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Source: Wikimedia Commons

The media are so full of pieces about Queen Elizabeth II that I hesitate out of modesty and the risk of redundancy to add to it. We Americans may be more interested in royalty than the British, probably because we don’t have royalty. But, as other pieces about Elizabeth II have said, she was a constant in my life for my entire life. All world events, past and present, are somehow reflected in the British monarchy. An era has ended.

I am pretty sure that there are not very many ways in which I envy the fabulously rich and privileged. But one thing I do envy is the having of many homes, and thus the ability to move around with the seasons. It is said that Elizabeth II was happiest when she was at Balmoral. That certainly makes sense to me.

We lesser types with lesser fortunes may move during our lifetimes, usually for economic reasons, but rarely for adventure. We don’t have the privilege of moving with the seasons. When people become rich, a second home will usually be among their first acquisitions. For those of us who lack the riches, we must sit tight in one place and make do with summer heat and winter ice.

Travel is some compensation. But, when we travel, we move too fast, and we don’t have time to linger. Hereafter, when I am reminded of Elizabeth II, I think I will think of her at Balmoral, not in London or at Windsor. I remember reading — I hope it’s true — that after her death Balmoral will become a kind of museum to her reign, open to the public. Charles III, I might guess, has other homes to which he is more attached. So maybe we will all get to have a look at Balmoral someday.

The fate of us commonfolk is to figure out how to do the best job we can of learning how to live well on a little. But Balmoral isn’t the only thing for which we might look to Elizabeth II for something to admire. It’s in finding our own ways, much more modest, to engage the era in which we live. Elizabeth’s bravery and energy have set a standard — from working as a mechanic during World War II to being on her feet, smiling, just days before her death, to greet a new Prime Minister. What a life.

One Comment

  1. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    Good piece

    I read this morning, Charles the III had to deed his holdings to the government once becoming sovereign- uber millions I read. The royals have a worth of a billon plus.

    I’ve always dreamed of a summer home – alas I rent one for a few short days once a year where the weather is less intense. However, that hasn’t been the case recently in California. We used to go to Hawaii regularly. My wife found a place in Pismo Beach for a week, will travel there soon.

    Saturday, September 10, 2022 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

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