65 years! That is, in human terms, a lifetime. Some 65 years ago today, a frail man, made old beyond his years by the sheer weight and burden of a job which he never ever wanted or expected, breathed his last, and set out on his voyage towards the Elysian Fields. George Sixth, a man and a father, had been forced to step away from a life, which, though made more difficult by the stammer his early life had bequeathed him; was actually endurable by the fact that he was, in reality, the ‘Spare’. The Heir, unfortunately, was a man who, although the Heir Apparent to the British Crown for years, just did not see himself as bound to the social niceties of the era, to the extent that the only women he found attractive were also, unfortunately; the wives of other men.
Edward Eighth was determined to marry an American divorcee named Wallis Simpson, and in the eyes and minds of the British Establishment, if the Monarch decided to keep a mistress in seclusion, that was strictly, to use that well-known phrase ‘his affair’: but if he was to bring that mistress out into the world, and expect British Society to accept a twice-divorced woman, and an American to boot, as his Queen: he was living in Cloud Cuckoo Country. So the well disguised affair was finally exposed, after an enterprising Scots journalist saw the new King meeting the now well-known Mrs. Simpson at a remote rail station, instead of opening a hospital. The published story broke the ‘wall of silence’ imposed by an over-zealous cohort of Church bishops, Reith of the BBC, politicians and media barons whose decision to literally block any ‘royal’ news which did not fit their idea of what was suitable for the British public to know. If anyone bought an American or French newspaper, the stories abounded, but since Britain got its news from either the BBC or British newspapers, not a word had leaked.
So now, 65 years after George V1 quietly laid down his Crown and Sceptre, and that same Sceptre and Crown were taken up; as part of a hereditary line stretching, with a few minor blood-stained hiccups, from centuries ago, by the daughter of that dead King; she quietly passes the Sapphire Jubilee: a Monarch who is probably the world’s best known woman; with a record of never commenting, never blabbing, and who has probably been horrified at much of the mess brought upon her unfortunate Kingdom by the squadrons of politicians who have made that same mess.
So, Here’s a Health unto Elizabeth; a Queen unmatched!