I do not give you laws
I can do something else --
my devotion to these old islands
our brotherhood of nations.
As a little girl, I thought that was very impressive--but not only that. Ever since I first heard mom talk about their birthdays, they've been connected in my mind. My mom and the Queen ended up sharing the same neural pathway formed in 1960 in my four year old brain, so she's always been a motherly figure to me and so close to my heart.
So, since today is the Queen's 90th birthday, it's time to tell the story again--of how I saw the queen in Oxford.
|The Union Jack is flying over all of the Oxford|
colleges today, in honour of the Queen.
This is the view of Harris Manchester College
from our back garden.
|The Oxford Castle mound.|
It was a perfect May day, bright with sunshine and warm. A cracking good day. I walked to the Oxford castle around 9:30am, determined to see the Queen no matter how long I had to wait, even if I had to wait all day. Luckily I had beat the crowds and claimed a spot right in front of the metal barriers that lined the drive down to the hotel. Just before 12:30pm, as the crowd grew, a beautiful burgundy Bentley appeared and turned into the hotel drive--and there she was in the back seat with her lady in waiting.
We all craned our necks watching, waiting, cameras at the ready for when she would reappear. As we waited, I had to fight off a small group of women who were doing their best to wrest my front row spot from me, but I was taller ("and had more insurance"). In full 'Towanda!' mode, I successfully held my ground as she who would not be moved.
|I was so nervous and excited that I took far too|
many pictures before the Queen had even
reappeared from the hotel--and my camera died
just as she was a few feet from me. I nearly cried.
|Photo from The Oxford Mail|
She slowly made her way up the drive, shaking a few hands along the way, accepting flowers which were then handed to her lady in waiting. She looked people in the eye as she smiled and her face was calm and gentle. Her skin was a marvel, the perfect English rose complexion, which looked even more stunning in her very Chanel pink and black suit. She was simply beautiful. She also seemed completely genuine and so happy to see all of us.
|This is as close as I got until the batteries on my camera|
gave out. By the time Her Majesty was standing
in front of me, my camera was dead to the world.
|Photo from The Oxford Mail|
It seemed like only a nanosecond before she moved on, leaving us all basking in a residual pink glow. She reached the top of the drive, waved a queenly goodbye, and then was whisked away in the Bentley to her next stop, Christ Church College, where she is what's known as the 'Royal Visitor.' She lunched there with more of the great and the good of Oxford before reappearing again as she was whisked down the High Street and back toward London.
|The Queen is also know as the 'Royal Visitor'|
of Christ Church College, Oxford.
This is another of Her Majesty's visits to
Oxford, walking with the former Dean
of Christ Church and the Bishop of Oxford.
Photo from the Oxford Mail
It took a very long time for my feet to touch the ground again after the excitement of seeing the Queen just two steps away. Before that moment I had always loved her, but actually seeing her, how she responded to all of us in the crowd, seeing her beauty and genuine spirit close up, from that moment on I adored her. Like we say in America, "she is the real deal". I saw that in her on that sunny afternoon in May, but I can also say that from a tiny, tidbit of inside information about the Queen. It comes from about as far away from the royal family as you can get, from an American cowboy.
|Shared from Pinterest,|
a recent and very beautiful
portrait of the Queen by
artist Jemma Phipps.
|My cowboy brother, Bobbie (right) with|
his posse, ranches in the Sandhills of Nebraska.
Happy Birthday Ma'am. God save our gracious Queen! Long live our noble Queen! God save the Queen! Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long to reign over us, God save the Queen.
of heart of its average men and women.