Monday, September 19, 2022

The Last Royal Moments

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The funeral of the Queen was bound to be a historic event. But the funeral pales in comparison to the series of last moments leading up to today. Since she died eleven days ago, there have been multiple moments. The ones that finally bring it home to you that she is gone. 

Each of these moments has affected people differently. For some it was the moment they saw the coffin. For others, queuing at Westminster Hall. Who could forget the corgis awaiting their mistresses arrival? Or the sight of the Queen's fell pony, Emma, with the Queen's headscarf on the saddle?
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Seeing 1926-2022 for the first time. The blankets of flowers, the marmalade sandwiches, the Paddington bears, the thoughtful tributes. The last official portrait. The stoic members of the royal family, sharing their grief with the world. The stoicism slipping in public. Royals being human. Imagine that.
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The touching official statements. The King's first speech. The historic vigils of the Queen's children, and grandchildren. The meaningful jewels worn in tribute, the wreath and note on the coffin. The editorial cartoons. The sight of Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the funeral service, starting a lifetime of sharing their grief with the world. 
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Last Moments.

Leaving Balmoral for the last time. Last stay at the Palace of Holyrood House. The last flight. The last stay at Buckingham Palace. The last arrival at Windsor. Hearing her styles and titles read aloud. Watching the Lord Chamberlain break his wand of office and place it on her coffin. The removal of the regalia atop her coffin. Her duty done. The last sight as she descended into the royal vault, finally at peace, away from the public gaze. Reunited with those she loved and who loved her. 

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I can't pinpoint the exact moment it hit me. Maybe taking these moments together is enough. Watching the funeral, the interminable drive to Windsor. It felt like this moment would go on forever. Watching these moments all week, it was almost too much. Now that it is over, it may never be enough. 

What is the moment it finally hit you that she was gone?

© Marilyn Braun 2022 

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