I am an Elizabethan….no – not the one from Shakespeare’s days, one from these days. Seventy years on the throne….the amazing Queen Elizabeth II. I am also a Londoner…brought up in London, so I am happy to be here in London, to join in the celebrations for these special Jubilee celebrations.
I have long been a History buff, fascinated by the stories of the Kings and Queens of England, good and bad. And of course I have had my own brush with British royal history playing Princess Alais in the film THE LION IN WINTER and Catherine Howard in the play THE KINGS MARE.
I have always been a fan of the Queen and her family. Perhaps I had more exposure than many, because of my mother. Mum was a graphic artist, a fashion artist, working for a national newspaper. In those early days of the new Elizabethan age there was less photography of fashion, so a few favoured newspapers were sent to Buckingham Palace and to the Queen’s fashion designer – Norman Hartnell, to sketch her outfits for upcoming events. Mum also covered Ascot for the Royal fashion….three grinding days of rushing to Ascot early on the train and back late at night to fall into bed, where often she would complete her work. I slept in the same room and I will never forget the smell of Indian ink and the sight of the huge drawing board balanced in front of her while she worked. ” Did you see the Queen today, Mummy?” I would murmur as I fell asleep.
I have had my own moments with the Royals – so named by Peter Sellers, when he took me on a date with Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowden…we went to the cinema and then back to dinner at Kensington Palace. ( More about that another time). I also worked with Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, with his film company Ardent Productions, when our companies co- produced a television pilot THE CATER STREET HANGMAN for ITV and discovered talented Keeley Hawes along the way. More about that another time!
Memories of good times…they sustain us and keep us going and I have been fortunate to have some pretty good ones. A friend of my Dad’s had one of the first television sets and we were invited to watch the Coronation on television in 1953. I watched Charles and Diana’s wedding on TV in the middle of the night in America, my other home. Despite their chequered history with Royalty, the Americans, typically generous and big – hearted have long supported the present Royal Family.
So yes, I am an Elizabethan and a Royalist. The Queen has been a unifying influence for a long time, constant and positive and despite the naysayers, has done an amazing job for 70 years and we should all be gracious and say ” THANK YOU YOUR MAJESTY”!