To be honest I am not sure what to say. It struck me as a shock. In early afternoon, I got on YouTube looking for something and I saw a video by Lady Colin Campbell that said, "The Queen is dead. Long live the Queen."
That is ridiculous, I said. That cannot have happened. I have not heard this anywhere else. I got on YouTube and looked around at a few other videos and saw nothing. So I went into denial and I forgot all about it until I went to church and got a message from my brother Tony. I was at church because it was the Nativity of Our Lady today and we had a sung Mass and I was singing.
My brother wrote that he would be playing Elgar's "Nimrod" on the organ after mass in honor of the Queen who had died.
The "Nimrod" variation is kind of unfortunately named, you know? This beautiful music and it is called Nimrod. But anyway.
This was up in the choir loft. My friend Nora who is in the choir was at the dry-erase board, writing down what Mass and what Credo and what hymns we would be singing. Nora is about 16 but is always well informed. I approached her.
"Nora," I said, "Did Queen Elizabeth die?"
"Yes," she said.
And so I make my statement.
I feel bad about it. I do not like change, I will come right out and say it. Queen Elizabeth II was the Queen of England for as long as I have been alive. When I was little I collected stamps that pictured her, like the one pictured up above. As the years passed I actively enjoyed that she was a constant in my life. I mean, I appreciated it.
The office of the pope, that turns over like crazy. But the Queen, it was as if she went on forever. And I will miss her, the way I miss Prince Philip. Well, not quite the way I miss Prince Philip. You know me, I really loved Prince Philip.
I do like new experiences in my life. I like to be able to say, "For the first time in my life..." At least under reasonable circumstances.
For the first time in my life, there is a King of England.
Charles is now king. I do not like him. However I can refer to "King Charles" on the throne and that is a new thing. For the first time in my life I can refer to the King of England. I can be like Mozart who, when he was around, the King of England was George III. He referred to the King of England and now I can too.
It is like my glasses situation. For the first time in my life, I do not have to wear glasses when I drive. My eyes have improved and I passed the test (easily!) without them. I appreciate that whenever I get into my car. I reach instinctively for my glasses and then I remember, wait. Fie on those glasses! I do not need them!
"For the first time in my life..." There can be a kind of magic in that. Depending, of course, on what completes the sentence.
We will have to see what the future brings!