The king is Dead Long Live the Queen
Where I was when the Queen started her Reign on 6 February 1952
I sat in my classroom in Markhams Chase School along with my fellow classmates, Miss Whitley was teaching us can’t recall what though. Miss Duke walked in the perception of the young is so amazing, I think we all knew something was wrong and whispered something to Miss Whitley. What Miss Duke said shocked her and bought tears to her eyes. Children of this era were not used to seeing teachers cry in front of them, they were not like that, they had been through the war, they were brave strong and positive what could have happened, Miss Duke patted her hand and left the room. Miss Whitley could be seen to dab her eyes and turn her back on us her shoulder shaking slightly.
I was only 9 years old at the time and a bit of a tough nut but my emotional genes have always been paramount, I wanted to rise in my seat and hug her to make her feel better, but you did not do that then not to your teacher. We all sat in silence and anticipation waiting to hear what had upset our Miss Whitley, slowly she turned to us her usual composure seemed to have returned with reddened eyes she said to us “Girls it is with great sorrow that I tell you at 10.45 our dear King George the 6th passed away”. You know those moments that stand out in your mind for all your life well this was one of those moments and the silence that followed.
We were not old enough to realise then the significance of the statement but we were old enough to feel the sadness of it. One of the girls began to weep then we all joined her. I remember putting my arms round Miss Whitley her quietly weeping gradually we all stood together around her desk together weeping. Thats how I recall being told of the Kings death.
But also this was the start of our young queens reign through which she has had joy, pain and sorrows. I have loved her, disagreed with her, but never disliked her. Her dedication to her people for the last 60 years has been unfailing, I for one will be celebrating her diamond jubilee with pride and honour. I will also be remembering, with the over 60s, that fateful day February 6th 1952.