Melanie Phillips has written a great tribute to Queen Elizabeth II. The Queen is the nation, she writes, she must live forever. I’ll admit to having the same feeling about Her Majesty. I was upset to see that she was not able to attend the Remembrance service yesterday in London. You know she isn’t well, if that is the case – we know what these things mean to her. I had also been a bit surprised to see her looking gaunt a few weeks ago, but, as my spouse points out, Elizabeth is 95 and she lost her dear husband earlier this year. Of course, she cannot live forever. We know this. But her vulnerability brings something even more meaningful, more profound, to her relationship with her subjects. Giles Fraser writes about this phenomenon at Unherd.
Indeed, the version of the Queen that we are now seeing is the greatest of her roles as our monarch. It is not important if she misses COP26 or other political talking shops. She is doing something much more important now.
She is showing us what human life is all about when we loosen our grip on power and status and function. Her last act may well be her finest.