I feel sad, we've heard the news we were all expecting, The Queen is dead. I actually teared up in the car when I heard a clip of the West Ham Fans spontaneously singing God Save the Queen.
I know it's polarising, some are ambivalent at best, but she always held a special place for me, the only monarch I have ever known. It is easy, especially at this point , to romanticise the effect that the monarchy had on us.. As a woman growing up in the 90s I'm pretty sure I didn't look to The Queen for any kind of guidance or for feminist ideals , yes she did okay, and I'm always on the side of womankind but to be honest, I'm not sure where I stand in regards to Queen's, and Princesses.
I guess as modern women we will never know what it was like to take the throne in the era that she did, to be in supreme power over men, many of whom thought her inferior based on her gender. But what struck me last night was the human story, the loss of a mother, a grandmother a great grandmother. For me, that is the real heartbreak. And the realisation that, no matter how much money or wealth or status you have when your mum or your grandmother dies you feel like we all do, not a king or queen, just someone who has lost the person that grounded them.
We all feel some kind of connection with the Royal Family. They are like our real life Soap Opera, or a sanitised Love Island. We get to see them grow, watch their relationships, marriages, breakups. Whether we want it or not we are invested in their lives.
The shared grief that the nation is swathed in feels almost tangible, the loss as a nation of our Queen. There is something almost primal in it. I think that even those that do not consider themselves as Royalists will be moved in some way. It is the loss of the known, and the moving into something new. This change is unsettling, not just stamps and money that will need to be altered, but in a sense it's our national identity too.
I've also been unable to get God Save the Queen, the Sex Pistols version, out of my head since the news broke yesterday.... what's that all about?