Queen Elizabeth made an historic address this week to talk about COVID-19. I’ve always been a bit of a Royalist and sat and listened to her speak from the heart. Wise words from someone who at 94 years old has experienced a lot in life.
It made me think about royals and what influence they have in our modern times. Some would say they are outdated. Some would say they serve an important role. Whatever way you lean I think that the consistent link with Queen Elizabeth is she has almost always BEEN the monarch for as long as we can remember and has given her life in the service of her country and the Commonwealth.
It made me pause and think about royalty and its influence on our lives, even if you don’t think there is one.
We drive on a highway called The Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), and enjoy government-owned parks actually called Crown Land. To mail a letter we stick a stamp of the Queen onto an envelope and use the postal service which is a Crown Corporation. Christmas in most houses involves watching the Queen’s Christmas message and then a discussion around the Christmas table about how she looked and what jewellery she wore! Even if you aren’t a Royalist you see royal styling on a lot of businesses — Royal Dry Cleaners, Imperial Coffee, Royal Bank, and even Burger King!
I realized in our home it’s all around me without thinking. Above our dining room door we have a picture of George VI and Elizabeth the Queen’s parents. There are royal biographies on the coffee table and commemorative royal china in our collections! We’ve got toss cushions in our living room that we bought at Windsor Castle celebrating the Queen’s reign, and a couple of slightly kitsch Toby jugs of George VI and Queen Anne Boylan — complete with an axe handle!
Not everyone is as ardent a Royalist as our household is, but in today’s ever-changing world they give us a sense of continuity. Pageantry is such a part of the Commonwealth’s identity and would have no meaning without that Royal head of state.
Once we are able to travel again I will probably collect more royal memorabilia into our environment and hope to witness the Trooping of the Colour, which marks the Queen’s official birthday. Until that time I will pull out a royal commemorative tea cup or glass and raise a toast to a great lady. God Save the Queen!