Vale The Queen.
She once flew directly over my house in Brisbane. Really. In 2002 I was watching the news, they said The Queen’s plane would shortly touch down in Brisbane, we were directly under a flight path, so I ran out into the back yard, looked up, and there, directly above, was a British Airways plane. I know. Incredible.
I met Princess Anne when I was about four years old. The Royals had humbled themselves to go for a walk down the main street of Coffs Harbour as part of their tour of Australia in 1970. She stopped to ask my sister how she had broken her arm. So touching. HRH wore one of those white, broad-brimmed hats with a ribbon that were fashionable in the ’70s, and my sisters immediately procured one for themselves.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see The Queen during that visit, for some reason I forget, but which was always conveyed in the most disgruntled tones. I mean, who turns out to see Princess Anne?
After The Queen flew directly over my house, I became determined to see her IN THE FLESH! So I dragged my disinterested Significant Other and children, the youngest in a pram, through the crowds at Roma Street Parklands and managed to get to the roadside just in time to see her DRIVE RIGHT PAST ME! And she looked very happy! One would imagine such visits would have become rather tedious after fifty years, but HM genuinely looked like she was very pleased that so many people had risked sunstroke to catch a glimpse of her.
So I’m very pleased to say that I did manage to see Her Majesty once and I am quite sad that she’s gone. She’s been the one absolute constant in my life. RIP.