I’m a fan of old movies, and this week I was flicking through the channels when I came across a Vera Lynn film called “We’ll Meet Again” from 1944. In one scene the audience in a theatre stood for the National Anthem (those oldies amongst us will remember when it was played in theatres and cinema’s, you can hardly imagine it now, can you?
Although I have to admit that by the time I was old enough to go to either of those pleasure palaces, there was always a rush to leave before the music started; perhaps that was the beginning of the end of showing respect to others?), and I was surprised to hear them sing “God save the KING”. And it occurred to me that Queen Elizabeth and her Prince have been a constant throughout my whole life, I’ve never had any other monarch.
My own parents have now “shuffled off this mortal coil”, but the Queen still KBO (“Keep buggering on” to quote Winnie), and for that, and for her, I am grateful. Like her Mother before her, the Queen follows the mantra “never complain, never explain”. I have no doubt that she is aware that her role in this 21st century is something of an anachronism, perhaps that’s why she’s never stepped down, because she is conscious that after her death, our royal family may become just a cipher.
But I just can’t imagine Britain without her. I know that she and her extended family live particularly comfortable lives, unlike anything that most of us can imagine (expect for a lucky few who live on Sandbanks), but in my opinion, Elizabeth II has been the perfect figurehead and ambassador, no doubt to the envy of many other countries. She doesn’t have the perfect family, but then who the hell has? Her whole life has been about duty, rudely coming into being when her Uncle threw in the towel for his American love.
Now I’m not an ardent Royalist, but neither am I particularly hankering for us to become a Republic.
And when our Queen does die, it will feel to many of us that we have lost a dearly loved grandmother, and I believe that we’ll be the worse for it.