“Constitutional Monarchy” is a term straight from the humdrum of history class. For many of us, the British Monarchy is far removed from our day to day. We occasionally see a colourized photo, mounted in an ornate frame in a public hall or Legion; or put the debit card down and take notice of the ever-evolving etched portraits of the Queen, minted on our pocket change. Elizabeth II is our Head of State, and in 1953, a Canadian law, the Royal Style and Titles Act, formally conferred upon her the title of "Queen of Canada."
This past Saturday I witnessed, for the first time in my lifetime, the Queen as a familiar character. A wife, of more than seven decades, garbed in black and mourning. On even-keel with all of those who face grief; a human and shared experience. Her Royal Highness began a journey of learning to live without a husband, friend, faithful Consort, and Servant to the Commonwealth - His Royal Highness The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh.
The service was humble, and High-Church, with lessons, collects, and a commendation. Prince Philip had been involved firsthand in the creation of a Land Rover Carriage, to transport his casket, arguably the clearest sign of opulence. The Pandemic limited the attendance to 30, a strong reminder that restrictions have few, if any exceptions.
Our team is coming to see an intimacy in these private gatherings. That shy granddaughter might find the bravery to share a poem in front of her parents, aunts, and cousins. A eulogy may be a little less “censored,” and laughter a little louder. It is different, without a doubt. As saddened as we are for the Queen, or our neighbour, for what we can not do, I am proud to share the opportunities, support, and healing our profession offers to everyone, prince or pauper, even now.