What a day it was as the world watched the end of the reign of Queen Elizabeth…
The dramatic and sombre scenes that played out on our televisions gave us so much detail. Never in history has so much been shared to so many.
For those who lined the streets and saw first-hand the passing parade, it would have a time to cherish and to realise that they have a been part of something that history will record for the ages.
For those who are Royalists it was a sad occasion. The Queen symbolised so much to them.
Everyone who watched will no doubt have taken away something.
Some will remember the finest detail. Even down to the exact time of where they were, where they saw and watched and even what they wore on this day. Many cried. Others sat in awe of the moment. I know I definitely did.
For those fortunate enough to have travelled to Britain and to have been to the Great places like Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, Wellington Arch, Hyde Park, the Mall and not to forget that Royal Mile in Edinburgh that leads down Holyrood and the Queens Castle, Balmoral, it conjurs up wonderful memories and even a yearning to return just one more time.
My own life growing in that dusty mining town of Kimberley saw my english-speaking grandparents and parents pass on their history and memories of the dynasty. We grew up knowing more than most of what it was all about. In those times Kimberley was very English and the for likes of Rhodes, Barnato and many other mining magnets, it was their playground whey they made their fortunes. And lost them too. Certainly my grandmother, who was born in 1910, was steeped in the English tradition. She collected and kept memorabilia of Royal occasions. They were passed onto me and are kept diligently in my collection.
Today was that kind of time when I delved into some of the books and magazines. A few photo’s are attached.
The prompt to me to have that feeling of wanting to record my own thoughts on the day were strong ones. Clearly because it is a way of remembering it as I saw it. Each one will have his own thoughts.
Today was another day of load-shedding in the extreme. A frustrating day. Making phone calls, connecting to the internet and doing any business was hard work. Our country is currently wracked with so many issues. In fact too many to even begin to note them all down.
And here I was watching this split-second timing event that displayed clearly a tradition and a value system that has survived for hundreds of years and that will continue long after those who don’t see it for what is.
Our own President was there. As were many from around the world. And I have no doubt, that as they sat quietly watching it all play out, it will have imprinted in their minds what the power of great leadership is all about and how much value there is in doings things properly.
The closing time in the great St Georges Chapel with the King standing there while the new anthem was sung was a poignant moment for me. I thought I could see on his face the enormity of what he now needs to embrace for the rest of his time. And knowing he too will be buried in the same way. Like his father, grandmother and many even before them.
I felt that his face showed his deep sorrow and the tiredness of the last days he has had to endure. The stresses of his own family issues, from Camilla to his own boys must have also added enormous stress.
Never mind the loss of his mother.
The planning of the Queens funeral was done some time ago and with her own input into it. Charles would have been a part of that and would have known every detail. Imagine that.
The Commonwealth traditions and the Royal family find themselves caught up in an ever-changing modern world with demands that the family have never seen before.
Largely due to the media that leaves them no place to hide. Unlike the years bygone. The pressure is now immense. Not all of them will be able to deal with it adequately.
Charles heads up that problem from now on. Just as his mother did for a long, long time. Through wars, family break-ups and scandals.
However, one last takeaway point is that whether you like them or not, they are enduring and understand their role of selflessly serving others, no matter who they may be.
Something I wish we had going for us here in the tip of Africa…