Monday, 20 April 2015

Q: You're a special woman, Brenda

Q, arguably one of the trickiest letters in the A to Z Challenge, but it's got to be done, so here goes, and it's another woman who has made a big impression on me..

I'm not being facetious when I say that my reason to be cheerful for the letter Q is none other than the Queen. That is MY queen, the monarch and head of state of the country I come from, the United Kingdom.

Yes, I think Queen Elizabeth II is a reason to be cheerful, even if sometimes she does look a little glum. And why have I referred to someone called Brenda in the title of this post? Readers of the magazine Private Eye will know that Brenda is their less than respectful nickname for the queen. Sometimes it seems very fitting. Sorry, your majesty.

Princess Elizabeth serving her country during the Second
World War. This picture was taken in 1945, seven
years later she was Queen.

Some people who know me may be a little surprised that I have warm feelings for a non-elected head of state, but I think she does a difficult job very well. She was only a young woman when she came to the throne, several years before I was born, and she continues to show grace and dignity when sometimes she must long to say: "Oh do shut up" or worse.

People from countries where their head of state is elected may feel slightly superior at the idea that they get to choose, but we live in times when political candidates' success depends very much on the amount of money they can gather for campaigning. That money comes from vested interests and if their candidate is successful there will presumably be some returning of favours. To what extent you might regard that as risking corruption I leave to you.

I'm definitely not trying to say that voting is wrong, but you can't guarantee that you'll necessarily get the best person for the job. The selection process that takes place before you even go to put your X in the box next to a name could easily winnow out some good candidates and leave some real duffers to go before the people.

Anyway, I digress. The UK struck lucky with the Queen, but let's be honest, we've had some well dodgy monarchs in the past and one in recent history who didn't even want to do the job. And we have absolutely no idea what the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, will be like. After all, he's on record as talking to plants. As I don't wish to end up in the Tower, I would merely observe that talking to plants is a charming eccentricity. It's only if you believe the plants talk back that you need to seek help.

So there we have it. Q is for Queen.

What music could go with this? The National Anthem? No, a bit of a dirge. I know, how about Queen singing Don't Stop Me Now. I'd like to think that occasionally Queen Elizabeth wanders the draughty corridors of one of her palaces singing this at the top of her voice. Unlikely, I grant you, but it would definitely qualify as a reason to be cheerful. If she did I expect she'd actually sing Don't Stop One Now. 

  • Question: Have you ever met the Queen? If so, did she ask you "Have you come far?".

* Picture by Ministry of Information official photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.


  1. Hi Mark - no never met the Queen .. but I admire her hugely and of course Freddie .. and it's her birthday tomorrow ... time to celebrate .. cheers Hilary

    1. The Queen's birthday tomorrow? That'll be her actual birthday, won't it? Haven't sent her a card, but I don't expect she'll mind.

  2. Yes, I've met the Queen. Well I shook her (tiny, tiny) hand once. And Phil the Greek & Charles too. I could have cut my finger on the crease in Charles's jacket sleeve! I have no problem at all with the core of the Monarchy although I do think there are too many hangers on who are supported beyond reason. Whilst on the subject I have a lot of time for Charles. Not a fashionable thing to say as the press, in particular, seem to have it in for him. In my time working in HR I had many dealings with The Prince's Trust which is almost completely his baby. It does a fantastic job in a practical and quiet way. So what if he is a bit eccentric? And why should he not badger government ministers - good on him I say!

    1. I think Charles will make an interesting king, but will say no more than that.

  3. I visited the United Kingdom many, many years ago but did not get a chance to meet the Queen though that would have been exciting.

  4. I think it's great to celebrate the Queen. I don't know much about the royalty and how things are done over there, but I do have a great deal of respect for the royal family. Very fitting Q post!
    Michele at Angels Bark


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