Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.
~ William Shakespeare
John and I had a conversation this past weekend that begin with … oh, I’m not even sure how it began, but basically it left me thinking about the impact certain decisions have on our lives and in particular, decisions made by others. In this case, I was initially referring to King Edward’s abdication of the throne of England for Wallis Simpson, the woman he loved.
I wondered aloud about how his decision had changed the life of Elizabeth who would be Queen and all of her line to follow. I thought about who Diana would have been and what kind of life she might have lived if she had said no to Prince Charles and gone on with her life.
For some reason, I found myself fixated on Queen Elizabeth and could not get it out of my head that she has spent her life in service, in what appears to have been a joyless existence with duty at the center of everything. I hope I am wrong. I hope she kicks off her heels at the end of the day and enjoys a good laugh over how hard it was to look proper and Queenly at whatever event she attended that day. I’m good with duty up to a point, but I tend to lead with my heart and I know without a doubt that had I been Edward, I would have walked away from it all too.
My crown is called content, a crown that seldom kings enjoy.
~ William Shakespeare
A lovely way of thinking about life. Who wants to be a queen of a whole kingdom if they can be loved by their own prince at home!
I follow my heart too. Duty can only lead me for so long then the heart takes over again. Its better that way.
Have you read “The Uncommon Reader” by Alan Bennett? If not, you must. It imagines a life for Queen Elizabeth . . . one that is witty but also makes you reflect. It’s a gem of a book, small and precious!
i’m not so good with duty – much prefer following with my heart.
The world and its mores has changed hugely during the courseof her reign … sometimes unbelieveably so.
Oh..it’s so true that we spend so much of our lives living based on the decisions of others. In fact – I wrote about just that today over at Vision and Verb.
Seeing that I feel awkward when I take on the duty of church kitchen chairman for a banquet, I know I would not want to be queen of a whole country.
Also, I married a man I love and moved to a different state, against my mother’s advice.
Found that book mentioned in the comments, about the queen’s new reading habits, and ordered it out of curiosity. Perhaps Alan Bennett will open a whole new world of ideas for me.
I’m going to hunt down my old video of _Roman Holiday_ and watch it. Audrey Hepburn talking about the duty of a princess always touches my heart.
I remember that wonderful documentary done some years back(BBC?) which followed a year in the life of the Queen. She did seem to have fun times, the races with her “mummy”, yes she called her that, were especially memorable. My mum was a royal dressmaker in London and actually made the then Queen’s Ascot Races gown one year!
Our present Queen has done an admirable job all these long years – her coronation day was one of the hilights of my childhood as we had a huge block party in our Torquay neighborhood, and my baby brother (8 yrs. younger than me, and my only sibling) was born that same week.
I have a new blog Elizabeth started in order to circumvent all the storage problems with Google – hope you will continue to stop by.
Mary – A Breath of Fresh Air