I always thought the Queen was lovely, and I loved her for all sorts of reasons.
Queen Elizabeth II was an incredible woman and a remarkable world leader.
I admired her greatly for her devotion and unwavering loyalty to her vows of service. Hers was a lifetime of fulfilling those vows, her ‘promise’ of service – a promise she kept right to the end.
Although an inevitability, the passing of Queen Elizabeth II is no less heartbreaking and I’ve struggled to comprehend my own grief. I’m not even English.
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When I was little, I asked my Nana why she purchased casket tickets. She replied, “One day I’ll win, and when I do, I’ll take you to England to visit the Queen.”
My grandmother took her English heritage seriously and, at three years of age, this was one of the most amazing things I could have been told. I didn’t even know who the Queen was.
I’d find out in April 1970, standing by the roadside, frantically waving a little paper flag as the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and her daughter, Princess Anne, slowly drove past my primary school on their way to James Cook University.
As luck would have it, the Queen was sitting on the side of the vehicle closest to where I stood and she looked right at me. This beautiful, elegant woman slowly waved her white-gloved hand back and forth at me. I feel I can still remember how my little heart almost pounded out of my chest.
So this was the Queen my grandmother was going to take me to see.
I was six years old, not quite seven, and very impressionable.
My Nana passed away when I was 18. She never won the casket, and we never went to England to visit the Queen.
But my mother took up her mantle and would buy lotto tickets saying “When I win, we’ll go to England to visit the Queen.”
My mother passed away when I was 33. She never won the lotto, and we never went to England to visit the Queen.
But I took up her mantle, vowing that one day I’d get there, one day I’d visit England and I’d stand outside Buckingham Palace and I tell my grandmother and my mother that I’d made it.
After experiencing the bittersweetness of our children becoming adults and we two becoming empty nesters, in late 2019 Dean and I started making our plans for our second trip of a lifetime – this time overseas.
We planned on flying into Heathrow and spending a few days in London before driving around and visiting other parts of the United Kingdom. The plan was to then head over to France and Portugal before returning home. We’d be gone for approximately six weeks and we’d be loving living and laughing all the way as we’d done during the two years we’d spent driving around this vast country of ours.
And then . . . a virus humankind had no defence against turned the world upside down, we didn’t get on the plane to England, and we didn’t stand outside Buckingham Palace where I could imagine – believe in my heart – that I was visiting the Queen.
And I guess therein lies my sadness. I didn’t get to visit the Queen, and now, I never will.
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Yes, I’ve struggled to comprehend my own grief over the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.
She was every mother and although I’m not her daughter, I am a daughter who lost her mother.
She was every grandmother and although I’m not her granddaughter, I am a granddaughter who lost her grandmother.
The depth of emotion and personal connection I feel towards the Queen is real and I know I don’t have the right words.
The Queen it seems always had the right words.
Grief is the price we pay for love.Queen Elizabeth II
Although I’m not English, I am an Australian, a citizen of the Commonwealth, and . . .
. . . Queen Elizabeth II was my Queen.
Vale Queen Elizabeth
You can read more incredible quotes in this ABC article Queen Elizabeth II in her own words.