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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,


is Covid-positive.

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.


The official 1947 engagement picture of the future Queen and Prince
The official 1947 engagement picture of the future Queen and Prince

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.


Disgraced Prince Andrew snakes his arm around Virginia Roberts Giuffre in 2001 while teen-girl wrangler Ghislaine Maxwell beams
Disgraced Prince Andrew snakes his arm around Virginia Roberts Giuffre in 2001 while teen-girl wrangler Ghislaine Maxwell beams

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.


Prince Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein on a walk-and-talk in Central Park in 2010
Prince Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein on a walk-and-talk in Central Park in 2010

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.


Not well-received.


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.


Fairy tale wedding day of Princess Diana and Prince Charles on July 29, 1981
Fairy tale wedding day of Princess Diana and Prince Charles on July 29, 1981

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


at half-staff


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.


Camilla, Queen Consort-to-be, with Prince Charles
Camilla, Queen Consort-to-be, with Prince Charles

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.



Queen Elizabeth’s


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.


Prince Harry throws shade while his brother Prince William eyes the sky
Prince Harry throws shade while his brother Prince William eyes the sky

Hopefully, Princes Harry and William


will have buried the hatchet.


Just not in each other’s backs.



Royal Tidbits:


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.


Impeccably dressed in her birthday suit
Impeccably dressed in her birthday suit

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.


The Queen with her beloved corgis in 1969
The Queen with her beloved corgis in 1969

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

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