In times like these, it’s clear how much the Queen means to so many

Like it or not, Her Majesty has been our north star, the keeper of national standards, providing certainty for seven decades, says Salma Shah

Wednesday 27 October 2021 17:12
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<p>The Queen greets guests including the  PM at Windsor Castle earlier this month </p>

The Queen greets guests including the PM at Windsor Castle earlier this month

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The closest we will ever truly come to magic is being in the presence of the Queen. I speak from personal experience. Recently, I had the honour of attending the Royal British Legion’s centenary service in Westminster Abbey. An already great occasion was elevated considerably by the presence of Her Majesty. She did nothing apart from appear and take her seat and yet when people stood they stood a little straighter and when we sang “God Save the Queen” we meant every word tenfold. Her magical effect is powerful.

Some dislike the monarchy, but at the grand old age of 95 even hardened republicans make an exception for our longest reigning head of state. Few can doubt that she’s done a good job over her nearly 70 years on the throne, having adapted and evolved, yet somehow remained the same. She has certainly embodied what Walter Bagehot referred to as the “dignified branch of the constitution” in ensuring the steady and consistent leadership of British pomp and circumstance.

Perhaps this is the reason for the mini outbreak of hysteria at the news of her needing to take it a little easier. If we were discussing any normal nonagenarian, we’d have scant reason to second guess the fact that full days of events are probably not the easiest of tasks to manage for someone of that age. Instead, we try and read into the details of the story to see if any medical clues can be garnered. Here’s the critical factor guys, she’s old!

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