June 06, 2012

Reflected Glory

heir apparent and sister

And in this Jubilee year, we look back:

The young Elizabeth, heir apparent, queen to be, here performs the royal wave. Hand raised, palm turned, fingers crooked. The royal benediction, drawing glory from the skies, the divine right, the imperial weathervane.

Father king mother queen and sister princess, little Margaret Rose. Yet. It is a woman in the background that catches at the imagination

To the left of the Queen Mother we see the face of a woman who has lived too long in the afterglow of reflected glory. If little Margaret Rose would only turn her head she would see her future foretold. The ennui and emptiness, the stultification that passes for dignity. No longer can the full-hearted smiles of the young princesses be managed. Just the impression of a smile, faint, barely an expression at all.

But for the eyes.

The eyes give the game away. Weary, those eyes, put upon, one twitch away from annoyance. If little Margaret Rose had only turned her head she would have seen her future foretold and known that she would never be able to master the mask, that she would fly off the rails in quite public and tabloid ways.

 

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