I visited the UK at the end of August for just over a couple of weeks to see my family. With the Covid pandemic and closed borders, this was the first time that I’d ventured overseas in 3 and a half years. Most of the time was spent up in Yorkshire where my family live. I did, however, spend a couple of days in London and Paris at the start of the trip with my daughter Mlle. She’d flown over with me in order to catch up with her London-based friends and go to a wedding in Portugal. I’ll be writing about those trips (London and Paris) in upcoming posts.
However a few days before we were due to fly back home to Australia, came the news of the Queen’s sudden deterioration in health and subsequent death. It certainly felt surreal being in the UK at this epoch-changing time. Like many others I have only ever known one monarch namely Queen Elizabeth II and it certainly felt strange to hear proclamations of the new King (Charles III)!
On my last day in the UK I went back down to London to reconnect with Mlle. With train delays (due to signal failure) causing utter chaos I didn’t get there till dinner time, a couple of hours later than planned. Despite being pretty tired after the stressful journey, we went down to Buckingham Palace on a whim to see all the floral tributes. London seemed especially crowded – clearly there were a lot of people who had the same idea as us and some of the underground stations were closed on safety grounds.
It took us about an hour to wind our way through the circuitous security cordons set up around the vicinity of the Palace. At least we had a pleasant twilight walk up and down St James’s Park before we finally reached the palace gates.
My dad had been on the Mall on the Queen’s Coronation night in June 1953 so it felt fitting to be there again at the end of her reign. Whatever your views may be, it did feel like a significant moment in history and certainly the end of an era.
Copyright © 2022 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose