Rachael Bletchly says the Queen need not sit on a grand throne or wear the imperial crown to remind us of her status and her unprecedented place in history
Watching Prince Charles prepare for the Queen’s speech at the State Opening of Parliament was poignant and quite moving.
It was the look on his face as he looked at the imperial crown that lay on a pillow beside him.
And this empty space where the monarch’s throne should have stood, as it did throughout her long reign.
It’s hardly surprising if the Prince of Wales seemed a little overwhelmed by the occasion. Because this is a man who has waited his whole life to take the throne.
And yet, as that moment approaches, he is more aware than ever that his fate requires the death of his mother and a loss that will rock the nation.
Prince William’s face showed that he feels it too as he will one day face a similar conflict. While Camilla, the future Queen Consort, must have wrestled with her own feelings as she sat in the House of Lords.
But, thank God, Her Majesty is still with us. And it was lovely to see her looking so alive at the Windsor Horse Show today.
It was obviously a good day in terms of mobility and a relaxed informal event.
Other days aren’t as good, however, and the fiercely independent monarch is understandably concerned that her legs are failing her on public engagements.
But it would be tragic if this left her stuck at home while the rest of us celebrated her platinum anniversary.
So I really hope that the Queen’s family and advisers can persuade her to use a wheelchair so that she can attend all the big events comfortably.
It won’t make them appear weak, feeble or debilitated – in fact it would be a huge boost for wheelchair users around the world.
And she certainly doesn’t have to sit on a great throne or wear the imperial crown to remind us of her status and her incomparable place in history.
This is our final opportunity to come together as a nation and personally show our love and gratitude to the Queen.
So let’s pray that she finds the strength to go among her people.
Before she leaves an empty seat in the heart of a grateful nation.