Queen Elizabeth, A Side of Her You Might Not Know

freaking-out-over-your-paint-colors

 

Dear Readers,

I was going to combine this post about Queen Elizabeth with the topic of Home Organization. I know. Silly me. That’s not happening. This one is all for our dear Queen Elizabeth.

Yes, I said “our dear Queen Elizabeth,” for I believe if Diana was the people’s princess, then Elizabeth II was the world’s Queen. I haven’t heard anyone else say that, but I’m sure most of us feel that way.

 

Most of us can’t remember when Elizabeth wasn’t the Queen of Great Britain.

 

I think so many are struggling with this news because there has only been one English monarch our entire lives. The sun goes down, and we go to sleep. In the morning, the sun rises, and Elizabeth is the Queen of England. Every day of our lives, this is how it’s been until September 8, 2022, when we went to sleep knowing that tomorrow the sun will rise without our Elizabeth.

 

Queen Elizabeth II - The World's Queen

(a little portrait I made digitally)

 

As an American, I don’t understand why we are not calling Great Britain the United Queendom. Right? ;]

 

Furthermore, I have always been intrigued by the idea of people being born into royalty.

It doesn’t matter if a younger sibling is more suited for the top job. If you’re the firstborn, you’re IT. That is unless one abdicates, and yes, that has happened. As most know, Elizabeth’s Uncle Edward did just that, and of course, the next in line was Elizabeth’s father, George. Elizabeth would not have been queen had her uncle not abdicated.

Fortunately, Elizabeth inherited her strong constitution from her mom, as King George only made it to age 56. The rest, as they say, is history.

Naturally, the firstborn learns at a very early age that this is almost a sure thing. They are groomed their entire lives for the job. And, in the case of King Charles, there could be no one more ready for the position than he is, as he’s taken on many of his mother’s duties in recent years.

 

Growing up, my impression of the royal family was that they were a bit uptight and stuffy.

 

They had upper-crust English accents (the Queen’s English, you know) and lived in castles. I couldn’t relate. Please remember that these are only my impressions, not necessarily what was true.

But, then came Diana. Diana, a proper English rose, was like a breath of fresh air. Unwittingly, I perceive that she became the bridge from the old, stuffy royals to what they have evolved into; more genuine, warm, and down-to-earth. Sure, they have their problems. They are hounded by the press and the gossip that goes around…

Despite their immense wealth and privilege, it’s an incredibly demanding JOB. They must have the thickest skin imaginable. I don’t envy any of them.

 

However, after the London summer Olympics in 2012, I saw a side of Queen Elizabeth that changed my view of her forever.

 

Behind her often intensely somber facade is a screamingly funny woman.

I mean, who can forget the sight of the Queen and James Bond jumping out of a helicopter during the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics? Bond was in a tux, and Her Majesty wore a bejeweled pink formal dress.

 

Queen Elizabeth and Daniel Craig 007 London Olympics 2012 - helicopter stunt

Above, a completely deadpan Queen Elizabeth as herself and Daniel Craig as James Bond 007 heading out of Buckingham Palace to the helicopter pad.

 

The Queen ready to jump 2012 London Olympics

Later, the “queen” ;] getting ready to exit the chopper.

 

Oh, you thought that WAS the Queen of England jumping out of a helicopter?

Boy, it sure looked like it!

 

My Six Figure Income Blogger guide talks about the oft-thrown-around axiom, “Content is King.”

Yeah.

 

However, I go on to say, “if the content is king, then our readers are QUEEN.”

 

Yes, you guys are that precious to me.

To go along with my words, I needed an image.  I had an idea. I needed an image with a queen obsessed with my blog content.  (please excuse the self-aggrandizement) Of course, there was only ONE Queen I could think of.

 

After several hours of searching for the grandest image of Queen Elizabeth reading, I found it.

 

It was perfect. However, for purposes of copyright, for my e-book, I created a watercolor of my photoshopped image of Her Majesty sitting on her throne with her gold 16″ Macbook Pro.

qe2 reading laurels blog sitting on the throne

 

I did find one retrospective in Vogue magazine with some fantastic images.

I turned one image of Queen Elizabeth from the article into a Warhol-esque piece of framed art. (below)

 

Her Majesty Young Princess Elizabeth II

 

It’s a young Princess Elizabeth who is said to be playing tag, but to me, she looks like she’s swing dancing. And, since I read that Queen Elizabeth’s favorite color was blue, I used those colors in my computer art. This is a side of her that we really didn’t see, but here it is. I love that!

 

It is improbable we’ll see another Queen of England in our lifetime.

 

However, if tragedy were to strike, Princess Charlotte would be a remote possibility. Hopefully, there will be no more tragedies.

To say that Queen Elizabeth lived her life to the fullest is an understatement. We all know by now that she worked until the day that she could no longer stand; only the day before, she passed. She didn’t linger for days or weeks. No, it was just long enough for us to briefly prepare ourselves for what we all knew was happening when the news first broke, Thursday morning. We didn’t want to think the worst. Surely, as in the past, she’ll get better with some rest.

But, we knew. We have seen her growing increasingly frail in recent years. And, then, the news came out that the entire family was all rushing to be by her side.

 

We knew…

 

I was incredibly blessed to visit England in 2017. I spent several hours on the grounds of King Charles’ country home, High Grove House. No photos were allowed, not even of the immense gardens. But, we were only maybe 30 feet away from the house for a while. There, you could see the sumptuous draperies lining the windows. The luxuriously tasteful English decor was positively seeping through the glass. It was glorious.

We also spent two days with Ben Pentreath and visited Prince Charles village of Poundbury. I took zillions of photos. Ben, as you may know, is one of the chief architects of Poundbury and has also worked for King Charles and other royal family members.

 

I adored England and would love to go back.

 

I didn’t get to stay long in London but our hotel was a stone’s throw from Buckingham Palace. So, arriving a day early, I strolled over to check it out.

You can see those photos here.

It will take time to process this profound loss.

 

Road_to_st_paul's_Queen Elizabeth taken by Ben via Flickr

Image via

 

Goodbye, sweet Queen Elizabeth. I will miss you.

With Love,

Dedicated as always on September 11th to my late brother Donald Irving Bern who passed away on this day in 1987 at age 38. He is with me in everything I do. And, Don is reminding me to tell you to check out the newly updated HOT SALES.
Thank you, Bro.

 

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35 Responses

  1. We lived in Newfoundland in the mid 1950’s for 3 years when I was a child and I was in love with Queen Elizabeth. I secretly wished if she came to St. John’s, maybe she could come to our house for dinner. I know…just a childish dream. A number of years ago, I was lucky to see her and her entourage as she arrived in Toronto on one of her visits. It was quite exciting. I’ve admired her my whole life and feel a sense of loss at her passing. She was an icon never again to be equaled. My sympathy to the Royal Family and the British people. And you are right…She was the World’s Queen!

  2. As a Flight Attendant for Pan Am, I had the pleasure of being in London countless times. I have never know a time when Elizabeth II was not Queen of England. I just loved her mischievous smile and laugh! I was in London during the wedding of Diana & Charles…too many countless memories to mention. And in later years on Antique trips to England with girlfriends…The Queen was steadfast in her love for England & for her faith. God speed, Queen Elizabeth!

  3. Queen Elizabeth was Queen of Tye United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Not just England. She was also Queen of Canada.

    Lovely tribute. Sad times.

  4. Thanks Laurel, for your lovely tribute to Elizabeth. And kudos for your artistic reimagining of the photographs! If this designer thing doesn’t work out, maybe graphic arts?

  5. Thank you for your tribute to Queen Elizabeth and condolences for your brother. I also lost my younger brother to a brain tumour and you always feel that there is something missing from that point onwards. I am from Tasmania an island off the bottom of Australia. We were very fortunate that the Queen and Prince Philip visited Australia 16 times, including 7 times to Tasmania. There was a Referrandum to see if we should become a Republic but it failed. I have always supported the Monachy and feel as a result that we have had a wonderful example in Queen Elizabeth of loyalty, a never ending sense of duty, and of acknowledgement that all of humanity should be cared for no matter where they come from.
    A wonderful woman. May she rest in peace. Karen R.

  6. What a sweet tribute to Her Majesty and to your brother, Donald. I have always been intrigued as well, at people being born into royalty. I love visiting England as well. I have had many tears in my eyes this week, watching all of the tributes, and the look back at Elizabeth from the time she was a young girl. Thank you for dedicating this post to her. She was a great lady, and will be sorely missed.

  7. There will never be one like her, no queen, or king, or any other monarch! She served her country with tremendous dignity, honor, grace, never putting one foot wrong. I was hoping she’d live to be 100, like her mother, or at least live for another couple of years to beat Louis XIV as the longest reigning monarch. Alas, that did not happen. But she served and worked up until she could stand straight – I like how nicely you said it Laurel – and then left us, she was gone in moment, quickly, quietly, with no fuss. A great queen, a great lady! May you rest in peace!

    1. Well, I adore Louis XIV. Best legs on a monarch – EVAH!

      However, with all due respect, he “took the throne” when he was FOUR because of an early death of his father. But, didn’t begin to rule until he “came of age” at 13, huh??? shudder! in 1651. The coronation wasn’t until he was the ripe old age of 16 in 1654 and he reigned until his death in 1715. So, even if we say his reign began in 1651, that’s still only 64 years. I think it’s preposterous to say he was King at age four. Good God, was he even potty trained by then?

      Strictly speaking, I think it should be counted from coronation to death or abdication.

      Queen Elizabeth II easily takes the prize.

  8. Laurel, what a special tribute. To all the UK and commonwealth readers, please know that so many of us share in your sadness. I’ve been watching all the coverage of the funeral plans and the many tributes. I agree that she was a gracious Queen who was able to lead with such grace and dignity during the many challenges she faced. Her humor and wit are legendary and will make for many fond memories. Having one British great grandparent I have always loved England and have traveled there numerous times and I look forward to returning. I too have toured Highgrove house when Charles and Camilla were in residence and it was an afternoon I’ll never forget. Blessings to you Laurel as you remember your brother.

  9. Dear Laurel,
    What a fitting tribute to Queen Elizabeth most heartfelt …
    Peace be with you on this day of rememberance for your loss …

  10. Laurel, What a lovely post in memory of her majesty, Queen Elizabeth. She was, truly, a woman of character and integrity and handled her responsibilities with much grace. I love England, it’s interiors and gardens, alike. I have been to London twice, but would love to venture into the country.

  11. What a beautiful post about Queen Elizabeth; thank you!

    And condolences to you, Laurel for your loss of your brother……Time makes it easier somewhat, but the heart never forgets ♥️

  12. Thank you, Laurel, for your memories and thoughts of this truly remarkable woman. She was a constant in the lives of so many of us. Never another one like her.

  13. We, in Canada, and all the Commonwealth countries, will never know anyone like HRM Queen Elizabeth, again. She will never be forgotten.
    Just last month, the inimitable British decorator, antique dealer, designer, Robert Kime, also passed away. He too, will be greatly missed. Together with less stately homes, Robert decorated Clarence House, King Charles’ and Camilla’s home until now. He was my inspiration when choosing colour and patterns. As he was known to say “always start with a rug”.

    1. Hi Diana,

      OMG! That is hilarious! I heard another anecdote somewhere that she was at a party or something like that when someone she was talking to cell phone range. She said, “You better pick that up. It might be someone important.”

      “You know a princess doesn’t have to try to be a princess, she just is one.” ~ Gelsey Kirkland

  14. I agree with Jill Buckingham’s post about Paddington Bear taking tea with the Queen as part of the Jubilee celebrations being a reflection of the Queen’s amazing sense of humour and comic timing . However as it was pointed out in an article in today’s “Guardian” newspaper by Frank Cottrell-Boyce.
    “Paddington is an evacuee, a refugee, one-time prisoner, pretty much every category of need that is mentioned in Matthew 25. Here, he is being welcomed with tea and good manners. This is a strong statement of a set of values that are not uncontested in the corridors of power. To have them exemplified so joyfully at such a moment meant something.”
    As a British woman living in America with a small decorating business, I admire your work, Laurel and thank you for all your knowledge you share so selflessly with us.

  15. Lovely tribute that reminds us she was a Queen, yes, but also a human.

    It is wonderful you have your brother with you cheering you on. He must have adored you, too.

  16. Such a lovely post, but you didn’t mention Paddington Bear having tea with the Queen at the opening of the Diamond Jubilee.

    1. Hi Jill,

      Oh damn. I watched the video, yes. But, alas, didn’t put it in. It’s hilarious. I think most of us would be deathly afraid of doing something inappropriate in the Her Majesty’s presence. And there she was, totally cool.

  17. Laurel, thank you for your lovely tribute to ‘the World’s Queen’. It warms my heart to see how loved she was beyond Britain and the Commonwealth countries. As a Canadian, with grandparents from Britain, I learned from a young age about all things Royal. I have seen her image every day of my life – pictures on the walls of my classrooms and in government buildings, on stamps, and all of our money. She provided a wonderful sense of stability. I always felt safer knowing there was someone with more longevity than the elected politicians. Even though her power was unofficial, I always had the sense that her strong ethical backbone was influential.
    Of course, there were mistakes made, and she inherited an institution fraught with a problematic history. I am hearing some horrible accounts from my neighbours to the south, who seem to know little about world history. I only wish that people would spend some time researching before jumping to simple conclusions.
    The world changed a lot while Queen Elizabeth reigned. I think she did a good job of changing with the times. We are looking at an old institution here. She came from a time when we were all more formal. It used to be that women wore gloves, hats and girdles when they went out. Now women go out in sweats. So yes, a bit of an overhaul is needed to modernize the Monarchy. That is up to King Charles now. And the Prince of Wales. I hope they do as good a job as the Queen did.
    I feel the world is a better place for all our Queen did. And I can’t thank you enough for dubbing Her Majesty as the World’s Queen. And reminding us of that gleeful sparkle in her eye.

  18. Laurel, I am an anglophile myself – hard not to be when living in Massachusetts. I just played the clip of Queen Elizabeth II with Daniel Craig opening the 2012 Olympics. So funny. I read she surprised everyone when she said that she wanted to be in the film – and that she thought she should have a line. This is from a recent article regarding how she came to appear personally:
    “Speaking to the BBC on Friday morning, screenwriter and children’s author Frank Cottrell-Boyce — who was the writer for the Olympic ceremony (which was directed by Danny Boyle) — said that a member of the team had gone to Buckingham Palace to find out what the queen would be wearing on the day of the ceremony and to take photos to build a set.
    “The queen’s dresser said, ‘Why are you doing all this?’ And we told her, ‘So we can make it look like the queen.’ So she said: ‘Oh, the queen wants to do it,’” he explained. “She put herself up for that, she wanted to be in the sketch.”
    And the clip ending is priceless. I believe she will be as remembered through out history just as we still remember Elizabeth I.

  19. This was a lovely tribute, Laurel. Someone said, “There aren’t people like her anymore!” She certainly lived a long and amazing life. One of my favorite things about her was her love of dogs and horses. I thought it was so cool that she continued to ride well into her 80’s and everyone loved seeing the Corgis scampering around her feet. It still doesn’t seem real that she is gone.

  20. Laurel,
    Thanks for posting this. I was behind being to think I was a freak for feeling the way I did about Elizabeth’s death. It is a profound loss and there’s a sense to me that with Elizabeth also goes a way of living your life dutifully and stoically that this world needs now.

  21. I teared up a couple of times when I saw some of the video of the tributes around the world. The double rainbow at the palace totally did me in. RIP Elizabeth.

  22. Hi Laurel,
    Thank you for posting this about the Queen. I have always had a lot of respect for her. The places she’s been & the things she’s seen are quite remarkable. And living till she was 96 is quite the accomplishment.
    Now I’m greatly anticipating the next season of The Crown.
    I’m sorry about having another year come & gone without your brother. It never gets easier, I know.

  23. So glad you posted this tribute to the Queen, Laurel. It’s so strange, that because the Queen has been in my life forever, it really never occurred to me that she never would be. I’m Canadian, and remember in grade one (1963) they had a very large framed photo of the Queen and Prince Philip, and all of her children out on a lawn somewhere in England. I was so fascinated with that photo. I remember often looking up at it from my desk and thinking how wonderful she was. Her kid’s were still very young. Edward was still a baby sitting in the big English pram. Every morning the class would stand and we would sing God Save the Queen. I have always thought she was the most beautiful woman there ever was. Canada is still part of the British commonwealth, so we have a strong connection with them. Anyways, I have been incredibly sad since the news. Almost, as if I’ve lost a part of my family. She was born the same year as my mother (1926). I think after Philip died, she started to fail (imagine having her partner for 70 years!) Of course, catching Covid didn’t help either. Charles has some pretty big shoes to fill, but, I’m sure he will do fine. He has been groomed for this job his entire life.

  24. Hello, from England – I arrived in England with 2 of my friends on 9/8 to spend 2 weeks traveling the country, a trip that has been in the making for 3+ years. Our first night, while ordering a pint at a local pub we heard the news. The pub was silent except for the TV announcer. Some watchers were crying while others were silent. The next morning we walked to Buckingham Palace to pay our respects. I am sure you’ve seen the double rainbow in the London sky about the time of the Queens passing? While we walked through Hyde Park to the pub it stopped raining and the rainbows appeared seemingly pouring into Buckingham Palace from our prospective. Armed with smartphones we took many pictures, not realizing how symbolic it would be just minutes later. God Save The Queen.
    Cheers, Katie
    Spokane, WA

  25. At dinner tonight, my energetic somewhat macho 6′ 4″ friend announced, “we haven’t talked about the Queen. And he confessed to shedding a tear when he heard the news about her this week. I know that the waterworks will start for me at some point during the coming weeks. Her photo seemed to be everywhere when I was a child in school and I had seen her in person a few times from a distance. She was just so constant and such a strong role model that I didn’t realize the positive influence she had on so many of us for so long. I already miss her. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for making Elizabeth the subject of your post today.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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