the solemn bang of the drum

angelic statue and sunset scenery
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The solemn bang of the drum

Reverberates through the drooping crowd,

Heads bowed and all in black,

Some crying, others raise their phones

To catch the spectacle for Instagram,

And still the drum beat continues on,

Warning mortals that our death

Is just around the corner too.

There was only really one thing that I could write about today: the funeral. It was a last minute Bank Holiday so that most people could have the time off work to watch the service and the procession.

If there was any doubt that our country can pull off the pomp and ceremony befitting a queen, then today those doubts were laid to rest. It was bloody magnificent.

I have never seen such a large procession and they actually walked a really long way so that lots of people got the chance to see it first hand. And I don’t think there has ever been an event where so many foreign dignitaries were present. It just goes to show what an amazing and well respected lady she was.

It was great to see Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the funeral, and I think everyone was in agreement that they are possibly the best behaved kids on the planet. I do wish that they had brought Prince Louis along as think he would have caused havoc – we always need a bit of comic relief in even the saddest of circumstances.

Watching the Princes William and Harry walking along behind the coffin was quite difficult because it brought back so many memories of that day, 25 years ago, when they walked behind the coffin of their mother.

Funerals always bring back memories of the people we miss and I’m sure there will be people out there who are feeling a bit low this evening so I hope you all keep safe and eat lots of chocolate.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the friendly monster of London

people in line
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There’s a friendly monster snaking through

The streets and parks of London city

It doesn’t snarl and it doesn’t bite

But it’ll make your feet rather unpretty.

It’ll suck you in and hold you there

Within its body for twenty hours

Gently chewing and spitting you out

At the rather imposing Parliamentary towers.

There you’ll see our beloved Queen

Lying in state for the people to see,

A final chance to show our love

And bask in the light of her majesty.

If you have been watching BBC News over the past few days, you will see that the headlines have been dominated by something very British: a queue.

It has become a monster in its own right, with people spending up to twenty hours in it, just so that they can spend a few moments with the coffin that contains our late Queen.

I must admit that if I hadn’t been working this week, I may have been tempted to go and join the queue while it was still under ten hours long. But as it crept up to a whole day, my interest has slowly waned.

I admire all of those people who are sticking it out and standing in line through a pretty cold night. But I’m quite happy here in my home, wearing my pyjamas, with my cat curled up at my side.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the vigil that got me

Watching the Queen’s children standing vigil around her coffin this evening was probably the first time that I felt truly touched and emotional since the news on Thursday.

I’ve obviously felt sad, but I really felt that human connection as I watched the four of them standing silently as the general public continued to file into the chapel.

I remember when my nan died, my aunt was so overcome that she literally threw herself on the coffin and began sobbing. Watching the sadness on Charles’ face just brought all those memories back to the surface.

People have been commenting on how ‘rude’ he was when he signed the papers in the throne room on Saturday, but I think that we were all forgetting the most important factor in all of this – he may be the King of England, but he has just lost his mum and that is crushing.

I felt a tear or two escaping as I sat and watched for those ten minutes. Moments like that are normally very personal and private and those poor people have had to play this all out very publicly.

I just hope that in between all of the many public engagements that they all need to attend, that they can grasp those few moments of quiet reflection so that they can recharge.

Much Love

Rachel xx

i felt like she needed a hug

I do apologise for all of the royal commentary at the moment, but over here we are having wall to wall coverage so it feels as though it’s the only thing anyone is talking about.

And I’m even more sorry to harp on about the ‘Fab Four’ of William, Catherine, Harry and Meghan because I know that it’s a story people can get slightly fed up with. Even I am starting to feel tired of reading the bitching that goes on between the people who support either side.

I actually love them all equally. I think that at all four of them have met different struggles along their journeys – struggles us mortals can’t really comprehend. Perhaps some have made some mistakes along the way, but that is what is both beautiful and messy about being human.

The moment yesterday, that caught my attention the most, was the moment when a fourteen year old local girl asked Meghan if she could hug her. When she was later interviewed by the media she said that she did it because she wanted Meghan to know that she was welcome here, after everything that she has been through.

I can only imagine the fear that Meghan must have felt yesterday and I think she’s really brave for stepping out in front of a media that has been really nasty to her. And I’m sure that if she heard what that girl said, it would have helped her feel loved.

It was interesting to look at the photo of the hug and see just how tightly Meghan was holding onto the girl. She needed that hug, and I’m glad that a little angel was put in the crowd to give her what she needed.

Much Love

Rachel xx

we do funny things in grief

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Some of the analysis of today’s events has been quite interesting to read. There are obviously so many people ready to jump to conclusions and read into just the smallest of words or mannerisms.

This can be problematic because the people that we are watching closely – the royals – are grieving for a mother and grandmother. And none of us ever act normally when we are gripped by grief.

Today, Kate and William invited Harry and Megan to come on the walkabout outside Windsor Castle and the whole world seemed to have an opinionon everything they saw.

I read anger into almost anything, probably because of a strict upbringing; if I did even the smallest thing wrong my mother would fly off the handle. I am aware that I am overly sensitive on this front, and very often, I am way off the mark and the person who scowled at me was just squinting in the sun.

But I couldn’t help but notice the distance between Kate and William as they walked down the driveway. I hope that my damaged little brain is just overreacting again, because I idolise Kate and William.

Grief does funny things to the way we behave, and perhaps Kate just powers through the sadness, and that’s how she copes. My dad is the most unemotional person in the world and when his dad passed away it hit him so hard that he couldn’t work for six moths. The reaction was totally unexpected, but what can be expected when you’ve lost somebody you’ve known forever?

I hope that they are all OK and my thoughts and prayers are with the whole family.

Much Love

Rachel xx

watching the queen smile

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Her face so familiar and old

Like the grandmother we all know

We want to see her smile

It makes our hearts happy

To know that she still gets

Some enjoyment from

This never ending job.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations are really ramping up and tonight we are being treated to a horse show that’s being held in the grounds of Windsor Castle.

There has been quite a bit of backlash against the royals this weekend, with the football fans booing Prince William at the FA Cup final, but I think that some of this hatred is based on a complete lack of education in how the system works.

Sure, the family do cost us, the tax payers, money; but the history that we enjoy because of them is priceless. At times like this, the whole world turns to look at us and probably feel a bit envious that they don’t have their own history like ours.

And then, for those of us that do love them, there is nothing quite so special as seeing the Queen genuinely looking as though she is enjoying herself. She’s had a privileged life, but she has also given up her freedom to serve us, and that should be celebrated.

I’m watching her in the stands, watching the horse show and I feel so proud of our country. I just wish that everyone could love it as much as me because we could have a fabulous summer if they did.

Much Love

Rachel xx

a royal birth

The photographers clamour outside,

Jostling for position as they wait

For the couple to emerge.

A ripple runs through the crowd,

Someone is coming and flags are raised

Union Jacks fluttering in the wind

A cheer goes up as the doors fly open

And the Duchess steps out, immaculate

And cradling the baby, a coy little smile

And a wave from the Duke before

The Range Rover whisks them away

And the crowds diffuse, happy for today.

It is Prince Louis’s fourth birthday today, and to celebrate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have released a couple of photographs, as has become the custom on the birthdays of the royal children.

Whenever they release a photo for a birthday, I’m always taken back to the time when they were born and what I was doing. When Louis was born I was working as a receptionist at a local doctor’s surgery. We always had the radio on so I recall listening every time a news bulletin came on to hear if the baby had been born yet.

The most exciting one was obviously George because he is their first born. That afternoon I walked home from work and saw the news on a big TV screen in our town centre. They were showing the iconic BT Tower that was all lit up with the words ‘it’s a boy’.

And then there is always the excitement of the first look at the babies as they come out of the Lindo Wing in central London. I can imagine the atmosphere is amazing when they step out, Kate always looking absolutely perfect even though she has just given birth eight hours earlier.

These precious times always remind me of how lucky we are to have a royal family and I am so excited for the Platinum Jubilee in June, when there will be street parties galore.

Much Love

Rachel xx

harry and meghan and the queen

tea beside cupcakes
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Sitting drinking tea, moodily

The silence hangs so heavily

Over a drawing room dripping in gold

And paintings of kings and queens.

But this queen, she ain’t impressed

With her unwanted house guests.

Harry and Meghan are on the front of nearly every newspaper in the UK because they met with the Queen yesterday. This was the first time they have been in the UK together since they quit the Royal Family in 2020.

Most of the newspapers and commentators have been talking about how awkward that meeting might have been. And I can kind of understand why people would think that. I mean, that interview with Oprah probably went went down like a lead balloon in the palace.

However, the Queen has been on the throne for 70 years and she has weathered so many storms. She has kept calm and carried on through it all and I don’t think you can manage that if you also choose to be bitter.

We obviously don’t know what happened behind closed doors, but my hope is that she welcomed them in with open arms. He is apparently her favourite grandchild and from the Invictus Games video that they released, it would appear that they used to have great fun together.

Let’s just hope that they enjoyed an afternoon of laughter and reconciliation over tea and cucumber sandwiches, with the corgis bouncing all over them.

Much Love

Rachel xx

where have those ten years gone?

The passing of a month, a year, or decades can

Happen in the flutter of an eye.

Time will never wait or even slow for you,

So grip those precious seconds with

Hands that aged, wrinkled, paper thin,

You’ll need your strength within those bones

To tackle life, a journey bound

To knock the air and wrap you in a hug.

Can you bloody believe it that Kate and William have been married for ten years? It feels like that time has passed in the blink of an eye. And they have brought three really beautiful children into the world and they are so perfect it makes me want to vomit a little bit in my mouth.

I am joking, of course; I love Will and Kate so much and I personally think that they are a credit to the royal family. Plus, I have such fond memories of that day.

I just happened to be working at the head office of the supermarket chain that I was working for so I was entitled to the day off to watch the wedding. I remember the weather being beautiful that week and we had a whole bunch of bank holidays so it just felt magical.

I was drinking at the time and I started at midday so I feel like the afternoon was a bit of a blur but it still felt fun. Noah was in Year R so we made him and his friend pink milkshake and poured it into plastic champagne flutes so that they could toast the happy couple.

I still look at the photos of that day and marvel at how beautiful she was (and let’s face it, she still is). I feel like we need another big royal wedding soon. Prince George needs to hurry up and grow up so that we can have another day off for his wedding to a gorgeous girl he’s picked up at uni.

Much Love

Rachel

where have those ten years gone?

The passing of a month, a year, or decades can

Happen in the flutter of an eye.

Time will never wait or even slow for you,

So grip those precious seconds with

Hands that aged, wrinkled, paper thin,

You’ll need your strength within those bones

To tackle life, a journey bound

To knock the air and wrap you in a hug.

Can you bloody believe it that Kate and William have been married for ten years? It feels like that time has passed in the blink of an eye. And they have brought three really beautiful children into the world and they are so perfect it makes me want to vomit a little bit in my mouth.

I am joking, of course; I love Will and Kate so much and I personally think that they are a credit to the royal family. Plus, I have such fond memories of that day.

I just happened to be working at the head office of the supermarket chain that I was working for so I was entitled to the day off to watch the wedding. I remember the weather being beautiful that week and we had a whole bunch of bank holidays so it just felt magical.

I was drinking at the time and I started at midday so I feel like the afternoon was a bit of a blur but it still felt fun. Noah was in Year R so we made him and his friend pink milkshake and poured it into plastic champagne flutes so that they could toast the happy couple.

I still look at the photos of that day and marvel at how beautiful she was (and let’s face it, she still is). I feel like we need another big royal wedding soon. Prince George needs to hurry up and grow up so that we can have another day off for his wedding to a gorgeous girl he’s picked up at uni.

Much Love

Rachel