RIP Queen Elizabeth II

I am sure you could imagine what the topic of my blog this week would be – the event which completely shook me last week Thursday. As the Guardian said “we knew the words would be uttered one day, but it was still a shock to hear them. The Queen is dead.”

As with the death of Princess Diana, I will always remember what I was doing … and that was preparing my lessons for the next day. Nothing unusual you may think, but my very kind students were very happy to talk about this sad event instead of what we had originally planned. They thanked me for giving them the opportunity to talk about the life and legacy of such an amazing monarch.

Why did she mean so much to us all? Like one mourner said, “It’s like a Granny dying you have never met”. She was the anchor in our lives and a role-model with her dedication to her family and people. I particularly loved how she didn’t take herself seriously, was humble and above all, had a great sense of humour.

I mean, she was nearly my mother-in-law 😊. Like thousands of teenage girls back in the early seventies, I was going to marry Prince Charles. Of course I wasn’t happy about what he did to Lady Di but can now see that, like his mother, he loved just one person his whole life and will do his best to follow in his mother’s unique and majestic footsteps – not an easy job, especially when you’re 73!

A good friend of mine has just waited over 13 hours in the queue to see the Queen lying in state at 01:40 early this morning. If I lived in England, I know I would have accompanied her together with a dear student of mine who said yesterday that she would have gone too! My friend wrote in a very early WhatsApp message that it was worth every moment to experience this truly memorable event in history.

I expect a lot of you will watch the funeral on Monday starting at 11:45 CET. If you plan to watch it on BBC, you might find this glossary of funeral vocabulary useful (which is why I’m writing my blog now):

Did you know that all the events we have been watching this past week have been meticulously planned for decades? It is called Operation London Bridge, all set into motion when “London Bridge is down” is uttered to the Prime Minister.

Of course, my favourite memory of the Queen will be the Paddington sketch at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations which surprised everyone. In case you haven’t seen it, please watch it, it is wonderful.

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