Sad to say, I’m retiring my tiara.

Feb 5, 2020 | 0 comments

Queen Elizabeth is almost exactly ten years older than I — just enough older that I was full of teen-aged fascination as the news followed her marriage to Prince Phillip, her father-the-King’s death, her trip home from Kenya as Queen, and finally, her coronation.

I remember sitting in the yard here in Oysterville in June 1953, pouring through the Life magazine devoted entirely to the pomp and circumstance of her official crowning at Westminster Abbey.  I was seventeen and had just graduated from San Rafael High School.  I had two weeks before reporting to work at the Cliff House Gift Shop in San Francisco.  Queen Elizabeth was a role model in her grace and poise; her husband and consort — not so much.

I’ve been thinking about all that this week.  Now that our neighbor Cyndy set us up with Roku and we can stream, we are watching “The Crown”.  And it just happened that “The Queen” was the very last Netflix disc we got before cancelling our subscription and going over to steaming mode.  So we watched that between a couple of episodes of “The Crown.”

I must say, if I still had any bubble left at all with respect to English royalty, it has surely burst forever.  Neither of the presentations is a bit sympathetic to the monarchy as far as I can see — especially “The Queen.”  I’m sure the fault lies partly with me.  I never could really buy into the Diana craze nor was I very sympathetic to her attitude toward her marriage to Charles — or even to her engagement..

I don’t know of anyone who shared that view as completely  except for my mother, an inveterate anglophile all her life.  Neither of us thought that being part of the royal family (even by marriage) was about moving with the times — flitting hither and thither with international jet set, playing hide and seek with the paparazzi.  It’s one of those if-you-can’t-stand-the-heat-don’t-go-anywhere-near-the-kitchen things. Tradition and protocol and propriety.

I’ve retired my tiara.  Actually, I don’t know where it is.  Oh well.  It’s another era past and left to the movies to interpret however they want to…


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