The Queen is dead. Long Live the King! Doesn’t that have a deeply antiquated, almost Shakespearean, sound to it? Yet this is 2022 and many of us are feeling strong emotions at what is the end of a long era of history. Queen Elizabeth II was the longest reigning monarch in British history (Canadian history too, of course.) Few of us knew any other Head of State in our lifetimes. We thought she might live forever. Even though she was 96 years old, we were surprised by what seemed like her sudden death.
The range of expression in the media and among friends has been huge. Some of us cried; some planned trips to London to be there for the royal funeral. Some worried about what King Charles III and his consort Queen Camilla might bring to their new role. Others found hope that this might mean the end of imperialism and colonialism. Quite a bit of anger was expressed by indigenous commentators whose coverage of the mass murders the same week in Saskatchewan was brushed aside by this news from Britain
Still others were just weird: One person was quoted as saying “How can they make a man Queen? This is carrying wokeism TOO far!” Then there was the issue of our currency. Would the Queen’s likeness be substituted by that of the new King – and will the banknotes then look like covers from Mad Magazine? Many worried about what will happen to the Queen’s corgies. More wondered if Canada will get a holiday on the day of the Queen’s funeral.
Suffice it to say, whatever your reaction to the news of the death of Queen Elizabeth II and the succession to the throne, there will be no shortage of topics for conversation on our walks together, no matter how far we go nor how long we take to get there.