Our beaming queen has comforted the nation and honors a deal with her husband – .

0
26
Our beaming queen has comforted the nation and honors a deal with her husband – .


The queen was at her most relaxed. But it wasn’t the dog-print scarf that caught the eye as she enjoyed the action at the Royal Windsor Horse Show; it was his smile and the message he conveyed.

Barely 11 weeks after Prince Philip’s funeral, when she looked so vulnerable and desperate alone on her bench at St George’s Chapel, her face hidden behind a mask, the transformation was striking.

But a look back at the Queen’s public and private commitments since that sad April day reveals a certain serenity, as if a great burden had been lifted from her.

And in a way it was. As anyone who has witnessed the slow physical decline of a loved one knows, their death can often bring a sense of relief.

April 17: Queen Elizabeth takes place at the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle

June 11: The Queen attends The Big Lunch Initiative at the Eden Project in Cornwall

June 12: Queen Elizabeth II attends a military parade organized by the Households Division in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle, to mark her official birthday on June 12

June 12: Queen Elizabeth II attends a military parade organized by the Households Division in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle, to mark her official birthday on June 12

Although the queen had been preparing for some time for the day when Philippe would be gone, it did not make her loss any easier. But that made it more bearable.

She of course has extraordinary reserves of resilience, associated with an unyielding sense of duty.

It is the qualities, along with an ability to overcome adversity and a strong faith, that have helped her overcome countless setbacks from the time she was propelled to the throne after her father’s death while ‘she was only 25 years old.

Despite this, his appearance at the G7 summit in Cornwall, exactly eight weeks after Philip’s funeral, was remarkable. It wasn’t just the smiles and warmth she exuded among some of the most bombastic personalities on the planet, but her good humor.

As leaders of the world’s major economies scrambled for official photographs, she asked, “Are you supposed to have fun? with a knowing smile.

The subtext was clear: even if they weren’t, she sure was. And her observation has amply shown that she was out of her period of mourning and that she was ready to participate fully in the affairs of the kingdom.

June 19: Queen Elizabeth II, wearing her Cartier diamond palm leaf brooch, which belonged to the Queen Mother, attends day five of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse

June 19: Queen Elizabeth II, wearing her Cartier diamond palm leaf brooch, which belonged to the Queen Mother, attends day five of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse

June 30: Queen Elizabeth II visits the Children's Wood Project, a community project in Glasgow as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood week

June 30: Queen Elizabeth II visits the Children’s Wood Project, a community project in Glasgow as part of her traditional trip to Scotland for Holyrood week

More intriguing, perhaps it showed that she would accept Philip’s absence even more directly than we had expected. For decades, it was he who paved the way for her; who broke the ice when she dove into a gathering knowing that all eyes were on her.

He did it with a joke here, a risky remark there, and she was still grateful for it. At Carbis Bay, it was both the warm-up and the main event brought together.

Philip’s retirement had allowed him to get used to doing things on his own. But provided he’s on the phone after a grueling day, the world’s most famous double act could still work behind the scenes.

Covid changed everything but, more importantly, it brought an unexpected dividend as she and Philip have been together for the last 13 months of her life.

The two had often discussed how each would cope without the other by their side, and it boiled down to this: Whoever was left had to cry, but not for too long, and then enjoy what was left of their life.

The smiles we saw in Cornwall have been replicated in every public appearance since. From this intimate and reduced Trooping the Color ceremony at Windsor Castle to finally arriving on the race track for the last day of Royal Ascot.

His passion for horse racing is no secret, but the success of Queen’s breeding program allowed him to have seven riders during Ascot week and several winners elsewhere.

“It all helped her endlessly straighten up,” says a running friend. “She misses Prince Philip terribly, but she was prepared for his passing. Caring for someone whose health is declining is always exhausting and I’m sure it was no different for Her Majesty.

Nineteen years ago, the deaths of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret had a similar emancipatory effect on the Queen, who was able to embrace with relish her Golden Jubilee celebrations of 2002.

July 1: Queen Elizabeth II gives a warm smile as she attends the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor

July 1: Queen Elizabeth II gives a warm smile as she attends the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor

July 2: Queen Elizabeth II is seen being driven in her Range Rover car as she attends day two of the Royal Windsor Horse Show

July 2: Queen Elizabeth II is seen being driven in her Range Rover car as she attends day two of the Royal Windsor Horse Show

July 4: The Queen beams as she attends day four of the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park

July 4: The Queen beams as she attends day four of the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Home Park

The lack of lockdowns and the easing of Covid restrictions, after months of virtual engagements, have also played their part.

The Prime Minister’s reception for an audience at Buckingham Palace – the first since March last year – saw it in excellent (and mischievous) spirit, with jokes about the then Health Secretary , Matt Hancock.

The same excitement was evident when she traveled to Edinburgh and met Nicola Sturgeon during four days of service in Scotland.

During a busy week, she also hosted outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel, before ending her with one of her favorite engagements of the year, the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

In three weeks, she begins her first summer vacation in Scotland without Philip. It will start at Craigowan Lodge before she heads to Balmoral Castle a fortnight later.

More testing times are coming. At Christmas, for example, there will be no Philip by her side as she distributes gifts to staff.

Slowly and surely, much of the heavy lifting of the monarchy is shifting to others. But at 95, the Queen is proof that life can still offer a new adventure every day.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here