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Queen of Jubilees

A Queen there was, revered, of global fame—
Elizabeth the Second was her name.
For three-score-years-and-ten she ruled the roost
and gave us Brits a self-assuring boost
through walkabouts and bric-a-brac that bore
her likeness. She was loved by rich and poor
who visited each town and rural place
her palaces and castles took up space.
Her Silver, Gold and Diamond Jubilees
were past, as were those days we ruled the seas.
Her reign had overseen an Empire’s fall,
yet she remained a constant to us all.
Upon her final, Platinum, jubilee,
we rallied to her gracious Majesty,
and while the world around grew ever strange,
her strength of presence steadied us for change.

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Originally published in The Daily Mail on September 22, 2022

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Paul A. Freeman is the author of Rumours of Ophir, a crime novel which was taught in Zimbabwean high schools and has been translated into German. In addition to having two novels, a children’s book and an 18,000-word narrative poem (Robin Hood and Friar Tuck: Zombie Killers!) commercially published, Paul is the author of hundreds of published short stories, poems and articles.


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15 Responses

  1. Roy Eugene Peterson

    As an American, I fully understood the value of the steadying influence and the contribution of the “strength of her presence” as the beloved heart and soul of Great Britain. This lovely and heartfelt poem reflects that admirably.

    Reply
    • Paul Freeman

      Thanks for the reading, Roy.

      It still seems strange that it’s all ‘God save the King!’ now.

      Reply
  2. Paul Buchheit

    Paul, this is a very nice tribute to the longest-reigning woman in history!

    Reply
    • Paul Freeman

      Thank you, Paul. I felt I had to sum up someone extraordinary who had been a part of the background of my entire life.

      Reply
  3. Betty Glaz

    Paul, I congratulate you on your rhyme scheme and meter. At first glance, I thought your poem was a sonnet, but 16 lines do not a sonnet make. Queen Elizabeth II was greatly admired by most Americans.

    Reply
    • Paul Freeman

      I get the feeling QEII was admired, or grudgingly admired, almost universally; but yes, a lot of fandom in America.

      Though I write a lot of sonnets (about 110 so far), I’m a great fan of rhyming couplets for an easier vehicle to convey my exact thoughts, feelings and meaning, especially when writing about people.

      I’m glad the meter and rhyme scheme worked for you. Thank you for reading and commenting.

      Reply
  4. Mary Gardner

    Paul, thank you for your moving and well-written poem honoring Queen Elizabeth.

    Reply
  5. Jeff Eardley

    Paul, this is a great tribute to the old girl. Hope Harry gets to see it.

    Reply
    • Paul Freeman

      Thanks, Jeff. I think Harry’s too busy doing the chat show circuit to be bothered with little old me.

      Reply
  6. Brian Yapko

    Thank you for this, Paul. Your poem is a wonderful and heartfelt tribute to a woman of great dignity. Not only did she admirably shoulder her duties and demonstrate the greatest loyalty and commitment to her nation and Commonwealth — she did so with enormous grace and poise. She was an inspiration to all. The likes of Elizabeth II will not be seen again and we do well to remember what true royalty looks like.

    Reply
  7. Margaret Coats

    Paul, this is a stalwart and steady octet of heroic couplets well suited to the majestic subject. I am not surprised it was chosen for publication by a major British journal in the wake of the Queen’s death. Elizabeth II has been part of the background for lives worldwide, especially in English-speaking lands. Over 90% of the world’s population was born during her reign! My Platinum Jubilee trip to England is only one of many, but it is now more memorable than any except the very first. Of things that bear Elizabeth’s likeness, I will keep a fresh 10-pound note with her on one side and Jane Austen on the other. Can’t imagine turning it in to a bank later, just to receive a spendable one featuring a portrait of Charles.

    Reply
    • Paul Freeman

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Margaret. It will indeed feel strange seeing Charles III on the coinage and bank notes.

      You’re mention of the ten pound note (the tenner) set off a little train of thought whose linguistic peculiarity might amuse you:

      I’m sure you’ll be interested to know that the five pound note (with Winston Churchill on the one side), will continue to be referred to in Cockney parlance as ‘a Lady Godiva’ (i.e. a fiver), as in ‘I’ve got a Lady Godiva in me sky rocket, me old china’ – meaning ‘I have a fiver in my pocket, mate.’

      * china (plate) = mate – sometimes only the first of a pair of words is used in Cockney rhyming slang

      Anyhow, thanks again for reading and commenting.

      Reply
      • Margaret Coats

        Never had to contend with Cockneys! Regional accents and usages are fairly easy for me because I tend to stay in commercial and academic surroundings, AND because some kind person interprets when necessary. This bit from you is most interesting because you explain!

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