God Could Not Save The Queen, But The Queen Saved The Crown


She adroitly navigated the nation through icebergs and storms that could have sunk the House of Windsor. It was a journey that often required her to make sacrifices and sometimes flung her into deep despair.

One such moment came in 1955 when she stopped her sister Princess Margaret from marrying a divorcee, Group Captain Peter Townsend. The Queen was duty-bound to preserve the sanctity of a royal marriage. It created an enduring estrangement between two sisters who were until now extremely close to each other.

However, she did not hesitate to break tradition when it came to promoting the interests of the nation. In 1961, the Queen danced with Ghana’s President Kwame Nkrumah at a farewell ball in Accra.

Britain’s white establishment was horror-struck. The great white Queen sharing a foxtrot with a black African leader was until now unthinkable. It undoubtedly mollified the rising star of Africa, who seemed to be sloping towards the Soviet Union.

Ironically, the last public duty of the 96-year-old Queen was to invite Liz Truss to become the prime minister of the United Kingdom. In her long reign, she dealt with 15 British prime ministers.

She held her nerve against her first prime minister, the domineering “British Bulldog” Winston Churchill, who quickly realised that the young monarch could not be treated like a little girl. She saw through the machinations of Anthony Eden and Harold Macmillan.

When prime ministership passed from aristocracy to working classes, she inspired confidence in the newly elected Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson.

Initially, the grocer’s daughter Margaret Thatcher could not comprehend the wasteful ways of royal life. Though never on the same ground, the two women lost no time devising a working relationship. When in November 1992, the Iron Lady was ignominiously booted out of 10 Downing Street by her cabinet colleagues, the final words of comfort came from none other than the Queen.

She made rigorous enquiries about the nation’s state in her weekly meetings with prime ministers and yet remarkably kept a distance from politics. She had mastered the art of when to speak, what to say and how much to tell–never a word wrong and never a step faulty.

In a life full of paradoxes, being a monarch was perhaps more straightforward than discharging her responsibilities as a family matriarch. She expected her four children to remain disciplined, selfless and dutybound, an expectation none could fulfil.

An unusual train of tragedies stumbled at her doors in the year 1992. Her favourite castle in Windsor burnt in a devastating fire. Her eldest son Prince Charles and his popular but wayward wife, Princess Diana, announced divorce.

Sarah Fergusson, the separated wife of her younger son, Prince Andrew, was photographed in compromising acts with her new American lover. And her daughter Princess Anne broke her two-decade-old marriage with Mark Phillips. In a rare expression of public angst, the Queen in her Christmas speech, described 1992 as her “annus horribilis”.

In 1997, the death of Diana in a car crash in Paris brought further heartache. Stuck in the old ways of royal protocol, she stayed in her Scottish castle, Balmoral, and did not allow the Union Jack fly half-mast at Buckingham Palace for four days.

As the public anger sizzled and the tabloid headlines screamed–”Where is the Queen” she arrived at Buckingham Palace to walk along a wall of floral tributes to the princess of the people.

She spoke to the mourners, shared their grief, and accepted flowers. The public anger quickly melted away. Later, in a live television broadcast, she paid tributes to Diana, calling her an “exceptional and gifted human being”.


Source link

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

Comments are closed.

More in:Business