Washed Up, by Sarah Juggins, June 12, 2018
As one commentator intoned “This may well be Her Majesty’s last royal wedding,” I felt a prickle behind my eyes.
Surely not. Surely that neat, dapper little lady was going to go on and on.
What on earth did this royal commentator speaking about the wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle know that we didn’t.
After all, the Queen has it all going for her. She has great genes, her mother lived to be 101. Unlike many elder statespeople she doesn’t look as if she has been kept in a cryo chamber to be wheeled out for special occasions. She is in touch with the modern world. And she has definitely not lost her marbles – as her recent documentary ‘The Queen’s Green Planet’ with Sir David Attenborough showed.
In West Norfolk, we feel we have a special bond with Her Maj. After all, we have Sandringham, where the royals spend their Christmas from December to the middle of February. There are hundreds of village halls, sports halls and galleries that have been opened by the Queen over her long reign. She even puts in a regular appearance at the Sandringham and West Newton Women’s Institute – including last year when she put in an impromptu appearance during a snow storm.
Yes, there are times when our absurd royal etiquette make us roll our eyes. Whoever heard of a 33-year old soldier needing to ask his Granny special permission to wear a beard at his own wedding? Who, outside of S & M chambers or the cast of Game of Thrones, makes everyone they meet leave a room backwards after hitting them on each shoulder with a sword? And my own favourite – if the Queen stops eating, so must everyone else. Imagine the fun you could have with that one!
But, if that commentator was right, and inevitably one day his prophecy will come true, what a sad, sad day for the country. The Queen is the dependable rock upon which this country leans. We have immature politicians making knee-jerk, reactive decisions. We are teetering on the brink of the unknown as the day we leave the EU draws ever closer. We are under constant threat of terrorism and we stand allied to an USA president who seems determined to take the world to the brink of a third world war. But through it all, the Queen stands impervious, above it all.
Over the years we have seen her steer her own family through rocky times; we have seen her visiting the relatives of victims of fires, floods and wars; we have seen her move with the times; we have even seen her Twitter account for goodness sake!
At the Royal Wedding, the Queen looked her gracious, composed self. She walks with a light step, she looks alert and interested in everything going on around her. It must surely be in the whole country’s interests to keep muttering the mantra “long live the Queen”.