One person has been a responsible adult with a warm hearth throughout most of our lives: Queen Elizabeth II. Hearing of her death made the world feel partially unmoored.
For some of us she looked like our moms or grandmas wearing hats, purses, gloves, glasses and curled hair through the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Then customs changed and women dropped most of those signs of feminine civility while the Queen carried on. That was comfort in her colorful ensembles. She wasn’t a perfect human, but that didn’t matter when she appeared or spoke.
The British have been fortunate to have a person who committed herself to national service be part of their tradition without needing to be part of the fray. She carried knowledge of world leaders and traditions from studying and influencing behind the scenes. Everyone could look to her to be calm and strong during the worst of times. She adapted through war and peace, civil unrest, financial disruption, cultural changes. When she missed the right step, she accepted counsel and spoke to her fellow Brits about what she had learned. Around the world we all felt as if there was one adult in the room.
God rest Queen Elizabeth II. There are probably many beyond England’s shores who wish it was possible to pop over the ocean to set a thank you note at the castle gate.