Like many of you, I’m sure, I was saddened to hear about the unfortunate but inevitable passing of Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II. Thank God for saving the queen all these 70 years. I’m not a big fan of monarchies, mostly because the folks who created the good ole USA weren’t too fond of the medieval concept. But I have always had a warm spot in my heart for QEII.
I was intrigued by all of the television specials and documentaries for endless days and nights featuring the history of The Royal Family, complete with adultery and other scandals. Then, there was the five-mile-long line of folks waiting hours and even days to file past the Queen’s coffin to pay their respects for a few brief seconds.
Then came Sunday night, the night before the Royal funeral, so I went to bed early so I wouldn’t miss a thing, but I fell asleep. Fortunately, I woke up around 1:30 a.m., just in time to see the yet-to-be-crowned King Charles and other members of the Royal family and heads of state arrive for the 3 a.m. funeral. Unfortunately, I fell back to sleep and didn’t wake up until around 4:30 a.m., just in time to see members of the Royal Family leave for Windsor Castle.
Of course, there was a replay of the funeral later that morning that I missed, but I figured it would be repeated, which it was.
Back in June of 1963, I was “on holiday” (as the Brits say) with my parents in the UK, when I saw on TV that Queen Elizabeth was going to make an appearance at a children’s cancer research hospital a few blocks from the hotel we were staying at in London. Well, you know me, I’ve long had a nose for news, as well as a long nose, so I scurried over there just in time to see her Royal Majesty roll up to the research center in the back seat of a purple Rolls (Royce), from which she saw me waving to her, after which she gave me her famous royal hand wave. Luckily, I still have a color slide photo of this near chance encounter.
Poor King Charles, he was so sad, with tears in his eyes, to see his mum gone. It reminded me of the time, back in the 60s, when MAD Magazine ran a front cover caricature of then Prince Charles with the words, “What, me worry?” God Bless the King!
Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say. Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl, but she changes from day to day. I wanna tell her that I love her a lot, but I gotta get me a belly full of wine. Her Majesty is a pretty nice girl, someday I’m gonna make her mine, oh yeah, someday I’m gonna make her mine. (“Her Majesty” – The Beatles – 1969)
Keep it flyin’, Uncle Mott