Our family connection to the the late Queen Elizabeth II is different yet the same as many other British Americans. My mother was born in Manchester, England in 1937. She is 10 years young than the Queen was at her death. She was my mother’s Queen, she only had one.
So watching the elaborate traditions steeped in formality and love was a thing of beauty and history. Whether you love the monarchy or don’t even really understand the history or the reason it carries forth, you should have watched the funeral. It is living history.
Never again will we see a reign as long as HRH, King Charles III is limited as he is 73. If the Prince of Wales ascended tomorrow, he would still not reach his grandmother’s reign, he is 40. Her death was history, as was her life.
I share the loss and the pride with the British people and I enjoy this manner of saying goodbye and by the looks of the crowds so do her loyal subjects. For 80% of them this is the only Monarch they have known. As they look towards the future with the new King, they are pondering what changes may come under his rule. Respect his role, we always knew he would someday be King. He has enormous shoes to fill.
As we savor the last good-bye to Elizabeth, do not lose sight that while a very public goodbye, this family has lost their mother, grandmother and great grandmother. Grieving must take place, hearts must be healed. Life must go on. All these things take time.
If you can take nothing else away from this event, know that the Royal family is one of privlege and service. Their lives of privelege are earned because of service. Dedicated service. The Queen dedicated her entire life to service. Because of her unfailing dedication to service, she was not only Queen but she was an equal to the people. She understood both sides of that coin. That is what made her so beloved.
She served the world in so many capacities, serving until the moment of her death. That is dedication. That is service.
So as we watch the many reports on the TV of her final goodbye, try to open your heart and mind to the concept of service. Challenge yourself to do one act of service daily and honor her life. It doesn’t have to be big, just serve another human, open a door, say good morning, drop some coins in a can, give a homeless person a meal, donate to a animal shelter or volunteer anywhere.
Thank you for your service, Queen Elizabeth II.