My first blog
|Friday, 9th September 2022
I had to write this (kind of) diary entry today. It’s not something I usually do any more. I write stories and poetry and, occasionally the odd non-fiction memory. But, today I’m hurting, and the only way I can think of to salve my wounds a little is to write.
So, what’s the reason for my feelings? Nina’s birthday heralding my impending birthday? Nope. I’m pretty much resigned to my age these days. No. That’s not it. It is the sad, sad death of Queen Elizabeth II. She passed away yesterday afternoon at Balmoral. For months now she has been stripping back her public engagements, with mobility issues being cited as the reason. But, clearly, it was a lot more than that. I wonder if we will ever find out the truth of her illness. Not that it matters, I guess. She is dead. The Queen is dead.
Last night, I was in shock, really. Around lunchtime yesterday, there was a press release saying doctors were concerned for her health, and that all her family were going to Balmoral to be with her. It felt really serious right from the start. Added to that, the TV was showing the gates of Balmoral, desperate for that glimpse of a grieving family, all afternoon. Like, why would they be showing non-stop coverage and speaking as though she were already dead if she had the flu, or something? So it was obvious we were a nation waiting for the bad news. Even so, I never thought it would be so quick. I was reminded of the scene from the ‘Evita’ movie where thousands of people are waiting outside the Casa Rosada for the news that Evita has died.
All of this means the UK now has a king: King Charles III. That’s so strange. The only monarch I’ve ever know is the Queen. She has been a constant, strong leader. She has shown compassion in times of grief and humour in times of joy. I’m not sure Charles will ever live up to his mother’s legacy. I’m not sure he will ever be as loved or respected as she was. I hope he is. I know he is very much into environmental issues. But I’m not sure how much he will be able to get involved in the issues he cares about now that he is King. I wonder how happy this will make him.
I may be in the minority here, but I’m glad he is able to take Camilla with him as the Queen Consort. I’m sure the Queen saying she wanted this to be Camilla’s role at her Jubilee celebrations earlier this year had a lot to do with it. Camilla has been so hated by the country, though. She has become more popular and more involved in royal duties in recent years. And, you know what? She makes Charles happy. He always loved her. She was always his lobster, but they weren’t allowed to be together for a long time. And the past I long gone. Life is too short to be filled with hate. It only makes you miserable.
I’ve digressed. I didn’t intend to discuss Camilla. I just want to say I’m feeling sad. I didn’t know the Queen. Obviously. But she was a part of my life. My whole life. As I see the mourners laying flowers outside Buckingham Palace, tears fill my eyes. I guess, in some ways, this is like Princess Diana’s death. The sense of shock and collective grief is tangible. Although the world outside looks the same. The trees are still in their places, the cars pass by on the road. The sassy squirrel runs up the telegraph pole. But, at the same time, everything feels different. There’s a sense of unreality that, I think, tends to accompany death. Nothing has changed, except for … everything.
The UK and the world will miss this lady’s strength and gentle touch. How much, no one yet knows. All I do know is I’m feeling sad. I dreamt of my parents last night. I read once that when we dream of someone who has passed away, it is because they are visiting us in our sleep. I like that notion, although I don’t really believe it. I’d like to think that Mum and Dad came to share a few moments of grief with me, though.
RIP Queen Elizabeth II
21st April 1926 – 8th September 2022