I’m deeply saddened at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II and my condolences go out to the Royal family. I felt a Canadian connection as my generation grew up with her. I do remember we were exposed to her influence every day.
In the early morning before class started we would sing God Save the Queen. Then during class, you would often see her portrait hanging over the chalkboard in front of the classroom. Her influence throughout Canada was part of the fabric of our country.
When Covid struck I found myself busy penning my first novel called outfoxed.
The first chapter’s location is on the St. Lawrence Seaway where my protagonist William Fox and his cohort Philip White shoot it up with Triad mobsters. William says to Philip “Do you know Phil, looking back there probably has not been a significant event here since 1959, when Queen Elizabeth and President Eisenhower christened the seaway as they sailed through on the Britannia.”
I wrote that in 2019 and often wondered what happened to the Royal Yacht Britannia that the queen was so fond of.
Apparently, the queen and entourage sailed onto Chicago and disembarked at the renamed Queens Landing. She met with Mayor Richard J. Daley.
The significance of the voyage through the Great Lakes to arrive in the United States was a milestone. This was when the United States was becoming a dominant world force. Queen Elizabeth’s voyage into the heartland of America was to emphasize her resourcefulness and challenge the changes in world dynamics. It would become an attribute of hers throughout her reign.
What happened to her beloved yacht? it is harboured in Edinburgh as a floating museum and it is used for events and it also has a tea room for guests to enjoy.
The yacht was decommissioned as it would have been too costly to refit. The Britannia was in service for over 40 years and travelled over 1,000,000 miles around the world. Its sister ship Fingal is moored beside it and serves as a floating hotel.
The queen shed a tear publicly at the decommissioning service as the entire crew said their farewells. Many of us around the globe will be publicly shedding many tears at her passing as well.
(pictured here is the Britannia as it departs Cardiff for the last time.)
Image attribution: By Ben Salter from Wales – farewell Brittania Uploaded by Oxyman, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=22457043
Here is a film clip of when Queen Elizabeth officially opened the St. Lawrence Seaway
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