Virginia Barton

9 September 2015: Long to reign over us

 

9 September 2015

 

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Today is the day that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for longer than any other British monarch, including her great-great grandmother, Queen Victoria: no less than 23,226 days. It’s an extraordinary landmark, constancy in dedication and public service even the most ardent republican must appreciate.

As a matter of fact, the Queen is greatly loved and admired more than ever, even by those who would do away with the monarchy. Her personal qualities, ravishing smile, and diminutive stature endear her to millions around the world.

Despite her age, the Queen carries on; looking unfailingly correct, and always, it would seem, interested in whoever she is talking to, or whatever she is called upon to look at, be it a prize herd of Highland cattle or a new primary school. She is always gracious — that’s the word I’m looking for.

 

Okay, Ginny, enough gush gush. We all know you love the Queen and stood for hours in the rain to wave to the carriages at Marble Arch on her wedding day; and then again, in even MORE rain, to see the Coronation procession in Park Lane.

 

A grand celebration dinner in honour of the event is taking place here in our communal dining room this evening. The dinner will have a royal theme – in fact, everything is labelled “royal” except the third course, which is Queen of Puddings. Those of us who usually prefer to eat at lunchtime have sacrificed our digestions for the loyal cause.

BH has opted for Queen Elizabeth Chicken, crowned with spinach, ham, and mushrooms. I am having Haddock Royale crowned with smoked salmon and an egg (BH and I will swap spinach and egg). There are to be duchesse potatoes, leeks, and whole green beans. Then the aforesaid Queen of Puddings with custard.

A great many toasts will be drunk, no doubt, possibly to every single member of the Royal Family.

Then we will depart, humming the, let’s face it, really dreary National Anthem. Haydn, was it? By then we may have forgotten the words; but we never knew more than the first verse anyway.

 

God Save the Queen!

 

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