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Friday, September 9, 2022

End of an Era

We awoke to the news this morning that Queen Elizabeth had passed away, so it really is an end of an era.  New Zealand is a member of the Commonwealth, and although we are governed by our Parliament, our Governor General is the Queen’s representative.

I can remember the Queen’s visit here in 1953.  As an 8 year old, I lined up with all the school on Waiwhetu Road, my flag in hand, waiting for the Queen and her entourage to drive past.  I’m not sure, as a youngster, if I expected a queen dressed in a sparkly dress with a crown on her head, travelling in a golden coach.  She was conveyed in a large black car, regally waving to all the school kids, as we excitedly waved our flags back at her.

Another highlight was on our trip to England in 2008.  We were staying in London for a week or so, exploring all the wonderful  sights.  Luckily for us, Buckingham Palace was open to visitors and we purchased tickets for a tour. Sadly the Queen was not at home so we didn’t get invited to meet her over afternoon tea.   Here are our thoughts (taken from our 2008 blog) of the visit through the palace.

“What can we say? The state rooms that are opened for public viewing in the summer season are just mind blowing. We had purchased our (timed) tickets the previous day and queued up with a huge crowd waiting to get in to this London landmark. After going through security we collected our audio guides and started our tour. We went up the Grand Staircase and into the Green Drawing Room, with  walls hung with pale green silk. From there we went into the Throne Room and the long Picture Gallery, the Silk Tapestry Room, the East Gallery and into the Ballroom. This magnificent room was set out as it would be for a State Banquet. On the tables were silverware, the beautiful dinner service, crystal, and flower arrangements, it really looked superb.

The State Dining Room was dominated by a huge highly polished mahogany table, and our audio guide informed us that is is not covered with a table cloth when used as the table settings look so wonderful on the rich timber. The Blue Drawing Room, the Music Room, followed by the White Drawing Room were just as wonderful to view We then went through the Marble Hall with it's collection of marble statues and lastly into the Bow Room which overlooks the gardens.

Our impressions are: wonderful red carpets, beautiful domed ceilings, and a colour scheme of (mostly) white and gold. Add to this priceless paintings, marbles, works of art, tapestries, wonderful pieces of furniture. There was just so much to look and admire. We were not permitted to take photos inside, unfortunately, so we can not show you any of the treasures we saw. Guess this photo ban ensures that paying guests purchase a souvenir guide!!”


The official guide

At the rear of Buckingham Palace

So what happens next?  I’m sure things are well in hand behind palace doors, and all the protocols will roll out like a well oiled machine.  I’m sure Charles will step into his new role with confidence, with his family right behind him. 


Maria said...

A sad day after the Queens long reign …
Reunited with her dear husband.

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I was sad to hear the queen had died but expected it as her health seemed to decline this past year especially since she had covid in February - I always thought she seemed a strong woman determined to carry out the roll she had to play - I wonder how often she had wished her uncle would not have abdicated and she could have had more of a normal life not in the public eye

ButterZ said...

It definitely is a sad day with a few changes ahead. She was a beautiful woman and one her family can be very proud of.

Tired Teacher 2 said...

My condolences to the people of the Commonwealth. The Queen will be greatly missed: I admired her dedication to those she served.

Jocelyn is Canadian Needle Nana said...

So enjoyed catching up on your posts this morning Jenny. Glad you won that great and yummy haul. And had your work on display too. Also enjoyed this post about your visit to Buckingham Palace. Don't think I've ever seen the back of it before. Wonderful memories. As you know, She was our queen too here in Canada. I have tears in my eyes when I think about her. She was remarkable in every way. But now King Charles which sounds so odd to me but I guess I'll get used to it.

Jackie said...

I did not realize that New Zealand's representative of the Queen was called The Governor General. Ours is as well.

She was remarkable and had such a sense of purpose about her.

God bless.

Janice said...

It was a very sad day, and as you say, the end of an ere. What a great lady she was. I saw her twice, once when I was five and Dad and Mum drove us up to Orange to see her and again in my last year of high school when she came to Bathurst. Mum saw her three times, as she also saw her in 1954 when she visited Bathurst.