Now, I was very lucky to grow up when and where I did, but more than anything else, I was fortunate to grow into a world where I was allowed to believe that things were as I thought they were inside my head.
And I can happily put all this under the title of ‘The Queen’ because I promise I am referring to the real one, not myself.
Although I am, according to Wikipedia, the same height as the Queen. So, you know, I’m pretty close.
Both my parents worked with a decent mix of men and women. I had a wide variety of aunts and uncles. And, I suppose what I’m getting at is this: I never thought that either sex was more able or talented than the other.
That said, when I was born, the Queen had been on the throne for twenty-some, nearly thirty years, and we had a female Prime Minister. So I never felt disempowered being a girl. Because why would I? Women ran the country.
With that in mind, I was allowed to think for myself. If I believed I knew where babies came from then, good for me. No one was going to challenge my thoughts on the matter, even though I thought they came from the front window of British Home Stores. I had, as it goes, mistaken mannequins for children.
The only times I was corrected on my ideas were when I was in danger of making a fool of myself.
For example: I couldn’t pronounce Somerset Maugham’s surname correctly – that was quickly remedied. My mother didn’t trust Walt Disney’s attitudes to women, and so no Little Mermaid for me. “Silly girl with her ludicrous, strapless, clam-bra, giving up her voice for a man.” In a school play of the Life of Dr. Barnardo, my mother rewrote my lines because she refused to believe that Mrs. Barnardo would use the phrase ‘poor little mite’ because she was classy.
So, anyway, the Queen: I love the Queen. She’s tremendous.
Represents the country with aplomb.
Has to deal with a seemingly endless parade of Prime Ministers and diplomats without ever throwing a single one of them in the Tower. Even though, let’s face it, a great number of us would, at least, be tempted. I can think of four people, just off the top of my head, whose condition might be improved from a slight case of racking and a flaming poker or two.
Never gets into trouble.
Has to shake hands with – let’s guess – gaflillions of people.
Wears gloves, and often a hat, no matter what the weather.
Nobody can speak to her or look her in the eye unless she initiates.
No one can hug her, which sounds like living in a horror film to me.
Has to live her whole life in public. Which must be rather tedious.
I understand that the position of the Queen’s handbag at events is some kind of code to be interpreted by her staff. I don’t know how true that is. Personally, I’d like to believe she carries eyeliner, a couple of teabags and tattoo cream in her handbag, but that’s probably because that’s what I’d have.
Best of all, of course, she can move in any direction.
In short, the Queen is awesome. And so, number 53 of #365HappyDays – Ladies and Gentlemen, the Queen.