The Queen is dead. The end of the second Elizabethan age!!!!
What does that mean to me? It’s hard to gauge at this moment, mostly it’s a bit of a void. The queen has been there all of my life, a constant, a figure of importance, albeit distantly. As a teenager I rebelled against all authority and she was a part of that, the Sex pistols were in the ascendancy and peer pressure was immense. I was naive and stupid. I didn’t know any better.
But to me she was remote, I don’t think I ever got closer than a few meters as she drove passed once. Someone I saw on the TV.
I have been a royalist all my life, never a very vocal one, but I was always massively aware of what we, as a nation, gained as result of who and what she was.
Personally, I had the freedom to do what I want, say what I want, believe what I want, as long as it was not to the detriment of others.
But this shouldn’t be about me. This about Queen Elizabeth and what we as a people had as a result of her presence and the constitution we have.
To the naysayers, remember that’s the reason why you can say and do (within reason) what you like, without fear of retribution. Remember that.
And then remember, no one alive has, or will ever be able to witness as significant a moment in history as this moment. Right now! This moment, right now. Pause and think about that.
Queen Elizabeth was the longest serving monarch in British history.
She oversaw some of the most challenging times any monarch has ever endured, politically and personally whilst being subjected to the gaze of the media and social media like no monarch ever has before. In a country where we are all allowed to say what we like. Not many could have done that.
Loads of prime ministers have graced her doors, and she, I suspect, treated them all equally and with dignity, whatever their beliefs, and trusted them too, to run our country. Witnessed all our political manoeuvrings as we swung back and forth as a nation. Not many could have done that.
Overhauled the monarchy and kept it relevant. Even when many members of the royal family proved all too human. Not many could have done that.
Endured great criticism whilst in the public eye and maintained a neutral air of integrity and dignity at all times. Not many could have done that.
Presided over the Church of England and the Commonwealth whilst both organisations struggled to maintain relevance as people’s focuses changed. Not many could have done that.
Stayed married to the same man, who must have infuriated and confounded her on many an occasion, who she obviously loved and adored. Not many could have done that.
As far as I can see, the Queen was a woman who never put herself first, dedicating herself to matters of state for 70 years. Not many could have done that.
She was also a mother, grandmother, great grandmother as well as all the other familial titles many of us hold, and when family was most important, she put them first too. All whilst the press and public looked on. Not many could have done that.
And through all that, she maintained dignity and integrity and provided much needed stability. Not many could have done that.
I suspect we will not she her like for a long time to come. I will miss her.
This is the end of the second Elizabethan age. Remember this moment.
Long live King Charles III
Simon Pollard. Countryman and Modern Day Pagan