The Queen is Dead. Long Live the King!
This solemn week, with the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, I have been channeling my Scot, Belgian, and German sides.
No, it is not a square. There are Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and, yes, Catholics.
My mum attended Albyn School For Girls in Aberdeen with her sisters. Her brother Hugh attended Fettes College in Edinburgh like his father and uncle before him.
Their roots in Fifeshire and the Scottish Church were very deep.
My grandad fought in WW1 and married a Belgian bride from Namur. Each of four children, my mum among them, served in the forces. WRNS, RAF, FNFL. and “Opa,” as I knew my grandfather, a “pilot officer.”
The story goes he was burning papers at the British Embassy in Brussels while the Germans were marching in.
Scotland is the centre of all intrigue and Aberdeenshire is where we find Balmoral.
Here is where Elizabeth Rex chose to die. Her heart was in the Highlands. It makes me weep. What a remarkable life of service to her nation and now, from here in the heart of Scotland, the solemn procession of mourning sets out and marks the passage for her people.
It is a pageant in its best sense, marking the long historical calendar of kingship in each stop. St. Giles, the parish church of Edinburgh, the first stop where John Knox confronted Mary Queen of Scots and Oliver Cromwell preached.
St. Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast, Llandaff Cathedral in Wales are now part of King Charles III’s sacred itinerary as he assumes the mantle and crown. His life, like his mother’s, will be to rule and serve.
Westminster Abbey is where Her Majesty now lies in state.
Are we tied to all of this we ask? Absolutely. Our Commonwealth. A large part of our lives, our parents’ lives in turn and, even those before them, folded into one party.
This is the century from which our glorious Queen has ruled over us, one of war, not just one Annus Horribilus, but many, so many. We can only say, “Thank Your Majesty for your glorious reign.”
God Save The King.
René Hackstetter. September 16, 2022.