Saturday, September 4, 2010
September 5 – Almost Home
The Queen took up her crown again, and she was the only Monarch in modern times to wear it during the remainder service except during the Communion. All those rare and precious gems made it very, very heavy.
She returned to her Throne, and the Archbishop spoke the words of blessing and dismissal. Just like the end of any church service! The “Gloria” was sung, and the “Te Deum,” and then the trumpet fanfare began afresh . . . trumpets, organ, choir and orchestra . . .
“O Lord, save thy people, and bless thine inheritance!
Govern them: and lift them up forever!”
Now the swords began to move beside her, and the Archbishop led the way, and Elizabeth rose and passed out of the Theater and into the sanctuary of St. Edward’s Chapel. There, at last, she exchanged his crown for the lighter, but no less brilliant, Imperial Crown. She was divested of all her ceremonial robes and was adorned for the first time with the luxuriant Robe of Purple Velvet, embroidered richly in gold with her own “EIIR” insignia and all the beautiful and symbolic needlework that had taken so many months to complete. The firm, Ede & Ravenscroft, maintain a thriving business, even though no new Coronations have come along in the last sixty years.
In her right hand she bore the Sceptre with the Cross, and in her left, the Orb. Her Coronation gown was visible again, and as she traversed the length of the Abbey, surrounded by columns of honor, she sparkled like a thousand stars, even to the diamonds at her ears. The black and white film, not yet governed by every degree of precise film-making, glittered and danced with the play of light.
The currency was changing over in her honor; the postage would bear her image in Commonwealth countries world over. The red boxes that contain her unending daily correspondence and parliamentary briefs had new embossing . . . "EIIR".
Glancing for one moment at the Throne where she had so lately sat, she began her long trip home.