided to move it down the queue and offer a little tribute to this extraordinary woman.
Although the announcement of her passing was, in a way, calmly acceptable, given her age, it was still a really sad piece of news to read. And it was a loss, certainly for the people of Britain, yet a comfort to know she passed away quietly. To be honest, I felt the loss as well this past week. And, not to be funny, but the closest I ever got to her was visiting several of her residences: Windsor Castle, Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace...and of course, it wasn't like she was going to be walking the halls or joining us for tea. Still, their visits are imbedded in my joyful memory. Even more, when we visited Edinburgh, the Palace of Holyrood was "closed to visitors" because the Queen was in residence that day!!! I was put out, to be honest! Seriously though, I rather liked Queen Elizabeth II and had great respect for her manner, grace, dignity and ability to remain steadfast and committed to her country. She never wavered in her promise to live a life devoted to her country; and THAT she did. Have you ever seen a photo of her looking bored or disconnected? I wonder if anyone has a count on the number of royal engagements she attended. I wonder if she ever got up in the morning and said "Oh, can somebody else wear this crown today!" Did she ever wish for a different life? Maybe one with more freedom and less constraints? Never being able to just pop off to the local market to pick up a cantelope or stop off at a coffee shop to steal away some quiet time...alone, might have crossed her mind once or twice. Oh I don't know, maybe the life of a queen has some version of freedom that outsiders don't see. I know she found solace and retreat in her beloved Balmoral Castle, from what I understand. Seriously though, I am certain that she must have had an adventurous and fascinating life, wouldn't you agree? Think of the places she went and the people she met! How about the gowns and the crowns she wore; and all those baubles around her neck! A lot of pomp and circumstance encircled her life, wherever she went! Preparations for every outing, every event, must have been planned by a team that moved like a fine tuned watch; getting her here and there as the schedule dictated. Still, from an outsider still looking from the outside, I believe she was gifted with a tremendous amount of energy and fortitude. She, no doubt, was resolute in her beliefs and remained neutral when necessary. Being neutral was one of her glowing attributes from what I have read. She was surrounded by scandal, including her own family, and yet there is no trail of tweets or compulsion to belt out some verbiage to put someone in their place. But, one would be a bit naive to assume she wouldn't have held back a quip or two to say on a matter. This is one of the most covetous qualities I found in the Queen. And I would say that this is the virtue I most admire about her. She seemed to have had that gift and ability to compartmentalize any story, tabloid article or book reference that criticized/gossiped about her or her family. This type of restraint requires a strength of manner that purposes to be content with the truth you know and believe in, versus what has been said or written that may or may not be true. I take my hat off to this dignified lady of nobility and for her example of how we might choose to respond should a round of incoming verbal attacks land in an email or, God forbid, the tabloids. Lastly, it's easy to admire her as a woman in a leadership role, rather than as an icon or idol...there is definitely a difference. There are a lot of takeaways for women to consider and no doubt someone will write a book about that!
England will always be synonymous with the name, Queen Elizabeth II. Other than the Lord Jesus himself, she is the only other sovereign I have been most interested in learning about in my 64 years. I hope she has found herself a seat at the round table in heaven. And, I am excited for King Charles III and hope he leaves a legacy as rich in character and commitment in his new role as King, as she was as Queen. Long live the King!
Have a great week...Jeanine