There is no doubt that Queen Elizabeth has certainly been in our thoughts lately – and what a reign she had – imagine 70 years of being Queen. It is a huge job! But it got me to thinking about when I had the chance to be a queen – for a day.
Let me take you there. I was lucky enough to live much of my childhood years in the village of Mullion, Cornwall. This little village on the Lizard Peninsula in the South West of England was a paradise for smugglers. Mullion Cove was an ideal launching spot for fishermen – but fishing wasn’t exactly lucrative. French brandy on the other hand was very much in demand. Under the guise of fishing it was an easy way to meet a French boat and accept delivery of a keg of brandy.
Of course the Revenue men were onto this pretty quickly and often descended into Mullion checking the fishermen’s cottages for smuggled plunder. There is a story of one of the notorious smugglers whose house was invaded by Revenue men while he had just taken delivery of a large barrel of fine French brandy. His wife, quick as a flash, jumped on top of the barrel, spread out her skirt, took out her breast and started feeding the baby. Problem averted.
But back to the idea of being Queen for a day. You see in Mullion each year they held a carnival. This had been going on for years and was eagerly anticipated. There were games, races and lots of fun and there was a parade through the village lead by the Carnival Queen and her princesses. All the girls in the village participated and a team of judges assembled at the local Women’s Institute Hall so they can decide who would wear the crown for Mullion.
Of course I entered – all the girls in the village entered. It was a thing. That was fine with me – it was just a laugh – but my mom ….. well my mom was convinced I would win. She was there in the front row as I came out and did my little walk around the stage. She had done my hair and bought me a lovely dress and I remembered all her instructions. I held my head up high and my shoulders back and I smiled at the judges. I got a good round of applause and Mom was pretty sure that I was in like Flynn!
My friend Mary won the position of Queen. She was a good foot taller than me (I have always been a short-arse) so I guess she looked the part. My mother was APPALLED. You should have heard her. “My goodness, how on earth did they pick that horse to wine?
“Well it’s true – it’s only because her dad is on the Village Council”
“I have got a good mind to launch an appeal”
I was quite happy not to be Queen for a day but to be one of the princesses on the float. We got special gifts and prizes and got our hair done and best of all I didn’t have to say a word or make a speech. But my mom never got over it. “Hmmmph” she would mutter as she came to adjust my dress or check my flowers, glowering over the top of me to where Mary sat with her big crown.
You gotta love moms …. I am sure the dear Queen Mother was just as protective of Queen Elizabeth. RIP