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The Queen and I

Posted on: June 7, 2012

I remember the day Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth. My fifth grade teachers were so excited by the upcoming coronation, they taught us all about the royal family and sent us home to watch the grand event on television. When polled earlier, only five of us had tv’s at home, so they called our mothers and arranged for each of us to host a viewing. School was dismissed at 11:00am and I trooped home with five classmates in tow. Each had been instructed to bring a sack lunch and the school provided a carton of milk. My mother didn’t understand why I wanted to take a lunch to school too, only to bring it back home with me, but I did. I wanted to be just like the other kids. I still recall my sack held a tuna salad sandwich and a banana.

We six 10-yr-olds watched the coronation on the boxy black and white Philco in my living room. Amazingly, my usually rowdy classmates and I watched ever so quietly, as attentive as if our teachers sat in our midst. Not one of this little group of Yanks bounced on the couch, played leapfrog, wrestled, or did the “wet pinky in the ear” business. Mom peeked in on us periodically from her beauty shop in the parlor where she was undoubtedly doing a perm or color rinse. We watched respectively and learned about royalty, kings, queens, and magical carriages carrying princesses. At 3:45pm and time for school to dismiss, my classmates quietly went home. Filled with enough pomp and circumstance for a lifetime, I probably switched the channel to the Howdy-Doody Show. (I think we got 3 channels.)

Sometimes I think the queen and I aren’t really so different. She likes to wear bright colors and hats; I do too. She likes to be waited on and chauffered. Me too. We both take daily walks; she calls hers: her “walk abouts.” We both love dogs, adore our grandchildren, and use Twitter. They say she likes to crack jokes and has a naughty sense of humor, well, there you go again. She always carries her purse but reportedly never has any money in it. Same here. I do wonder what is in hers? Maybe a revolver? I can mimic her little wave, easy peasy. Reporters say she doesn’t scold her help, but when displeased she does “the stare.” Hey, teachers have been doing that for centuries. We call it the gift of glare. I’d like to ask her few questions:

  1. Why have you never granted an interview? You would have made Oprah’s day.
  2. People talk of how Prince William’s wife Kate will someday be Queen Katherine. Why isn’t your hubby called King Phillip?
  3. Did I hear your sixty-something son Prince Charles actually call you Mummy at the Diamond Jubilee?
  4. Is it true your skirt hems are all weighted to prevent a flash of royal underwear on a gusty day?

It’s hard to believe it’s been 60 years. I hope Elizabeth’s life has been as happy as mine.

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5 Responses to "The Queen and I"

What a hoot! Great post!!

You remember the funniest things. I love your stories.

BTW, I think she has a tissue & lipstick in her purse. We used to tease my mom about walking next door to our house & carry her purse. Sadly my son lives there now & I caught myself carrying my purse when I walked over there.

I really enjoyed your story.

HI Marlis,
I was too young when the queen was crowned, but I remember watching the funeral procession for John Kennedy on the TV at school in third or fourth grade. In second grade we watched Capt. Kangaroo at the start of the school day!
Sally Carpenter

Marlis,
I just returned from Scotland after spending 2 weeks there to study the musuems and libraries through the University of Wisconsin. While I was in Edinburgh, the Lighting of the Jubilee Beacons were held at Holyrood Palace, the residence of the royals when they are visiting Scotland. Only about 4 went to the celebration from our group. What I found most astonishing was only about 100 people were there total. I wonder if the majority of those people were tourists like us. But I had a fabulous time. Taking a taxi back to our residence hall, the driver told us that the Jubilee was of no signifigance to him. I found this was the general feeling of the Scots when it related to England or the Royal Family. Interesting. Good entry today.

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