Apparently it’s highly unfashionable and very un-Christian of me, but I actually like our Queen. Not just because I like the name I share with her, her mother and my grandmother (who also liked the Queen). Perhaps it’s because from the age of 6 months to when I was about 10 or 11 years old my main carer was my Nana. She was a Londoner, and like the Queen had survived World War II and saw a great deal of changes that my generation at this point probably cannot begin to understand.
I want to echo the sentiments of my friend Nicola who wrote about her thoughts on the Jubilee Celebrations. I loved her wedding in Windsor by the way even if I found the experience of reading from the bible in a Cathedral slightly terrifying (good job she’s becoming the vicar and not me!).
Nicola is a Royal Windsor girl, and I’m an Edinburgh girl – I love Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh Castle (where the King that joined Scotland, England & Wales together was born). A couple of months ago I enjoyed visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia which is now docked in my ‘hometown’ of Leith – literally around the corner from where I spent my teenage years. So maybe I’m biased too.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m proudly Scottish, but I’m also happy to be part of a United Kingdom. I learned a lot being at university surrounded by English people, and yes, I still get very annoyed when I see or hear Scotland being referred to as a ‘region’ or a ‘part of England’. But in an Olympic year I see how being united has helped so many achieve much more than they could have had we been separated.
I also believe the Queen has so much wisdom to teach us. And say what you like about Prince Philip (the Duke of Edinburgh -woot!) but there’s something about the fact a man with the potential to go to the top of his career, gave it all up to support his wife when she became Queen much sooner than was ever anticipated. Don’t forget he did that in the 50′s when most women were expected to be housewives. And the fact they’ve held a marriage together through all the ups and downs they’ve faced is pretty inspirational.
The Queen is a humble leader. She did not choose this path. I doubt it is what her parents wanted for her (after all, they thought her uncle would be King). But she has embraced it. When things go wrong she takes it gracefully and with a sense of humour. She has shown dedication I don’t see in many people. And she’s raised 4 children at the same time as being in a full-time career. Even today, her husband is in hospital and she is still out doing what is expected of her – that cannot be easy.
Quite the role model I would say.
There’s something to be said for coming together to celebrate. We can choose forget the troubles and the worries for a little while to enjoy what we do have, rather than be miserable about what we don’t have. And it’s not just about the Queen. It’s the honour of being chosen to represent organisations that have helped our communities or developed the gifts of our young people. Choirs, orchestras, youth organisations (like Girlguiding!), the military…I’m sure it’s something they’ll remember and be proud of in years to come.
Give me news about that, over people rioting because they feel they have a right to be given things without hard work and sacrifice.