Did anyone else notice the silence over the last week or so? Especially on the morning of Her Majesty’s funeral. We went for a walk early on and saw wreaths on older people’s doors and the sense of ‘this can’t be happening.’ Everyone I talked to in that strange ten days said ‘we never imagined she’d go while she was younger than the Queen Mum.’
And I thought back to the Diamond Jubilee and admired her dedication to duty and the quiet, feminine way that Her Majesty got her own way and made her point. I also smiled at the way she terrorised an Arab prince who didn’t allow women to drive by driving at top speed and remembered that she trained as an ATS mechanic during the Second World War.
I’ve got a couple of books underway about World War Two at the moment because it fascinates me how hard people worked on the Home Front and what they put up with. My beloved home town of Poole was designated as an evacuee reception centre. A few months after that they recognised that we were a target both for bombs and invasion. Oops…
It’s a chilling thought that had I lived in my home back then I’d have received an official letter telling me that in case of an invasion I must not attempt to flee because I’d be blocking the road for the troops. So, effectively, we’d have been like Jersey and left to the enemy. There were tank traps round by my son’s playgroup, a mile or so up the road, and on the far side of the park I love.
And women got on with it, as women always do. They brought up their kids, they made do and mended, they lived with death and they didn’t make a fuss. They were happy with small things, and, as they aged, they found that the world changed and their values were all too often dismissed as being out of date.
I happen to think that they aren’t and that we have a lot to learn from them, and from Her Majesty, who, I like to think, is now back with her one true love, and all those Corgis. So thank you, Your Majesty, and to our new King, Good Luck. You’ve got a tough act to follow.