Longest Reigning Monarch

Queen todayOur dear Queen, Elizabeth II made history today. I don’t care if you are a monarchist or not, you have to admit that 63 years and 216 days is pretty impressive for keeping a job.  Most marriages don’t last long though hers has survived even longer than her reign as Britain’s monarch.  The only other occupation which may rival this royal one is the one given to us as parents.  That lasts as long as we live whether the children we bear admit it or not.

The ladies of the House of Windsor seem to have longevity in their veins because Elizabeth today breaks the record of her Great Great Grandmother, Victoria.  The queen’s mother, also Elizabeth, was given to long life and died at the age of 101.

When I looked up World’s longest reigning monarchs I was a bit surprised to discover that Liz is only 48th in the ranking.  Most monarch’s previous to the 1800’s lived relatively short lives because they were often killed off by their rivals who were also sometimes their siblings or cousins.  Frightening business in those days.

This particular monarch is a woman who has led the way for women in general throughout her career as princess and monarch.  She blazed a rather unusual trail which has been followed by her sons and grandsons, by working in the military in spite of her rank.  She insisted when she was heir apparent that she must support the military and drove ambulance during World War II.

The queen is not someone I always like but she is always someone I admire.  As a child I watched her Christmas messages on TV at 10 a.m. no matter what else was happening in the house.  She was careful not to share too much of her private life but allowed enough of a glimpse into it to make her subjects feel she was family.  She handled difficult situations around the world with dignity and honour.

Once I got a glimpse of her as she sped by in a motorcade from Brantford to Toronto. Queen Visits Brantford Chapel Traffic was stopped in all directions and I stood on an overpass watching as the black limo with the queen dressed in off white (or light green) hat and coat made her way down the highway.  I remember it being a moment which was quite breathtaking.  I have never been part of such a moment before or since.

I could never try to argue for against monarchy.  While I have a pretty good grasp of civics I am not a scholar of political science.  Something in me leans toward monarchy though.  It may be my loyalist, English, Scottish blood.  My Great Grandmother’s mother’s maiden name was Secord after all and my Grandmother was named Laura after a great aunt.  You put those pieces together.  I cannot stand at a cenotaph of November 11 without tears streaming down my cheeks and when the bagpipes play in the parade I get a huge lump in my throat.

Another reason for my leaning was a heartfelt message I heard as a young journalism student while standing in the office of the leader of the opposition in Ottawa.  The generous and vibrant, Hon. John Diefenbaker, took time from his busy day to talk with a class of students and when asked about the monarchy he launched into a very convincing 15 minute oration about the perils of abolition and the benefits of monarchy.  I for one was convinced.

Abolitionist or Monarchist, today I think most would have to put all of that aside and honour a remarkable woman who is worth our admiration and respect.  Long live the Queen.

For more on this day in the life of Queen Elizabeth II read the BBC account.  


About Peggy Guiler

You just never know what show up on my blog. As the name implies it is about the stuff of life just like Spilt Milk. Everyday events spark thought and contemplation. Special events in the community, the country or the world may strike a cord and get me talking. Sometimes it's about people in my life or circumstances, sometimes about my garden, sometimes about a book or a political issue. Always it's about something I am passionate about. In my business, River of Hope Enterprises (www.riverofhopeenterprises.com), I work as an "Certified Coach" (International Coach Federation), a trainer, consultant and speaker. and as a spiritual director. I also drive a school bus to keep the wolf from the door while I build my business. I love the kids on the bus (most of the time). My family is grown and I have three grandkids who thrill my heart but I don't get to see any of them very often. Circumstances of life have made "family" difficult. My son died by suicide at age 16 in 2000 and the strain on our family relationships since has been huge. Mental health is a field where I worked for almost 22 years and where I still do some consulting and training. That combined with my own battle with depression and my son's death weave together to form some of my greatest soap box items: suicide intervention, suicide bereavement and peer support in mental health are right on the top of my list. Social justice is an underlying passion. Keeping the wolf from the door as a single parent was full-time work and my career path as a journalists was augmented with cleaning contracts, cooking, retail clerk, and bartending. I have known hard work and am grateful for the experience and perspective it has given me. A firmly grounded faith and a passion for learning has now taken me toward a new field as a Spiritual Director and I am soon adding to that a license to marry people. As I move toward retirement I am very aware that I have to keep working so I chose to do things which will meet my modest financial needs and also my love of supporting people in their life journey. Woven into all of this is my love of writing. Trained as a Journalist, and having worked in the field as a freelance news writer for many years, I have a great love for writing. This blog is a new beginning for me. As I hone my skills and begin to form a daily discipline of writing I hope it will lead to more writing in the future.
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5 Responses to Longest Reigning Monarch

  1. Anand says:

    A very informative and interesting article, Peggy. Queen Elizabeth II never ruled India. Queen Victoria did, but that was long ago. I just want to say that I love your writing. You have a way with words.

  2. Vibrant says:

    Very beautiful article, Peggy and I agree with Anand 🙂
    I admit that it’s extraordinary to reign so long.

    Anand 🙂

  3. Sammy D. says:

    I, too, admire her for her steadfast prifessional comportment throughout some very difficult family and national events. Some might look at her as an anachronism and I can’t pass judgment on the wealth and privilege of royal families. But in times when so-called leaders topple in corruption/sex scandals almost daily, hers is a family that is to be admired for their service of many decades.

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