Friday 9 September 2022

La reine est morte. Vive le roi!


Since I’m in Akaroa, famously (and, touristically-speaking, helpfully) French-founded, it’s the Tricouleur at half-mast today, to mark the death of the Queen. Had to happen of course, but still a bit sad, even from this distance. Cliché unavoidable: it truly is the end of an era. 

I had a couple of near-encounters with the Queen while I lived in England, both described elsewhere on this blog: at the Badminton Horse Trials, where I tried to get nearer for a photo of her, up on a wagon in her headscarf, watching the cross-country. “Not so close, sonny!” growled one of her (less sharp-sighted) bodyguards. 

And, invited via lucky draw to a Buckingham Palace garden party, we signally failed the audition we didn’t realise was happening as we chatted to a courtier while waiting for the Queen to walk past along a marked-off route to her afternoon tea tent. We were clearly judged too boring to bother with, so it was another nearby couple who were selected to duck under the rope to wait for Liz to stroll along and pause for a quick chat. Shame. I bet my answer to the standard “Have you come far?” would have trounced theirs.

So, RIP, Your Royal Highness. And hello King Charles spaniel.

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