Queen Elizabeth II passed away on the afternoon of Thursday last week at the very ripe old age of 96. I happened to be in the UK on that day and it was clear the effect of her demise was felt deeply by many. Major events were cancelled immediately including the one that I had gone for. Then huge led screens and posters came up in London streets, buildings and buses to celebrate her life.
I confess that I have not paid much attention to the British monarchy over the years but it just occurred to me that I happen to be there when a major transition takes place with them. Whenever the royal family comes to mind I just envy her two grandsons who are sorted for life. The only hustle they will have is working on their relationships. I was last there in 2018 when prince Harry had his wedding and then now. So maybe I am meant to learn from the transitions in the royal family and for that to happen I need to be up close to them. Just saying.
As expected the news on TV was all about Queen Elizabeth. I got to learn more about her life. She became queen by accident when her uncle who was king abdicated his role. That’s when Queen Elizabeth’s father became king. Then as fate would have it he died in 1952 when Elizabeth was 25 years old and visiting Kenya. Kwanza I’m told she was near my shags at Treetops in the Aberdare so that should make me royalty by extension hehe. And just like that, she went back home as Queen of England.
The fact that she reigned over England for seven decades also confirms that she was destined to be queen. It seems that once our lives are marked to go a certain course, nothing can stop that. Unless ofcourse we sabotage ourselves. Queen Elizabeth was most consistent over a very long time. I never heard of her stepping out of her mandate or abusing it and if she ever did then she covered it well. Sir God also granted her a supportive husband prince Philip who died last year at the age of 99. To me, He was the queen’s destiny helper and now they have reunited in the afterlife.
It is clear to me that her ascent to the throne may have been by accident but her long life and the outcomes of her reign confirm that it was what I call a God incident and she followed through with grace. Now we expect nothing less from her son king Charles III.
Back here at home, we have just sworn in our fifth president. We have very high expectations of him yet the maximum he can lead us is ten years. Queen Elizabeth reigned for seventy though the queen and president roles are similar yet different. How many of us would keep a level head when you know that you will be in office for the rest of your life? We have sad examples of such leaders here in Africa. Guys who got into office and arm-twisted the system to reign forever. Only thing is that they were driven by personal gain which ended up consuming them.
So what made the queen play the part for such a long time? She is said to have had a strong sense of duty and a determination to dedicate her life to her throne and her people. She made this vow seventy years ago and has honoured it. She was an anchor to the British people. The world has changed a lot through her reign but she instilled a sense of comfort, security and identity in the United Kingdom. She was like a lighthouse that always kept Britain on course somehow. Even Winston Churchill was quoted as saying that she possessed “an air of authority that was astonishing in an infant.” Clearly, she was marked to lead.
The lesson here for me is that we may be marked for great things. No, we are all marked for great things. But we have to play the part. Once queen Elizabeth got news of her father’s death, I’m sure she was distraught. But she rose to the occasion and took the mantle. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for a young girl back in the day to take her father’s place. Folks if we are to achieve the big things destined for us, we have to be willing to take the big steps required to get into place. It may be scary at first and we may feel unprepared but may we take courage from Queen Elizabeth’s life. Maybe she would have chosen to abscond like her uncle but she didn’t. And when she took over she was given what was required to succeed. Long life, good health, a great life partner, wisdom and a rare calmness. Plus a sense of style and class to go with the job.
Myles Munroe said that the thread will be provided only when we start weaving. May we start weaving a great life from where we are today. And in so doing whether we live forty, sixty, ninety or a hundred years our exit will be royal when we breathe our last.