Queen Elizabeth II Never cry in public – this is a popular perception that has been falsified Seven decades From the soaring victories and terrible tragedies of the Head of State of the United Kingdom.
Royal historians say that even if many people believe it, it is not entirely true.
“There were times when she cried more than people recognized or chose to remember,” says Sally Bedell Smith, the famous American biographer of the Queen and other senior members of the royal family.
Biddle Smith started half a dozen occasions when The Queen was crying, and not just in 1997 when Beloved royal yacht, Britannia, retired. cried When I went to Aberfan, Wales, In 1966 to meet survivors of a terrifying coal-waste avalanche that killed 144 people, most of them children, says Biddle Smith. At the funeral of her sister Princess Margaret in 2002, people who were there and sat near her told Biddel Smith that she was “so sad” and “sad as I’ve ever seen her.”
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“She shed tears but it was at the right times, like Sunday commemorating the war dead in Britain in November,” adds longtime royal commentator Victoria Arbiter, who spent part of her childhood in Kensington Palace as the daughter of a former press secretary. For the queen.
But the impression that the Queen rarely shows emotion boils down to the essential role of the monarch who ruled for the longest period in British history: After 69 years on her throne, she has exercised a lot of training in hiding her feelings when necessary – and often so. he is it is necessary.
Her undoubted grief was held back on Saturday by the Queen at the funeral of her 73-year-old husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9 at the age of 99. The 94-year-old Queen kept her cool when she stepped out of Bentley and entered St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, a curved little figure in black and a matching face mask. She sat alone on duty, with her head bent, and left with the Dean of Windsor, who took over the presidency.
“I don’t think we can underestimate the loss that the Queen suffers – there is no denying that this will be the hardest day of her life,” Arbiter says.
Her family saw her grief up close, but those who watched the televised service did not. All 30 guests in the congregation, in keeping with the rules of the epidemic, wore masks. The television cameras stayed a respectable distance from the royal faces during service, as usual.
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The Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who was said to be her favorite, gave a hint of his mother’s behavior when he spoke to reporters two days after his father’s death.
“The Queen, as you’d expect, is an incredibly stoic person,” Andrew, 61, said. “She described (his death) as leaving a huge void in her life, but we, the family, the relatives, are gathering to make sure we are there to support her.”
The definition of a stoic is someone who can endure pain or hardship without showing his feelings or complaining. This is the Queen, says Biddle Smith.
“She is a woman with a deep feeling but works hard to present an unemotional face,” says Biddle Smith. “Partly because of her role, and partly because of her temperament and the way she was raised.”
Biddle Smith says Princess Elizabeth, who was then known until her rise in 1952, was intentionally trained not to show her feelings in public.
“If you see her at any number of (shows) or events, she is watching for practical reasons, but she doesn’t clap,” says Biddle Smith. “The theory is that if you start expressing a reaction of any kind, it will be seen as a preference for one group over another. So I have mastered this neutral aspect.”
At times, she’s been criticized for having a “rocky” face, for appearing emotionless or indifferent, says Arbiter. She is damned if she shows affection, damned if she doesn’t, so the safest option is not to respond.
“The best way to avoid criticism is not to let go of anything,” says Arbiter. “But it takes solid will and many years of practice.”
Compared to her husband, who was more likely to express himself if he was upset or affected in some way, she should show neutrality. She is very disciplined in everything, ”says Biddle Smith.
As a member of Britain’s WWII generation, when so many experienced hardship, loss, grief and devastation, stoicism was a coping mechanism for everyone, not just the Queen, says Arbiter.
“There is a famous phrase that the royals say, ‘Don’t wear private sadness in your public kit,’ says Arbiter.” The family understands that many Brits have gone through Hell in the last year and will want to preserve this perspective ”during the funeral.
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The family wants the ceremony to focus on the Duke, the longest-serving royal consort in British history, and his years of service to the nation.
The Queen, who presides over the Church of England, may choose her last farewell in a more private and spiritual setting, in her private chapel where his coffin has rested since his death. There are no TV cameras there.
“I think before the funeral, she would go to the private chapel for a moment with a coffin on her own,” Arbiter says. “That would be her warm farewell moment, a quiet moment of contemplation and faith.”
Then she put on her neutral face and mask and led her family through yet another royal ceremony to be remembered throughout the ages.