Queen Elizabeth II: A Life and Legacy to Honour (April 26, 1921-September 8, 2022)
With the passing of Queen Elizabeth on September 8, 2022, at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, I have spent some time reflecting on history and all she has lived through and accomplished in her lifetime. While not perfect and never claiming to be so, she reigned over Great Britain and the Commonwealth for a remarkable 70 years.
As a young girl, my maternal grandmother, my Nana, introduced me to the royal family. The first major royal event I remember was the 1981 nuptials of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. As a little girl watching the wedding on tv was like bearing witness to a real-life fairytale. Diana’s dress was puffy and frilly and all things I imagined a princess to be. I still have the china plate buried in my hope chest to commemorate the occasion. You can imagine the excitement I felt when I learned that the Queen would be coming to Brantford, ON, to visit the Mohawk Chapel in 1984 when I was ten. My husband only told me last night that he and his best friend rode their bikes to the chapel to witness her visit (his family home wasn’t too far away). While I didn’t see her at the chapel, I still remember being so excited that the Queen was in our city.
Most recently, we have witnessed many royal weddings, the two most significant being Prince William to Kate Middleton and Prince Harry to Megan Markle. I love that Kate (newly titled the Princess of Wales) has taken on the early years as her passion project. Not only was Princess Diana an early childhood teacher, but she also had a genuine love for children and always took the time to show them compassion and kindness. As an early years professional, I appreciate this and understand the value and significance when a public figure invests in children and the early years. Children are our future and our promise for a better tomorrow.
On Monday, September 19th, Montessori Children’s Academy will celebrate the life and legacy of Queen Elizabeth II. Our casa classrooms will enjoy gingerbread cookies in the shape of a Queen and some cool tea (iced tea). Our children are young, so we will simply be sharing who the Queen was, where she lived, and now her son Charles is the King.
While we respect and acknowledge that the monarchy represents colonialism for many, we will not be getting into historical facts and details with our children. We will be celebrating “Truth and Reconciliation Day,” known to many as orange shirt day, on September 30th. At MCA, we accept and value all people and teach love and kindness.
Queen with Paddington