Elizabeth II…between childhood songs and hymns of the great departure
Tuesday – 24 Safar 1444 AH – 20 September 2022 AD Issue No. [
Elizabeth II playing the piano (Getty Images)
Beirut: Christine Habib
If fate had not wanted her to be queen, Elizabeth might have entered the world of limelight through another door. She was known – before and after the crown – for her many artistic and cultural interests. At Buckingham Palace, she personally supervised the details of the events, particularly the musical selections, as has been the case for her jubilee ceremonies over the decades.
Even the music and chants accompanying her funeral, decided by the Queen before she left her kingdom. According to the information circulated, the preparations for the historical event were subject to the Queen’s review and consultation.
Before the two minutes of silence in which the country bid farewell to its beloved female guard, the Queen took her last ride to the beat of drums and bagpipes. Two hundred musicians from the Irish and Scottish military regiments, as well as the Air Force, performed the music for the funeral procession. This was accompanied by the sound of the bell of Westminster Cathedral 96 times, at a rate of once every minute, for the number of years the Queen lived.
“The Lord is my Shepherd” is one of the hymns Queen Elizabeth chose to accompany her farewell ceremonies, and the same chant that accompanied her during her wedding in 1947 and her coronation in 1953.
The Westminster Choir, made up of 30 children and 12 adults, was joined by the royal church choir, to sing together hymns that meant a lot to the Queen. As for the trumpeters, they bid her farewell with the national anthem, leaving the last tune to a lament personally chosen by the Queen, saying: “Sleep, dearie, sleep.”
Queen Elizabeth and traditional Scottish music have an affectionate relationship that goes back to her mother’s roots and to her days at Balmoral Palace during her adolescence, during World War II. There she used to wake up to the trumpets of bagpipes, a tradition that the Queen preserved until her last days. It is also said that the palace musician accompanies her on all her travels, and would attend her dinner tables, to break the silence with the melancholy tones of his instrument.
But far from her familiarity with folk melodies and military music, young Lilibeth filled her ears with dancing rhythms and joy from the singing theatrical productions that were popular during the thirties and forties. It is not strange for a queen who was famous for her wit, that one of the artists she loved most was a comedian. When Buckingham Palace revealed the Queen’s favorite music list in 2016, it turned out that George Formby, one of the pioneers of entertainment and comedy songs in Britain, occupies a distinguished position on that list. It was later reported that the queen memorized all his songs and recited them by heart.
“Music was an essential part of her life,” says her cousin Elizabeth Anson, in an interview with the BBC. “We sang a lot at Kensington Palace,” she says. It was not at all surprising that we would play a recording after dinner and be accompanied by singing and dancing.” According to her cousin, the Queen was formidable at dancing; How could she not, and she never concealed her admiration for ABBA’s song “Dancing Queen” or “Dancing Queen”!
Her professionalism in dancing on the ropes of the transformations of eras and politics proved that the Queen is a master of rhythm, authority and music. With her fingers crossed over by time, and over her golden cup of tea that never missed five, she sang the melody of “We Will Rock You” with a spoon.
The Queen truly wowed the crowd with her latest surprise looks months ago, during the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. For this look, she chose a companion who is unlike any of the royal table guests; History will remember that Queen Elizabeth had tea with Paddington Bear!
For that last jubilee, for which she did not attend all the shows in person, the Queen chose a few songs. I asked Rod Stewart to perform “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. From her window in Buckingham Palace, she heard the voices of Diana Ross, Queen, Ed Sheeran, Andrea Bocelli, and other celebrated artists.
Jubilee celebrations have always been a reminder of Elizabeth’s love of the arts. British culture experienced a renaissance during her long years of rule, during which many artists honored the Queen’s delicacy to the rank of knights. Among these singers, Elton John, who celebrated the Diamond Jubilee in 2012, along with Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, and others.
At that ceremony, and at the Queen’s request, the artist Gary Barlow performed the song “Sing”, along with the choir of “Commonwealth Children” and Military Wives.
Among the artists who have been awarded official titles by Elizabeth, singer Phil Collins, who marked the golden jubilee in 2002, along with his colleagues in the art and royal ranks: Paul McCartney, Elton John and Rod Stewart.
In addition to the jubilee celebrations, the Queen chaired the Royal Variety Program, which was broadcast annually on television, with the aim of collecting donations for charitable causes, with the participation of the most famous artists of the United Kingdom and the world.
Elizabeth studied music only occasionally as a child; But melodies, plays, and songs inhabited her, and she was a connoisseur of the field, always finding some time to sit at the piano and play a little. She earned two honorary degrees in music from the Universities of London and Wales, prior to her accession to the throne.
The Queen has inspired many films, series and songs, since her childhood, through the national anthem, to one of the most famous productions of the “Netflix” platform, the series “The Crown”. She is said to have watched some of his episodes, but her television taste was a bit far from drama. The Queen preferred suspense and science fiction. Among the series she watched were “The Bill” and “Doctor Who”. Her favorite movie, Flash Gordon, was also a science fiction movie, which she used to watch with her grandchildren over the Christmas holidays.
british royal family
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