The past week has been one of reflection and I admit
to many, many hours in front of the television, or staying
in touch with the happenings in the UK on my phone or
laptop. I felt the need to gather with my people across
the pond in some way to honor our late Queen.
Being British, I was raised in a family where Royal
pageantry was embraced. My maternal Grandfather was
an officer in the Coldstream Guards. My Mother and her
siblings grew up in Windsor where he was stationed and
they used the castle grounds as their playground.
Later, my Mother was a Royal dressmaker in London and
worked on clothes for Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
I saw Her Majesty twice, first as a 9 year old child when she visited
near my home in July 1952 to attend the Royal Agricultural Show.
We had a day off school, were crowded onto local buses for the
short ride, and then lined up along the street waving small
Union Jack flags as she was driven by in an open car.
I can still recall the excitement of that special day.
Elizabeth II's first visit to Devon as Queen was in July 1952 when she came
to the Royal Agricultural Show at Stover near Newton Abbot. She arrived
in the town by train and nearly 50,000 people packed the streets and Courtenay Park
My second sighting of the Queen was in Boston in 1976
when she visited for the Bicentennial celebration. She arrived via
the Royal Yacht 'Britannia' on a beautiful July day. I lived in
Massachusetts then so again didn't have far to go to see her.
On Monday morning I will be up at 5:30 AM to prepare
to watch the funeral at Westminster Abbey. Later that day
I will be watching as The Queen is taken back to Windsor
Castle where she will be interred in the royal vault in
the gothic 15th century St. George's Chapel, alongside
her Husband Prince Philip, Father, King George VI, Mother,
Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, and sister Princess Margaret.
Today I needed to get away and get out into the beautiful fresh air.
We drove south of the city to our usual farm for pumpkins.
Tucked into the countryside we were warmly welcomed by our
farm friends. Timing was perfect as they opened today to sell the
first harvest picking and I was able to get some great ones for
decorating and cooking.
Will show you more later.