To obtain citizenship a candidate must take the Oath of Citizenship, in which you are required to swear loyalty and allegiance to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada. I agonized over this for years. How could I ever say such a thing and mean it? As time went on though it became clear that my life is here in this country, not the country of my birth. My children live here, most of my adult life has been spent here, and I can't ever see myself moving South of 49 again.
So a few years ago I got my citizenship. I swore allegiance to the Queen. And you know what? When I said the words I really meant them. The judge who presided over the citizenship ceremony explained that by swearing allegiance to her, it wasn't so much to her as an individual as it was to what she represents. I know he meant things like the rule of law and how we are governed, but as I watched her yesterday I thought about the other things she represents.
She has lived through many things and come out the other side with grace and dignity. She has faced everything from the Nazis dropping bombs overhead, to the challenges some of her own children and grandchildren have presented as they have lived out their lives in the public eye. I am sure there have been many days when she has wanted to just sit in her comfortable chair with a nice cup of tea rather than go out for yet another public appearance. For six decades she has served, through good times and bad, whether she wanted to or not. For me the Queen is more than our head of state. She is an example of how life should be lived.
So yesterday as people lined the banks of the Thames to catch a glimpse of this remarkable woman, I decided to have a cup of tea and a gluten-free scone to mark the occasion. As I headed to the china cabinet I knew exactly which teacup I wanted to use, one purchased by Jay's mom some 60 years ago.
I hope the weather improves for the last two days of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. I loved how the BBC announcer described the weather yesterday as "unrepentantly damp." Of all the pictures of Queen Elizabeth the Second that have come out in the past few weeks, this is my favourite. I saw this on Facebook, and one of the comments said how one Christmas when her children were small the Queen stayed up most of Christmas Eve finishing up a pair of hand knit socks as a gift for one of them. I wonder if that is true? Anyway, true or not, this picture proves that she is, indeed, a knitter. What more could one ask for in a monarch?