watching the queen smile

battle black blur board game
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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

proud to be british?

gray concrete castle with flag on top under blue sky
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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
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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

heroes and villains

wonder woman illustration
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You cannot love both Batman and the Joker,

Or Ariel and Ursula.

It doesn’t work that way, says someone

High up in the world.

For us to make our money you must hate,

No matter what the cost.

We must pretend these human beings are

From comic books and films,

Not flesh and blood with feelings hurt,

Just like you and I.

Sorry. I’ll probably be harping on about this interview for quite a while because I like to write about feelings and there was just so much to unpick in what was said.

One of the huge things that I felt was said very early on was that Meghan couldn’t understand why there had to be a hero and a villain out of her and Kate. I have sometimes quite flippantly said ‘I’m on Team Kate’ not really thinking about the implications. If I’m on Team Kate, I’m insinuating that Meghan is the rival and to be hated.

Why can’t we love both of them? They are both really strong women and they are beautiful and intelligent, so why can’t they just be equal? It’s no wonder women are scared to go for positions of power when they know that they will be pitted against each other and vilified for doing it.

So, from now on, I don’t have a Team. I just listen and try to feel empathy. Who knows what went on behind closed doors; it’s not really our business. What matters is that we look after two women that have had a really tough time.

Much Love

Rachel xx

…..thoughts on that interview

How dare she make a fuss,

Rock the boat

When she must bathe in bubbles of

The very best champagne?

Try being just like one of us,

The ones with problems that are ‘real’.

But what is real when families

Are called upon and fail?

Everyone can feel that pain,

The sort that money cannot soothe.

So, I could write for about six weeks on the theme of that interview and I haven’t even seen it yet. From what we have seen here in the UK, there is so much that we can have an opinion on, whether we should be airing those opinions or not.

I love all royals and I love Harry and Meghan so I’m not on a side. I hope that all of them find happiness so it makes me really sad to see people dig in. I might write about the Kate vs Meghan issue later, but I want to touch on people’s negative attitudes towards Meghan and the pain that she has felt.

She brought up a lot about mental health and most people were very sympathetic to her in the Twitterverse. But I did notice that there was a little bit of backlash because she has money, and I’d seen it months ago when they did the documentary before they left the royal family.

It seems that for some people, if you have money, you are not allowed to feel pain. Money should get rid of all that, apparently.

I saw one person write something along the lines of ‘try being a single mum in Birmingham, and then tell me about having a hard time’. I thought that was such a horrible thing to say. This woman has been dragged through the mud VERY publicly and she has lost family and friends as it has played out.

If we work on the theory that money solves all problems, we can safely say that here in the UK nobody has the right to experience any mental health issues because we are a lot richer than people in developing countries. We all know that’s a load of twaddle, so why would people even suggest that’s the case?

I just hope that the family can find peace somewhere in this mess that they have become tangled up in. Their pain is just as real as the pain us ‘commoners’ experience. It’s unfortunately a part of being a human being.

Much Love

Rachel xx

oooooh, this is like a disaster movie

Violins, strike a fearful chord

As lights are dimmed and we all feel

Like we are trapped in chambers beating

With the flood of chemicals.

There really isn’t any need

But drama is inevitable.

OMG, I saw the ‘trailer’ for the Meghan and Harry interview and almost died today. I will most definitely be watching when it is aired in the UK but mostly because I don’t know what to expect.

I love the royals and I also love Meghan and I sometimes feel like the media wants us to like one or the other. In my humble opinion, I think that both do a lot of good and anyone who is making lives just a little bit better is doing a good thing.

However, the royals doing interviews never seems to end well and so I’m a little bit nervous about watching this. I really hope that it’s not laid on too thick and makes them just look like victims, because I don’t think that’s a fair representation of them.

The American TV stations do have a habit of trying to make things way more dramatic than they need to. I could feel my heart rate increasing as I watched this very dramatic teaser. They even had movie-esque music to build up the tension.

Whether this is an inspired decision or it turn out to be a hot mess, we won’t know until we actually see it and get to see how the press and the Twitterverse decide to react. I just hope that it does go well for them. And I hope that it works out equally as well for the royals still over here and working as royals. It would be a shame if anyone gets harmed because of this.

Much Love

Rachel xx