Sunday, July 17, 2011

Understanding

For some time now I have wondered about my interest and 'devotion' to the Royal Family of England.  Where did that interest come from and why was I still a follower of their comings and goings in the press?

Probably the interest stemmed from my childhood and the days of the old "Star Weekly", a long ago forerunner of magazines like "People"or the popular modern royal watcher "Hello".  I do remember Mother having them around and we clipped out the articles and made scrapbooks of this family in England that is called Royal.

Some years ago I came home from a browse at an antique shop with yet another very old book of hymns.  I opened it to start enjoying the songs/lyrics I found there and out of the book fell a postcard...


Wow, I felt like I had hit a small streak of gold...I lived in Bassano from 4th grade to the end of 7th grade and knew the railroad station there very well...so this was a treasure.  King George VI and his wife had made Canada their first official tour.  And here was proof to me they had stopped at a little one-horse town in Alberta where I had spent some childhood years.

But now why, in my adult life, was I still following these people, more interested in them than in most others?  What kept me looking?

When there was a wedding, a funeral, a celebration or disaster among 'them' I wanted to read about it, see all the press on it.  So, when I saw this book at a book shop I mentioned to my husband that would be a great gift, if he was looking...


...and I am happy to report that I have completed the book...there are 943 pages of detailed information here. I must confess that there was probably about a third of the book I did not read thoroughly.  There were specific years of interest in her life that I burrowed into and feel like I have a wee bit of a grasp, or should I say an understanding of my interest here.

About three quarters of the way through the book there is a quote regarding the popularity of the Queen Mother...'she symbolized our better natures'.  And it hit me quite forcefully  (my Aha! moment) that was most likely why I have been so interested in the past.  The Queen Mother and her daughter Elizabeth II have lived lives of honour, discretion, devotion to God and country.  All attributes worthy to make one's own.

Oh, by the way, if you are thinking this would be a good read?  It is, if you are REALLY interested in the lady and her life.  The book is jam-packed with really interesting information about who she really was.  You do get a fresh look at the underpinnings of the family and get to put real faces on them with real emotions and motives.  From the generation ahead of Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes Lyon (The Queen Mother) to the children of Elizabeth II you get to know them as very real humans.  You do begin to understand why things are the way they are today among them.

Keep in mind as you are reading that this is an official bio with the stamp of approval of Buckingham Palace and HRH Elizabeth II.  There are pages in the book where you feel the author is just listing one royal commitment after another and not giving you a story but there is great research done here for any die-hard interested reader.

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