Monday, February 6, 2012

60 Years Today

For most of us living in the US the fact that the Queen of The United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth  is celebrating 60 years as the Queen probably doesn't mean a great deal.

For those of us who grew up in England it can bring an almost mystical dimension to one's life. I have never been an avid Royalist but the Queen has been an integral part of my life for all but five years of it. In 1972 my Aunt Marian received an MBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace for 50 years of devoted service to the country. My aunt, mother and another aunt donned their Sunday best and made the 100 mile journey by train to the Palace for the ceremony.  I still have the medal and certificate complete with Her Majesty's signature. The Queen even looks a bit like my mum in her later years but then I think everybody probably thinks that too.

This is probably her greatest gift to the world. Despite all the ups and downs of her family  life and the life of the country and "empire" she has remained, at least for me, a distant symbol of permanence in a world that seems to be bent on speed and change for its own sake. I remember Coronation Day on June 2 1953 like it was yesterday but I don't remember accession day and the death of the King at all. I was once told you can take the Englishman out of England but you cannot take England out of the Englishman.

And how fitting is it that she chose to visit a school  for very young children on the 60th anniversary of her accession to the throne as if to say this is what is the most important thing in our lives; our children.

Note: I can't believe I did this but I referred to the Queen as the Queen of England when I originally penned this thereby alienating everyone who lives in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a few other places too. I apologize; I should have known better. 

1 comment:

  1. It was great that she visited Ireland recently. I have a vague memory of meeting Lord only royal connection. My Dad was a boy scout leader and he got permission for us all to camp on Lord Mountbatten's land in Sligo. Each year he'd make a point of coming by and having tea at the campfire with the troop. I was very young, but I have this memory (or relived family story; who knows) of a guy coming on a horse for tea. Personal connections matter. I think the Queen leaves a positive impression where ever she goes.