Holy Cow. I’m not sure why the death of Her Majesty has hit me quite as hard as it has. Perhaps it has something to do with age. Or sentimentality. Or that I’m on my own. Or the fact that I’m not at “home” with my people at the moment. (Still, I can’t say enough about my neighbors, family, and friends who’ve stopped by in person, or visited online, or sent me messages or phone calls of condolences, or who’ve just ‘been there’ over the past week. Apparently this sort of things knows no national boundaries. and others, even if they’re not HM’s subjects, are hit almost as hard as I am myself.)
In 1948, King Farouk of Egypt said:
Soon there will be only five Kings left–the King of England, the King of Spades, the King of Clubs, the King of Hearts, and the King of Diamonds.
The same could be said, here at the close of the first quarter of the twenty-first century, I think, of the “Queens.” After all, French President Emmanuel Macron said, in his own message of condolence to the British people: “To you, she was your Queen. To us, she was The Queen.”
As if there could not possibly be any other. As, in fact, there could not. The Queen who was so good at “Queening” (I can’t remember who coined that term–it may have been David Starkey, or perhaps Rafe Heydel-Mankoo–someone on GBNews at any event) that she left all others in the dust.
A number of sages, commentators, pontificators and occasional mentioners have been pleased to quote, WRT the Queen’s passing, Lord Grey’s famous comment on the start of World War I:
The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime
I beg to differ. I’m a cockeyed optimist. I think we’re reaching a tipping point, and I think we’re going to be OK. And so, for my first song for this mournful Saturday, I choose one of my favorite songs by my favorite WWII chanteuse, the late Dame Vera Lynn:
Of course, it’s not going to be what my British friends would call “a doddle.” There’ll be hard times ahead, and getting through this next winter is going to be tough and expensive:
But perhaps we have the “Ghost of a Chance:”
No idea what Charles will do. He’s already said (somewhere) that he’s not so “stupid” as to frame his monarchical legacy in that which he’s already set in his own “moment in time” as it relates to the green agenda. I guess we’ll see.
Liz Truss is the first “pro-fracking” Prime Minister in British history. She’ll meet with her King once a week, as per parliamentary and constitutional tradition. If he can manage to stay out of the inevitable and subsequent parliamentary row, he’ll go up in my estimation. If not, then I’ll have to rethink.
Meanwhile, today is International Country Music Day! And so I offer you one of the most widely-recognized country music songs of all time:
God Bless Queen Elizabeth the Steadfast. She both talked, and walked, the line.
All her life.