KAWARTHA LAKES-When Barb Craven heard Queen Elizabeth II had passed away on September 8th, she says she felt like she’d lost a member of her family.
“My parents and grandparents were English and very much attached to the Royal Family,” Craven told Kawartha 411 News. “She and her sister Margaret were held up as a standard to look up to, especially during World War Two. We would go to the Saturday afternoon movies and watch newsreels of how brave they were staying in London and doing their bit, Lilibet driving a jeep. We watched her wedding on our first black and white tv, her coronation on our first coloured one. I guess I feel like I’ve lost a piece of my family.”
In 1959 Craven was living in Guelph with her husband and three kids ages 2,3 and 4. When she found out Her Majesty and Prince Phillip would be visiting The Royal City, as Guelph is known, she decided to take the kids to the park where there was to be a public reception for the Queen.
“The park was so packed that we had no chance of seeing anything.” explains Craven “Then I remembered there was a small sideline at the top of our street so we hurried home and I took the children up there hoping that that was where their train would travel on the way out of the City. I was right, soon we heard a train coming and sure enough, it was Her Majesty’s train.”
Craven says The Queen and Prince Phillip stood out on the caboose to wave to anyone along the route
“I had my daughter, Deb, in my arms so she would be able to see her. Her Majesty waved to us, and Deb was so excited she kept calling out, hi Queen, hi Queen. Her Majesty smiled, waved again and blew her a kiss just before the train disappeared around the bend.”
There were no cell phone cameras back then nor did Craven have a camera with her as she had all three kids in tow. But she says while the children were too young to remember, it’s something she will never forget.
“I haven’t thought about that incident in a great many years, but when I learned of her death, an overwhelming sadness came over me. She has always been a part of my life. I just always knew she was there. And now she’s not.”
Craven points to the huge crowds lining up to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-reigning monarch as a sign of how great a loss it is to so many lives.
“At the same time, I feel so sad, I’m also somewhat apprehensive about what is going to happen next to Great Britain. For so long she has been the unifying figure.
The Queen’s firstborn son ascended to the throne and is now King Charles III.
The funeral for Her Majesty will take place on Monday, September 19th.