Jacqueline Heron Wray
Elizabeth The Great.
Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms from 6 February 1952 until her death on the 8th of September 2022.
The scenes beamed into our homes since the queen's passing have been poignant, heartwarming, and heart-wrenching.
Individuals have shared personal memories and humorous anecdotes. Messages of sympathy have been pouring into the UK from all over the world. We have witnessed displays of respect and thanks for her majesty's years of devoted service and listened to an outpouring of gratitude for her consistency and work ethic.
Born and brought up in Ayrshire, Scotland, I also spent many happy years living and working in England and got married to a Londoner on St. George's day no less!
I was fortunate enough to live in America for several years too, becoming familiar with the greeting, 'I love your accent. Are you from England?'
I did not answer yes, which would have been the easiest option, but took some time to explain that I was British, but also Scottish, not English. This caused varying and sometimes astonishing levels of confusion and perplexed stares. Someone even complimented me on how well I could speak English, considering I was from Scotland. This is understandable. We are frequently subjected to the late Queen and the present King being referred to as the queen and king of England. William is often called the future king of England. Commentators on radio and television, both here and abroad, most of whom should know better, often talk about England when they are actually talking about Great Britain or the United Kingdom.
As a child, I remember feeling upset and excluded by these references. As an adult, I have felt varying degrees of frustration and even anger, depending upon the context and rank of the person who said it.
After Diana’s passing, the Queen, wisely, chose to remain at Balmoral with the two grieving princes for as long as possible. It must have been hurtful listening to angry crowds standing outside Buckingham Palace asking, 'Where is our queen? She should be with her people'
She was with her people.
I have been glued to the television for the past few days, witnessing history in the making. Living history. It has been reassuring to see our nation come together to pay respects, reminisce, and console. United in grief.
One or two well-informed individuals declared that passing away at Balmoral was the Queen’s preference. She chose to spend every summer at her beloved Balmoral. It is now known that she felt most at home there. She could relax and enjoy being a wife, mother, grandmother, and much-loved neighbour. She played a massive part in compiling Operation Unicorn, the contingency plans should she die in Scotland.
I personally choose to believe that Operation Unicorn was a clear message for the people of Scotland. The Queen’s way of letting us know how much she loved Scotland and its people and that we are a valued part of the United Kingdom.
I was shocked but solaced to hear a BBC commentator declare, and I quote, ‘King Charles is not the King of England, the Queen was never the Queen of England' an extraordinary public correction! It gives me hope for the future.
The Queen’s coffin is now in London, the Royal Family HQ.
King Charles III and the queen consort continue their tour of the United Kingdom.
It has been comforting to see familiar London landmarks and to witness timeless ceremonies indelibly associated with the Royal Family. We have watched as London has with practiced ease, effortlessly and impeccably welcomed the monarch back to the Capital of her United Kingdom.
God, Save The King.
Credit Julian Calder, photographer.
Credit her Royal Highness, Sophie Countess of Wessex.
James Heron, placing flowers at Dumfries House, Ayrshire.