Long Live the Queen!

September 08 was a good day, but it was also a very sad day.

I was at the doctor early that morning to learn my fate about how my ankle was healing. Dr. Scholl had given me the best news – I was free of my boot. I can’t even begin to say what that felt like. My doctor stated it would be rough for a long while as I begin to regain the strength in my weak muscles. I didn’t even care. I was free to walk on my own two feet. I was so grateful. I hugged her and off I went to start my first day of physical therapy. 

It proved rough. Brutal even. Turns out my doctor was right. Go figure. But I made it through my first session and was getting ready to leave when my therapist came into the locker-room and said, “Gail, bad news.”

I thought maybe my ankle x-ray wasn’t read right, and she was coming to tell me I had to put the boot back on. 

She looked me square in the eye. “The Queen isn’t doing well.”

“Wait, what?”

Minutes before, during our first session, the therapist and I were getting to know each other. Of course, I had talked about England and Princess Diana. There was much media attention recently due to the 25th Anniversary of her death. I asked the therapist if she had even known who the princess was! (Yep, my therapist is a bit younger than I!) She said that indeed she knew because her mother was enthralled with her too! 

Being at a physical therapy appointment will now be my ‘where were you when you heard the news’ memory. I told her thank you for letting me know and hurried home.  

I was glued to the BBC all morning. I cried as the news reported The Queen had passed. I was worthless the rest of the day as I watched the coverage of that history-making moment. 

I’m still sad. I never even knew her, but like all public figures, I thought I did. She lived a great life. 

Queen Elizabeth II

I still can’t believe she died. I know that sounds ridiculous. After all, she was 96. It’s not like she had some superpower to live forever and ever. No one gets out alive. Not even The Queen. And yet, Her Majesty was the only queen many of us had ever known. 

She reigned for 70+ years. Such an incredible feat. I’m ever so grateful I was able to put on a tea back in June to celebrate her platinum jubilee. 

Her Majesty was the longest-reigning monarch in British history. Never will we ever see such historical longevity again. 

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary became Queen after her father, King George VI, died prematurely in 1952. Her father became king when his brother, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson. That whole process fascinates me as that one choice changed the course of many lives forever. Because of it, Elizabeth would one day be Queen. 

We need not be royal to understand how the choices of one person affect another.

The Queen met 13 US Presidents during her reign and served with 15 prime ministers. She’s been shot at (1981 during the Trooping of the Colour) and dealt with an intruder who entered her private bedroom in 1982. Can you imagine? Me either! 

She handled both situations brilliantly. 

Just because she was queen, it didn’t mean life was easy. 

Three of her four children divorced. Of course, the dissolvement of then Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage made headlines all over the world. 

In 1992, her beloved Windsor Castle was damaged by fire. 

She was scrutinized by her handling of Princess Diana’s shocking death. 

Her Majesty has seen the deaths of her father, mother, and sister. Most recently she endured the death of her beloved husband Philip, to whom she was married for 73 years. 

Before her coronation, she asked of her subjects: “Pray that God may give me wisdom and strength to carry out the solemn promises I shall be making and that I may faithfully serve Him and you, all the days of my life.”

I believe she kept those promises and served the people of the United Kingdom well all the days of her life.  She is the very definition of a servant. Such a wise woman she was. She had the wisdom to keep quiet. She never had to have the last word. That’s wisdom. I want more of that. Wisdom. 

As the world mourned the loss of Queen Elizabeth, stories about her emerged from those who knew her well. I loved reading this particular story. 

The Queen had been hiking at Balmoral with one of her security officers. A couple of tourists from America came upon them. Neither had any idea they were in the presence of the Queen. I can’t even fathom that! How could you not know?

The tourists asked if the two had ever met The Queen. Both The Queen and the officer played along, thinking that maybe the tourists were joking. Soon they realized the tourists were completely serious. The officer said that he indeed had met The Queen. The tourists gasped with excitement and then… (I still can’t believe this!!!!) THEY ASKED THE QUEEN IF SHE WOULD TAKE A PICTURE OF THEM WITH THE OFFICER!!!!! 

The tourists wanted a photo with the guy who has met The Queen!!!  Ummm…hello. She’s right in front of you!!!  

After they left, it is said The Queen told her officer she would love to have been there when the two finally would realize they had been with The Queen all along and never even knew it! I bet the Queen had a long laugh about that.  

I already miss The Queen so much. I miss her steadfastness. Her matching outfits. Her black handbag. Her Cornelia James gloves. Her grace. Her servant’s heart. She has left behind a legacy of truth and wisdom. I’m certain she heard “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The Queen may be gone, but her legacy will live on forever. Rest in Peace, Your Majesty.

What did you love most about the Queen? Was there anything in particular about her or her life that stood out to you?