Queen Envy

My mother, Kathleen, has suffered from Royalty Envy her entire life. First of all, Princess Elizabeth was born two years ahead of Kathleen, giving her an unfair advantage. Seeing Princess Elizabeth featured in magazines and newsreels in gorgeous dresses surrounded by her retinue fascinated and frustrated her. Clearly the young royal had done no more than she to deserve this sumptuous life. To add insult to injury, Princess Elizabeth had beautifully curled hair. Kathleen suspected it was a much coveted permanent wave.

One or two fortunate girls of Kathleen’s acquaintance prissed about haughtily showing off their permanent waves. Kathleen knew every penny in her household had a purpose, so it never occurred to her to mention her yearning for a permanent wave. Periodically, her older sister curled her hair with rag curlers, but those curls paled beside the beauty of a permanent wave. Even worse, Princess Elizabeth’s hair might have been naturally curly. What cruel accident of birth would bestow curly hair upon a royal child and condemn Kathleen, a tow-headed, child of American The Great Depression, to struggle through at least ninety-four years of lanky, string-straight locks.

Kathleen avidly poured over any mention of Princess Elizabeth in newsreels, news papers, and magazines, alternately admiring and envying the girl unaware of her existence. Every time she visited to outhouse, she read and reread a magazine article about the princesses, fully aware Princess Elizabeth wasn’t reading about her in her dainty water closet.

Kathleen excelled at the tiny school in Cuthand,Texas, sometimes helping her janitor father clean after school, aware that Princess Elizabeth was educated by governesses, later attending the finest private schools. While the princess attended soirees, Kathleen picked beans, fed chickens, and gathered eggs. There was definitely nothing privileged about her rural life.

As time passed, Kathleen had less time to devote to her rival who was now queen, though she noted with satisfaction her own children were more handsome and probably smarter. She was a bit critical of the queen’s style; too many pastels and over-large hats., though it seems she would have been pleased that something that obscured the queen’s curly hair.

Some things never change. I mentioned the other day the queen might be schmoozing with the heavenly hosts right now since she’d beaten Mother to Heaven. Mother remarked snidely, “You don’t know that for sure, do you?”

I knew she’d say that!

It Couldn’t Be Helped Part 5

Which looks better?
Mother was locked on the grounds of Windsor Castle, but in all honesty, it was’t her fault.  She was part of a tour group that got locked in.  They were just enjoying themselves and, as on the other museum visit, the group found themselves alone, the exits locked.  She hastily pointed out, this time it wasn’t her fault.  It was the group leader’s responsibility to keep up with the time.

Concerned about arrest for trespassing, they searched fruitlessly for a helpful guard.  None were found.  Eventually, they went up and beat on the castle doors, to no avail.  Mother was quite offended, sure the queen was inside and just refusing to answer because she was a snob.  Though she saw on the news later that night the queen was supposedly in Scotland, Mother was still miffed, preferring to believe she’d been snubbed.  Eventually, the group found an unlocked gate in the gardener’s area and made their departure.  Having to go out the back way did not improve Mother’ s prejudice toward Her Majesty.

Though Mother is a royal watcher, she never misses an opportunity to take a swipe at the queen.  “The queen wears ugly hats.”  “ The queen seems overbearing.” “It’s awful the way the queen bosses her family around.”  “I’ll bet she’s an awful mother/grandmother-in-law.”  “The queen is no better than anyone else.”  “The queen has gained weight.”  I don’t know why she got such a bee in her bonnet about the queen.  I know the queen would be devastated if she knew all the nasty things Mother says about her.

Mother positively gloated upon learning of a story published in The Guardian that DNA  studies on Richard III, one of Queen Elizabeth’s forebears was illegitimate.  Possibly, the queen herself has no better claim to the throne than Mother does.  I will leave it to the the two of them to sort that out.  I don’t have a dog in that fight.

Questions raised over Queen’s

ancestry after DNA test on

Richard III ‘s cousins.