The GardenA blog by yours truly

The Elizabethan era

Queen Elizabeth crowns then-prince Charles

I don鈥檛 remember finding out that Britain had a Queen. It鈥檚 one of those basic, primal facts you learn before you even enter primary school, in 鈥淢y First Dictionary鈥 books and little picture stories 鈥 this is a cat, this is a dog, and this is the Queen.

My mother didn鈥檛 either. Even my grandmother was just a bairn when Elizabeth came to the throne. Our family have lived our entire lives never knowing anything else 鈥 she seemed like such an immutable constant of British life, an unchanging, unmoving symbol of a country constantly in flux.

Of course i knew it couldn鈥檛 be forever. The Netherlands had already gone through this when Queen Beatrix abdicated and all the shops out up cheeky advertisements about the national holiday鈥檚 change from Koninginnedag to Koningsdag. But then, she abdicated, didn鈥檛 she? William-Alexander didn鈥檛 have to wait until his mother died to get her old job. Such is the unique cruelty of the situation His Majesty Charles III 鈥 a title i鈥檒l never get used to 鈥 finds himself in now.

As Britain leaves the Elizabethan era 鈥 from the first televised coronation to a death announced over the internet, from Empire to Commonwealth, an age of immense advancement and change 鈥 and enters its third Caroline era, in this increasingly polarised and uncertain time, there is but one thing to say: The Queen is dead. Long live the King.

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