I was at The Park when a text message arrived from my son-in-law in London, England.
“It’s been confirmed by Buckingham Palace that Her Majesty has passed away.”
It was Homeschool Day at The Park and the first three hours had been insanely busy. It was the first time I had gotten to sit, with the exception of lunch out beneath the wisteria bows near the old Culps’ Cafe in the park. I took in the message for a moment before saying anything to Cindy, the Volunteer sitting with me at my station in The Atrium.
Within thirty minutes, staff members began sharing the news as they heard it.
When our World Book Encyclopedias arrived in 1969, my new access to the world and so many interesting things began. Aside from reading the sections about US Presidents, at age five I was enthralled with Queen Elizabeth’s chapter. The two photographs attached to this blog were mesmerizing. The bejeweled monarch posed with her crown, orb, and scepter, and the family photograph with Prince Edward in the pram and his parents and elder siblings looking on. I loved it because Prince Edward was only six months older than me. Like the Kennedy children, Caroline and John, whose younger brother, Patrick was just a year older than me, this age connection somehow brought the royal family into my personal world.
I knew this day would come. I assumed The Queen’s passing would be in my lifetime. I have always assumed that due to Prince Charles’ age, he would not serve very long and I might even get to see Prince William ascend the throne.
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, there is now King Charles III.
These next several days will be a flood of newsworthy events about the life of Queen Elizabeth as well as her state funeral preparations, and the funeral itself.
It’s nearly time to begin showering and dressing for the long day ahead of me. Lunch is prepped and ready to be packed as it nears time to grab the bus. The school buses are entering the parking lot and teachers and staff and arriving. I hear cicadas tuning outside my window and the traffic on Shroyer Road is increasing as students arrive or are delivered to the high school’s campus. The temperature is mild and the high is expected to be around the lower 80s.
Family and friends have often said my stoic nature and oft-hidden emotions remind them of the British people’s “stiff upper lip.” While I do mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth, there is much to be done in my own little world and my stiff upper lip will be in place while I make it a great day.