Sunday, June 03, 2012

Sunday, June 3rd

My English Empathy

Although my Canadian Loyalist ancestry begins with a Palatine gun maker who fled to Holland and eventually  found refuge in New York State through the good graces of Queen Anne of England, somehow I have always been closer to my mother's English heritage, and I feel a great empathy for both the island and its people.

This afternoon Charles and I watched with delight the Royal Procession down the Thames, the flags, the crowds of people, the happy faces, and we were once again impressed by the faithfulness with which Elizabeth has fulfilled her vow to 'serve' the people of England and the Commonwealth.  She and Philip are of our generation, and have seen the great changes in society's mores that have sometimes brought turmoil to our lives, but she soldiers on, adapting and changing with the times, keeping the monarchy relevant and steady.

Listening to Prince Andrew speak about the allotment of royal duties among the family, and the way that they spread themselves amongst the people, sponsoring this charity, being benefactor of that organization, engagements they keep (was it 4000 a year or 8000?) I was struck by how very hard they work.  He spoke about  losses in the family, and was asked how the particular duties that these family members have attended to are now covered, and he said with a wry smile, well, we just get the card tables out and shuffle them around, and I thought 'yes, of course, - what a homey way to speak of it, although I imagine reality would paint a somewhat different picture.

Well, it was all very exciting, and the Queen looked so happy, and Philip as distinguished as ever and so protective of her.

Here is the Gloriana, the Royal Barge

and above a 1747 painting by Caneletto of a Thames celebration
and below it a more modern procession on the Lord Mayor's Day (I believe)

Here is the Queen, with a lovely smile, and one of her subjects looking equally happy!

photos from The National Post
I will look forward to tomorrow's Diamond Jubilee Concert......

1 comment:

VioletSky said...

I do enjoy watching all this pageantry.
I just heard that Philip is now in hospital with a bladder infection - I am sure standing on that boat in the damp for all those hours did not help. Though, he really did seem to be enjoying himself immensely!