Today marks the beginning of the celebrations to mark the ascension of our gracious Queen to the throne of Great Britain. I think many of us would agree that she has become Queen of the world, unlike some, who shall be nameless, with similar aspirations.
I felt like writing this little snippet today to commemorate this great event. This is a very personal reflection.
To be quite honest with you, I was not always a great admirer of the Queen. I found her rather dull, with her dogs and her horses, and her extreme rectitude. I was a city girl and I rather preferred Prince Charles with his outspokenness and his challenging views which were so far ahead of the times.
Older and wiser, I now feel that the Queen has indeed been touched by grace. From her earliest years she dedicated herself to our service, and never once has she deviated from that path. It seems to me that she had wisdom beyond her years. She has been a true example to us all, throughout all the ups and downs of her long life, and we all know what they were. She has weathered and survived them all.
Her strength, I feel, has come from her deep Christian faith and, as she acknowledged, the support and help of Prince Philip, himself a remarkable man, as we now know. As she has aged she has been able to relax a little and has been able to show us a little of her more human side, which in her youth was covered over by her sense of decorum.
We have heard stories of her sense of humour, her kindness, her intelligence and common sense from many quarters. I think back to that episode with Daniel Craig at the opening of the Olympic Games in London.
The Archbishop of Canterbury recently gave her tribute, praising her for her sense of dedication and duty, for her leadership, for being an example to us all in so many ways.
Today I raise a glass to toast Her Majesty the Queen, on this the seventieth year of her reign. Long may she reign over us!