Elizabeth II, born on 21 April 1926, celebrates with a new portrait in the midst of her two favorite ponies, Bybeck Nightingale and Bybeck Katie, and always in the sign of her husband. With 70 years of reign, her Majesty is now a piece of history, an icon, one of the house – It is the Colosseum.
“Queen? Exactly what the Colosseum means for the Romans: you don’t notice it. I guess when you drive around it you are not there admiring it and saying “what a beauty”, are you? Here, for us Elizabeth II is a bit like that. A piece of our life, of our history, but with great naturalness», Olivia Colman a few years ago responded to what it meant for a British woman to play The Queen. With 70 years of reign (she celebrates them next June), 96 years of life on 21 April 2022, Elizabeth II is, in fact, now a (great) piece of history, an icon, a homeowner. She is the Colosseum.
And the new-beautiful-portrait celebrating her birthday is between two of her beloved ponies. Taken in Windsor Castle grounds last month, the photo shows the Queen standing between her Bybeck Nightingale and Bybeck Katie, facing a huge magnolia tree in full bloom in early spring. The image was released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which the Queen has participated in every year since 1943, and was taken by Henry Dallal, who was also commissioned an official portrait for her 90th birthday.
After all, there is a lot to celebrate. And the queen will do it big at the beginning of June, on the occasion of Trooping the color, to celebrate the super record. In fact, her reign is the longest in all of British history. Everything has been said, written and shown about her. She has been everywhere: on the covers of punk records and on mugs, on tea towels and on t-shirts, on Netflix and on postage stamps. The greatest artists of the twentieth century portrayed her, from Andy Warhol to Lucian Freud. Pop stars sang it, from Madonna to the Smiths. You have been through wars, scandals, Brexit and even pandemics. And until recently, in all this, the queen had Philip next to her, her husband, her “rock”.
Elizabeth, 163 centimeters tall, was born under the sign of Taurus. Prince Philip, one meter and 83, below that of the Gemini. An explosive match, their quarrels were furious, as were the periods of crisis. But they were married for 73 years. “As in the best families, we too have our eccentricities, our quarrels and our impetuous young people,” Majesty once said of her. And now that Prince Philip is gone, who passed away two months from the age of 100 on April 9, 2021, her Majesty finds herself “celebrating” in the place that makes her feel closest to her beloved. For this she left Windsor Castle, where she is currently based, to go to Sandringham, Norfolk, where her husband had retired in 2017 to spend his last years in the countryside. At Wood Farm, Filippo’s last residence, over the weekend, she will be joined by the other family members with whom she will blow out the candles “deferred”.
The royal family will do everything to not make her feel alone. The emptiness, of course, is felt. But Elizabeth II had to go on, today as then. Ever since the crown rested on her head at the age of 26 (“what a strange hat you put on!”, Philip’s joke, a favorite of her), Lilibet has learned: serving the nation is her first duty . Before the happiness of Sister Margaret or any other family member, before the Megxit or other attempts at insubordination, even before (or at least beyond) her pain. “Keep Calm and Carry On,” the British have been saying since the Second World War.
She never wanted to hear about abdicating. Elizabeth will continue to sit on the throne as long as she can, despite health problems and movement difficulties in recent months. She has admitted that she is (also) fragile – “no one can live forever” – but she is always that girl who never thought of becoming queen. But when she became one she immediately understood that there are no shortcuts: “Pain is the price we pay for love”.
Written by Michael Zippo
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