The queen’s wisdom

May 19, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Seventy years at the same job would set a record with any firm and the British are at their most enthusiastic for their monarch, Queen Elisabeth II at the moment as the weekend of her Platinum Anniversary approaches.

At 96, her Majesty has absented herself from several royal engagements and, in particular, she passed on the Opening of Parliament to her son, Charles, Prince of Wales on March 10 this year.

By George, I bet she was happy to dump that on her unworthy would-be-king son. All those dour old men, harping on about the same old lies and slight of hand policies. And Boris Johnson, Britain’s answer to Donald Trump – many of us still think they are brothers separated at birth but maintaining an unavoidable leaning to duplicity, ignorance and downright dopeyness (sic). Keen to ruin their own countries from the very seat of power.

What wise 96-year-old lady would want to struggle down the passage to deliver a long-winded document that totally lacks a single sincere wish for the betterment of the people?

Leave it to Charles, he will revel in it, warming up to what he hopes to live long enough to take up as the ultimate role of King. That was Tuesday.

A couple of days later though, on Friday the Queen made a “surprise” visit to the Royal Windsor Horse Show and instantly many good things happened. She was among horses and people with good souls who love horses. It is unlikely that her visit was absolutely a surprise given her deep love of horses and dodging the desperate drag attending Parliament would have been. Very likely people nodded knowingly to each other, secret smiles at having guessed rightly that she would find a way to come.

Comedian Omid Djalili took the stage to say, “Your Royal Highness, on behalf of everyone here we would like to thank you, very humbly, for picking us over the State Opening of Parliament.” Joking further, “You did the right thing and I won £5 in a bet with my local kebab shop owner in Ipswich.”

And she laughed and waved at him for the jokes.

Perhaps equally, shrugging off parliament and being with horses had a profound healing affect on her for her smiles were broad and natural and her joy at being where she was, was evident. One display after another of “musical rides” as we call them when the Mounties are performing them, filled the vast parade ring with horses and riders in a impressive range of costumes and uniforms, reflecting history and the part horses played in it – some 500 hundred horses were in the mix with 1000 people involved.

Dame Helen Mirren revived her role as Elizabeth I, pronouncing a declaration made by the Mediaeval Queen and a call of thanks to this Elizabeth from a grateful subject for her being the heartbeat of the nation.

Tom Cruise was invited and was quick to accept to be part of the ceremonies, dressed in a tux that looked a little as though he had cut a quick Mission scene – or was it the challenge of getting through the throng of fans – windswept hair – crazy smile.

Mostly it was about the horses. The Queen watched with considerable pride as her granddaughter, Lady Louise Windsor drove her own ponies in a carriage display marking the centenary of the Fell Pony Society.

Horses heal. They are completely in tune with the person on their backs or the person standing before them, reins in hands. Considerable witness has been given as to the level of telepathy between horse and rider, even as strangers, especially as a long-term relationship. 

Caregivers for neurodivergent people bring them to meet and when possible, ride horses who are all kindness and care. Troubled youngsters learn to be happy around horses. The therapy of interaction with horses is well recorded but requires no proof for those of us who love them. Therefore, when Queen Elizabeth who has been plagued with “mobility issues” was deemed unable to attend the State Opening of Parliament gathered herself together and whether her doctors agreed to it or not, she went to the Royal Windsor Horse Show and had a wonderful time.

She arrived sitting in the front seat of a Range Rover right on to the fairgrounds with her window down to speak to officials, smiling in a way we have not seen in – well, those smiles were so sincere, smiles of genuine pleasure to be a in place that made sense where the lies were thinner, fewer and the hypocrisy was absent.

Historically, Queen Elizabeth II is not the world’s longest reigning monarch. At 70 years and 92 days, she still has a couple of years to claim the record set by Louis XIV of France of 72 years, 110 days.

Later in the day at the Horse Show, Her Majesty was seated in a chair, an elegant shawl around her shoulders, enjoying the jokes and the very brief speeches; enjoying the many ways in which horses parade.

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