The Queen’s death. Not unexpected. But still a bit of a shock.
A family has suffered a deep loss, one that’s written all over each of their stricken faces. I can not look at Princess Anne without being reminded of the loss of my own beloved mother. Let us not forget that first and foremost, this is a family who has lost its precious matriarch. It is a deeply personal loss to them.
The hymns and prayers in all the services have been beautiful and comforting for a time of sorrow, especially the moving lament of Psalm 118: 17-21 sung so mournfully in Scots Gaelic at St. Giles to the accompaniment of a harp. The choir was truly moving. Whether you feel the loss of this woman or not, music can bring back all of your own losses.
The value of ritual
I’ve spent hours deeply immersed in the events and ritual surrounding the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Ritual helps us process our feelings and also, for me, served as a catalyst for feeling the weight of history. For 10 centuries, these rituals have been done in similar fashion. I feel that weight, that connection with the ancient past and all I know of what came before.
It’s eye-opening learn that the Crown of Scotland placed atop Queen Elizabeth’s coffin in Scotland was refurbished for the coronation of James V in 1513. A very long time ago. It is pristine. And so incredibly ancient.
As a former British colony, we are a young country. Our own connection with the ancient past is only through our former mother country. Yes, it’s British history. But let us not forget that it’s also our history. Whether we like it or not.
On social media I see many mean-spirited comments about the Queen, the King and the monarchy, comments pointing the finger at the monarchy for sins of the past.
History is history. We can not go back. We can not change history. We can not make up for the many wrongs done in the past. Both the recent past and the ancient past. (This is why I am not in favor of reparations. But that is a conversation for another day.)
Wrongs have been perpetuated over time in every country, not just the U.K. And still are. We can only learn from them and go forward in a more positive way. A more humane way. A more intelligent way.
For me, this is not the time to scream insults and point fingers. It’s a time to look at what we might learn from a lifetime of steadfast duty. The Queen belonged to a different era, one that did not challenge tradition. My parents’ era.
She was custodian of an ancient monarchy that has survived so much over the centuries. She didn’t see it as merely a job–she saw it as her duty, thrust upon her by fate. So, yes, truly, duty.
Today, few of us possess a deep understanding of duty.
Change is inevitable
King Charles III has signaled his desire to significantly. modernize the monarchy. He’s already begun taking steps to slim it down. Both he and William are united on helping Commonwealth nations who want to exit find their way out. He and his heir both recognize the need to move forward in a new way. A different way. I believe he will still maintain some of its important traditional, historical elements. Because there is a value in history, in ritual.
There are things to think about and to learn from the Queen and her passing. The value of constancy and stability. The role of duty and service in our lives. The bedrock of faith and of love. The ability to weather storms. The lessons of history.
And that’s where I will leave it today.
The Queen is dead. Long live the King.
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