Sunday, December 20, 2009

On the Eve of 2010

As the time grows short to the beginning of 2010 and “Queen Anne’s” reign for a year, I find myself sympathizing greatly about this brave and largely forgotten queen. As the second child of William and Mary, she didn’t expect to be queen. But when her older sister Mary died of smallpox in 1694, it was up to her. She married young in 1863 at 18 years of age, went through all those appalling 18 pregnancies, was widowed in 1708, had wars to deal with both on her side of the Atlantic and on our side as well, parliamentary intrigues, miserable ministers, fairweather friends and dreadful health problems.

In Great Britain there have only been four female monarchs who ruled on their own (with no king) – Queen Elizabeth I ruled from 1558 to 1603; Queen Anne from 1702 to 1714; Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901 and our present Queen Elizabeth II from 1952 to now. We know much more about three of those queens than we do about Queen Anne. The first Elizabeth was a powerhouse, Victoria was very long-lived through more recent times and our present queen has seen such amazing social changes in her lifetime both inside her own family and in the world.

As we progress through 2010, I hope we all have learned a bit more about this largely forgotten historic figure.

My next post will have pictures of the new persona as she attends the Bishop’s Levee at St. Luke’s Anglican Church Hall in Annapolis Royal on January 1, 2010 after the church service. I hope to meet many of you there or at the Royal Canadian Legion in Annapolis Royal that same day.

In the meantime, here is a glorious version of the Birthday Ode to Queen Anne called Eternal Source of Light Divine written by Handel in 1713 and performed by Kathleen Battle and Wynton Marsalis – it’ll curl your hair and give you goose pimples -

See you in 2010 with my dancing shoes on!