Annus Horribilus Redux
By Naomi Serviss / New York City
You’re not the only one having a horrible year.
Queen Elizabeth II,
the longest-reigning monarch
in British history,
Buckingham Palace confirmed
she is experiencing mild symptoms
but expects her
to continue “light duties”
at Windsor Castle over the coming week
as she receives medical treatment.
The Queen met with Charles
earlier this month,
before he was diagnosed with Covid
for the second go-round.
He went into isolation.
He had previously contracted a mild case
in March 2020
when the pandemic
first engulfed Britain.
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh,
her husband of 73 years,
died in April
after living a robust 99 years
under public scrutiny.
The Covid threat had prompted
the Royal duo to sequester
in regal quarantine
at Windsor Castle for more than a year.
The Firm is teetering on tenterhooks—
swatting and quashing the latest scandal.
Which would be Prince Andrew,
the Queen’s second son,
a Bacchus acolyte who doesn’t sweat.
As he smugly claims.
He’s now banished
from wearing fancy royal duds
and representing the family.
Reports allege that Andrew visited his mum
several times last week
for more than a royal tongue-lashing.
He faced the maternal music,
got his comeuppance
and was cut off from
the royal apron strings.
And he coughed up a few million
to settle some legal scores.
Fallout from playing with Jeffrey Epstein,
the late and disgraced
financier-turned-convicted sex offender.
The Queen’s rebellious (can you blame him?)
grandkid Prince Harry
spilled the royal legumes on Oprah.
The Queen runs a tight ship.
Some say she’s become more compassionate
since Princess Diana’s incandescence
swept the world
and pulled back the curtains
shrouding the royals.
Others need more convincing.
Yearlong celebrations marking
the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Year
began on February 2nd.
Her Majesty officially welcomed Camilla
to be known as the Queen Consort
when Prince Charles reigns.
I’m still bitter
about how Princess Diana
was emotionally starved
in her nightmare marriage.
The royal family was initially silent
after Diana’s death,
blindsided by the world’s outpouring
of grief and personal loss.
Their refusal to fly the flag
embittered the public.
The Queen was out of touch
with her subjects’ shock and grief.
Only after walking around
the makeshift memorial
at Buckingham Palace
and seeing millions of
mementoes, flowers and heartbroken notes,
did the Queen realize
how Diana really was
The People’s Princess.
It took years for Brits
to forgive Charles for his infidelity and cruelty
to his young wife.
Camilla inched her way
into public favor
with her newfound
legitimacy and earthiness.
impeccable style and grace
has been a constant from the get-go,
from the empire’s end,
the tumult of the ‘60s,
labor battles, terrorism,
Brexit to the Covid pandemic.
When the Queen oversees
her official June 13th birthday celebration,
or Trooping the Colours, (Brit parlance),
she’ll be seen waving
from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Hopefully, Princes Harry and William
will have buried the hatchet.
Just not in each other’s backs.
According to Hugo Vickers,
the Queen’s biographer,
the Queen wears
eye-catching neon ensembles
for a purpose.
“You have to be able to see that figure
in a lemon coat and hat
from far away,”
he told the New York Times.
A brilliant lime-green suit marked
her 90th birthday celebration.
She carries cash in her purse only on Sundays,
for a church donation.
Although her birthday is April 21,
it’s celebrated in June.
No need for her passport
when traveling around the world.
She speaks fluent French.
Been on Facebook since 2010
and has both Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Corgis are her favorite dog breed–
she’s had more than 30 over her reign.
Susan was her first Corgi
and Whisper was her last.
Her two dorgis (corgi and dachshund mixes)
are Vulcan and Candy.
Elizabeth is an established horsewoman.
She periodically visits Kentucky stud farms.
Her property and financial holdings
have made her
one of the world’s richest women.
Long live the Queen!
Naomi Serviss is a New York-based award-winning journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Highroads (AAA magazine), in-flight publications, spa and travel magazines and websites, including BroadwayWorld.com