The news that the Queen had died this afternoon broke just as I got home tonight, I didn't expect to be quite as sad about it as I find I am. My earliest memories are around the silver jubilee celebrations, this years Diamond jubilee is something that I'll always associate with preparations for getting married. In between those events, there's a lifetime of memories punctuated by royal appearances and occasions.
I've managed a lot of near misses when it came to seeing her, my favourites being a toss-up between ducking behind a pile of grit for a much-needed wee as a very small child just at the moment her car went past and catching a train to London which left at the same moment the queen got off her train in Leicester on the opposite platform. Not significant life moments maybe, but my parents split when I was young, those early jubilee fragments are a significant part of the family life I remember before that happened so they're precious to me.
However we feel about monarchy we surely all have memories like this - of days out and excuses for village get-togethers, going to see a spectacle with friends, buying tacky memorabilia and loving it anyway. This really does feel like the end of an era, maybe more so as we're looking toward a difficult winter anyway, so for now I'm going to make a cup of tea, drink it from my jubilee mug and reflect on a life of duty and the passing of an icon.