I woke up this morning, coming into consciousness feeling a death, someone has died. Oh yes, it’s the Queen of England, Elizabeth. It is palpable, the feeling of so many effected, thinking, absorbing the news, even in little Halesworth. On the news (which is 24 hours on this subject, finding words as awaiting plans to land in the rain), among the statistics given was that 35% of all people in England had met the Queen – that’s a large number. I am reminded of I danced with a man who danced with a woman who danced with the Prince of Wales.
I never met her, but like so many she has existed as the Queen all my 64 years, From 1952 until her death in 2022. If the Guardian were to do one of their word mashups, the word Duty, would come out largest. Fate she described it as, to be landed with this job, ‘I do my job to the best of my ability, it is my duty’.
So although I never met her, her life spans the events of my life, the Silver Jubilee, in Hyde Park with Ray Waterhouse and some other people who I have never seen again. The death of Diana, when I lived at Clarendon Road and walked out to Keinsington Palace to see the mass of flowers gather. The fire in Windsor castle. To more lately the image of the Queen sitting alone in the stalls, for the funeral of her beloved husband (while Borris partied and denied partying.)
The queen. The Queue. Hours long miles long, they waited for a few minutes.
Anna and mustapha