After a 70 year reign the Queen passed away yesterday.
Monarchist or not most people could find something to admire in the Queen. She dedicated her life, at the age of 21, to representing her nation for the length of her life, and after coming to the throne at 25 she did so right up until her last days, inviting the new Prime Minister to form a Government only two days prior to her death.
Her family may have caused a number of controversies over the years but throughout the Queen remained scandal free, and was by and large a symbol of duty, service and a kind of moral compass to the Nation.
Yes, she had wealth and the privilege that comes with and never had to worry about bills, or having enough to eat like many women her age. She didn’t seek out her role however, and whether you agree or not with the principle of monarchy, she felt that she had a duty to carry out her role and she did take that duty seriously. In the early years of her reign she picked duty over her sister and I’m sure there were many other times, right up to Prince Harry stepping back where she had to make tough calls that went against her own personal wishes, but she took the view of what she thought was right and proper.
During the Pandemic, it was the Queen’s address to the Nation that caused comfort far more than those of the politicians in charge. She was a bit like the Grandmother of the Nation, someone with the calmness that comes with age and experience. The image of her sitting alone at her husbands funeral, whilst her Prime Minister flouted his own rules at parties demonstrated her commitment to follow the rules and do what is right, regardless of her wealth and status.
There are not many of us who will remember a time before we had a Queen. My mum was born the year of her Coronation, she was already thirty years into her reign when I was born. To me, the Queen as a young person at all is a foreign idea that I’ve seen only in video footage or on the Crown – she was 55 when I was born. So she is quite simply, a fixture of the Nation, God Save the King sounds strange, money and stamps have always had her face on, it’s the Queens Speech – the Kings Speech is a film about the war.
In this blog, which is of course fitness based, I talk often about Anchors, the small things that we do that keep us well and grounded and feeling ok. The Queen was an Anchor for the Nation, a figure head that was just there, really, how often did you ever think about it? She is probably the only Monarch of her type we will ever see. In years gone by when people didn’t live as long and the Monarchy changed between Dynasties, Kings and Queens came and went often and people may see more than a couple in their life time. The Queen came to the throne young because her Father died young, Charles is already over 70, he will not see a Jubilee, but equally if he lives until his Mothers age William will also be at Retirement age before he becomes King and George the same. Save illness or accident we are unlikely to see another Monarch like the Queen, someone who presides over so much change in technology and society.
For this her reign truly was remarkable.