Above is one of the many photos of the young Queen Elizabeth.
Below is a photo of my Aunt Sara, probably when she was a bit older than the above photo of the Queen, but it’s the only one I could find of her easily (without groping through shoeboxes full of photos).
In my family we always felt like they could have been sisters. And both were, I believe, very dutiful and correct ladies in their lives.
It’s most certainly the end of an era, and I feel that these two women, both gone now, would have had much in common and been good friends, had they ever had the opportunity to meet.
My Aunt Sara was, I think, a sensitive creative person who was married to the wrong man, a man who was extra intelligent, and extra devoted to rules and duty, and not very loving to a creative and soft-hearted woman who did not manage to remain that way during their marriage.
My aunt was a gifted water-color painter, and sewer. She could make complicated clothing like lined suit jackets and silk scarves with rolled edges.
My aunt once told me that, in the year or so before Marilyn Monroe passed away, she had often thought of inviting her to dinner, because she looked, in the news, to be sad, and tired, and she thought she could use a place to take a break from her life. When Marilyn passed away, my aunt was sad but not surprised, she’d said. I tell this story because I always felt it was perceptive of my aunt, to clue into another woman’s pain, and I think it would have been lovely if that dinner offer had been sent and accepted.
In many ways, the Queen, because she had wealth and privilege, probably had an easy life, and in other ways, for those same reasons, it was probably hard.
My aunt was married to an incredibly smart, respected, and talented doctor, who was also very critical of her and unkind. My aunt had a lot of money, children who had little to nothing to do with her, a lot of time alone on her hands, and a sensitive artist side that was largely unfulfilled. She was, I believe, also deeply in love with the wrong man.
Prince Philip seems to have been a strong and controlling person, dominant, and I wonder, had Elizabeth not become queen, with all eyes upon them, if he would have been loving, kind, and faithful for life. My uncle certainly took pride in being faithful, but it was like it was a chore he shouldered with little complaint, when in fact he complained a lot, and often, and embarrassingly publicly. Many times my aunt spoke in front of me of how she wanted to leave him, but she was, I think, too in love to ever go.
Queen Elizabeth had her problems and missteps like all of us, but she was who she was, it seems to me, unfailingly, when I am certain there were times she would have liked to have been different than what was expected of her. I think she did a lot to bolster morale and, in general, help her beloved country through the challenges all developed nations have. In any case, she seems to have done more than a good job at it, and I hope she’s enjoying a cocktail now with her beloved spouse, and all their former corgis.
And I think it would be more than lovely if she could, now, in the beyond places whatever and wherever they are, get to meet her doppelgänger, my aunt, Sara.