proud to be british?

gray concrete castle with flag on top under blue sky
Photo by Kris Schulze on Pexels.com

A flag of scarlet and of royal blue,

A union of the jacks

That whistles in the Easter wind

Preceded by those crimson coats

And Nimrod played by regal men

Who dedicated life and limb

To the majesty of them.

We felt ashamed but under Spring like sun

We felt that bubble slowly burst

And something tinged with glowing pride

Filled the hearts of all of us.

Sorry to harp on about the royal family again, but I did sit and watch the funeral today because I felt like I wanted to reflect on the life of somebody who has served this country for so many years. And it was a very moving service and all the pomp and ceremony that goes with it just fills my heart with pride for this country.

I know that we have a past that we should question in many ways, but we do have a history that is so rich in tradition and history is something that should be treasured and remembered. Even the bad bits. Because they’re the bits we learn from and we grow from there, as human beings.

I felt that anyone watching in another country would look at what was done today and they would think that Britain should be proud. Just the band playing on the lawn was magical to watch.

The Queen was also superb. I don’t know how she held her composure as well as she did. She cut an awfully lonely figure as she sat on her own in the chapel and I kind of hope that her children make sure she has a few whiskies tonight.

And I’m not normally one to openly cry at funerals of people I don’t know but when I first saw the Queen in her car my heart broke a little bit. But the part that was most poignant for me was when Nimrod was being played and the cameras panned over to the walls of the castle and the staff had all filed out from the rooms and the kitchens and stood with their heads bowed for the coffin. It was so touching that even they were included and that they really seemed to respect the man who had been their boss for so long.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

the funeral

angelic statue and sunset scenery
Photo by Ellie Burgin on Pexels.com

All in midnight black and shades of white

That hide the curves of aching flesh

That sobs with anger and with bitterness

For what was lost with that final breath.

It’s just a wooden box that lies in state,

For all the congregation to

Ponder on, the memories that they still have

Of that man that left this world like smoke

Curling in a catlike paw, that drifts into

The ether while we stand and cry

In this world of solidity, of science

And of needing to know how it works,

But these are days when we all know

The answers are unreachable, a thing we cannot grasp.

There is lots of talk about the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at the moment because it is going to be held tomorrow afternoon. I don’t know why but the death seems to have really struck a chord with me, possibly just because he has always been there and it feels a little like we’re all losing a grandfather.

However, it has also made me think a lot about grief in my own life and the funerals of both of my grandmothers. The first of which I was heavily pregnant with my son at the time.

We knew that she was going to die because she had terminal cancer and she knew that I was pregnant with her first great grandchild so it was sad for her that she was going to miss that event. The last words that she said to me as I leaned over and kissed her on my last visit was ‘look after that boy for me.’ I ended up naming him Noah Gene because her name was Jean.

The day of the funeral was horrible and it was the first one that I had ever been to. I think the hormones were playing havoc with my emotions and there was one moment when I just couldn’t hold onto the tears.

The car carrying the coffin had arrived at the house and the coffin was draped with the Union Jack because she did a lot of work for the British Legion. It was quite regal, in a way.

The back of the car was opened and my dad’s sister stepped forward and just threw herself onto the coffin, sobbing uncontrollably. I had never seen an adult in my life, totally lose control in that way. I come from a family that is very stiff upper lip and it was almost frightening to see.

It will stay with me forever, that day. And I think that it’s not entirely bad. Even those parts that felt shocking at the time, were just proof of how much someone was loved. I hope that the royals get to celebrate the life of their grandfather this weekend. I have a feeling they may be the reserved type.

Much Love

Rachel xx