QE II

As anyone who’s read Sequins Stars & Spotlights will know, Jenny gets the chance to play the young Queen Elizabeth in a musical. Not that there is – yet – a musical about the Queen, but I wouldn’t be surprised if one day there was. She’s an extraordinary woman who has lived through some extraordinary times. And there was a whole film about her dad’s speech impediment, so, you know …

I’m a big fan of the Queen. In part because when I was 10 or 11 I was given a book about her clothes which remains one of the most in-depth examinations of a couture wardrobe I’ve ever read. Stunning illustrations. She may not be at the forefront of fashion, but there are reasons for that (she tried, and her dresses were copied in minutes – in the end she opted for looking stateswoman-like). However, her outfits are always rich with symbolism, in the embroidery or the jewellery. The fact that she wore green on her first day in Ireland is no coincidence. She dresses to honour her hosts, and to stand out, and she does.

But beyond what she wears, she’s very brave and steadfast, in an era where most people aren’t. Not necessarily the world’s most successful family woman, but brilliant at the job she does. Here she is, doing it in Ireland over the last couple of days. Watching Guinness being poured. Visiting the stadium where, in her family’s name, soldiers fired on the crowd. Making a speech in a white dress (reminiscent of her ancestral namesake?) and shed-loads of diamonds, that indicated her regret. Not something monarchs do very often. Giving no hint of the fact she knows that republican dissidents may well be plotting to try and kill her.

Brilliant. She’s 85. I don’t think we realise quite how much we’ll miss her when she’s gone.

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