Home > The Monday Musings Column > on HM Queen Elizabeth II

on HM Queen Elizabeth II

I was going to write another humorous post for today. Her Majesty was well known for having a good sense of humour and I felt that a funny story on the day of her funeral would be appropriate. However, the connection between my mind and my fingers has failed to come up with anything that I am happy with and so instead I thought that I would share my only experience of being in her presence.

Belfast is one of those wonderful maritime cities around the UK and I fell in love with the place back in the mid-1980s even though it was tough place to love back then with The Troubles at the height. I was flying back and forth, staying there a few days at a time at most, other times in and out on the same day and, because of security concerns, not seeing much more than the airport at Aldergrove and our offices in Queen Street and Tomb Street. Two of my colleagues were murdered in separate incidents at that time.

Over the tears things got better and I was able to move around the city on my own in perfect safety. By the early 2000s I was again a regular visitor and on one sunny day I had been to a couple of morning meetings, had lunch and was walking out from the city centre to call in at one of the sites that I managed down at Clarendon Dock.

I was enjoying the architecture when I turned a corner and encountered a crowd. Barriers lined the street to keep the crowds on the pavement and there was a heavy police presence. As I squeezed along between the back of the crowd and the railings I became aware that many of the crowd were expecting something to happen at any moment and I paused as a motorcade pulled up outside a building opposite.

A huge cheer went up as the doors of the building were opened and The Queen and Prince Philip emerged, p[asuing on the steps to wave to us all long the street. Then they were into the car and away. It had been a magical moment and completely, for me, out of the blue. It is the only time that I saw my monarch in person and the twenty feet that separated us the closest that I would come. It remains a very special moment for I am an unashamed royalist and have the utmost respect for the way that HM The Queen ruled. I was born between her ascension to the throne and her coronation, so I have lived my live so far as an Elizabethan.

I have said my own goodbye in private and today is for others. I am not that good with funerals (I won’t be going to mine), so today I might look in on some of the event on TV for we British do this stuff so well. Other than that I will be having a quiet day with the Berkshire Belle, the queen of my heart.

Hoping that your day passes well too. Stay safe.

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