A new portrait of our Queen, Elizabeth II, who is eighty years old today.
I am a totally committed royalist, deeply thankful for the stability that the constitutional monarchy has given this country. Her Majesty herself has been a model of duty, stoicism and actually, rather a lot of wisdom. Someone on a TV programme this week described her style in
difficult times as "keeping her head down and just keeping going" - and I happen to feel that that is not a bad model to follow.
Despite all her privileges, I do not believe that she has had an easy life. She has had an even more difficult decade, and has, in the past, seen her sister and all three of her children go though marital breakdowns. Thankfully, Charles, her son and the heir to the throne now seems totally happy with Camilla, the woman he so clearly and deeply loves, and whom I feel will be a fine Consort to him when he does finally take over the reins of Monarchy.
But I hope (difficult though the waiting and "living in limbo" must be for him) that that event will be a long time in coming. Her mother went on past her own centenary, and I am convinced that as long as she lives, Elizabeth will continue to reign.
When she acceded to the throne, she took on a life long commitment - a commitment that I believe she still takes profoundly seriously. It gives me a sense of security that her wise counsel will continue to be heard by those around her that most often need to listen!
Happy Birthday, Ma'am - and a Health Unto Our Majesty!
(Photograph from The Daily Mail newspaper)