There is no way I can write a post at this time of 2022 without mentioning Queen Elizabeth II. It is such an enormous thing to have her pass so suddenly.
In my public service life, everything has been in “Her Majesty, the Queen” wording. Now, in the transcribing work I do, it will turn to “His Majesty, the King”. This feels really weird because I wasn’t around when King George was on the throne. I’ve only ever known QEII.
She was the most gracious and patient of women. It was obvious in how she handled the public, leaders of other countries and her own people. We never saw her angry, rarely saw her sad but always saw her smile. She knew that some emotions should only be shown in private, not for the world to see.
I’m not saying she was never angry, I’m just saying that she had enough dignity, grace and tact not to show it to the world. My mother used to have a saying – “don’t air your dirty laundry where everyone can see it”. Clearly, QEII went by the same philosophy.
I heard an interview with Malcolm Turnbull last week asking what she was like when he met her as Australia’s Prime Minister. He said the surprising side of the Queen was her sense of humour and the eagerness with which she listened to other people. He said she wanted to know how people lived, how they got on, their experiences.
I never knew her, like I never new Princess Di, but both women brought out the best in me and I admired both of them.
I wish the Royal Family the best in the coming months as they learn how to live without such an enigmatic family leader.
Now, King Charles will have to show what his mother taught him.