Yesterday I watched the river pageant unfold on the TV.. watching all the flotilla of boats going slowly on the Thames, with the Queen and her close family and friends waving and waving to the crowds lining the banks and bridges of the river.
It was magnificent, despite the rain that got heavier as time went on.. didn't dampen the spirit of the crowds though, all waving and cheering for her Majesty! We have had the programmes on television,showing her as she grew up, when she took over the Throne, and then as a young mother with her children and all other events to the present time.
At 85 she still seems so strong and energetic, its amazing. !What strength of character she shows.. she stood up the whole time the boats went slowly by, waving to her subjects.. a very long time, just standing up and waving, never sitting down, [so everyone else had to stand too]!!
I have always found her an enigma. She seems in the photos to be happy with her family, but outwardly never showing her emotions in public. She seemed very cold when Diana died and she was not going to mention her death outside the family, but the government of the time said she should make some notice of the fact as her subjects were waiting to see it. She has fulfilled her job as Queen in a very very responsible way, but I DO NOT envy her one bit. She never has a moment to her self, she is on view the whole time, and everyone has an opinion of her.. Must be very hard to be so public.
What would we do without her? Probably go on in the same old way, but something would be lost too... Having a Royal Family is part and parcel of the whole thing of England and being English.. WE need our Royal Family to hold all the disparate parts of the nation together. They are the glue that sticks us all together and makes this Country whole. WE have so many different peoples now making up this land, that we need something in common to share ,in order to work together and I think the Queen does do this for us.
WE have watched her grow from a young woman into this elderly lady who still makes the crowds cheer and wave happily. There won't be another Royal person in the foreseeable future who will be able to claim this record of longevity in the job! Charles if he inherits doesn't have that many years to be able to do it, and even William inheriting later will mean he is unlikely too to reach this number of years in the job..
As for Queen Victoria, who is the only other person to have achieved this record, -she was 19 when she ascended the throne, and this Queen was 25,. she did find it hard to keep going especially after she lost her darling husband so early..
it will be far into the future if anyone has a chance to succeed and reign for so long... quite an amazing record and almost unique in its longevity.!
[ I think that she has a couple more years to be the same as Victoria, and it looks as though she is going to do it, and then pass that record too!! ]
These four days of holiday are for us all to try and appreciate her reign in all that has happened and been achieved.
It has not been totally successful, we have lost all the lands that the Victorians gained abroad, but somehow this tiny Island still has a place in the world, where they mainly listen to what we have to say... they might not act on our advice, but at least they give us the courtesy of listening. But in other areas we have succeed far more than anticipated.. look at mass communication today for example..
It is funny that when I was growing up in school, the maps all showed areas across the world coloured in red, that were the outposts of our commonwealth, and gradually over the years they have all had their Independence handed back to the original people.
For some it has turned out worse than under Colonial Rule, for others it has turned out well..
Governing others is an Art that is sadly misused and mistreated, but our Queen has shown us , at least here in England, that it is possible to govern with kindness and awareness and example, even if your position as Queen is merely Head of State without real political power.
A queen who leads by example, trying to live a fulfilled life and believes in her Religion, and tries very hard to be the best at what she does.
I think that no one could fault her as being a Queen, and that is what will be remembered by time and history.
I hope the next incumbents will be as positive a role model in their role of Kingship !