• Clarke Wallace


(I wrote this shortly before she died. I thought it worth keeping it as it is).

It was back in the late 1970s when Queen Elizabeth visited parts of Canada including the Maritimes and Montreal. She was there to open the summer Olympics. I was a staff writer with Weekend Magazine in Montreal, which came out on weekends and delivered in newspapers across the country.

I was given the assignment to fly to Halifax to write a piece about her visit before she moved on to other parts of Canada.

There were two of us making the trip, the other a staff photographer. He was more important, the piece kept mostly to photos of her doing her thing. I would write notes enough to pull the photos together.

If you wonder how it looked back then, you have only to see photos of her before she died. Nothing had changed, the same routine, other than she was older, a little more frail.

At age 96 there was vitality in those blue eyes. In the way she talked and moved around under her own steam.

Author’s comment: If you think I was close to her during that visit, you’re wrong. If she glanced at me among the gaggle of press, I missed it. Queen Elizabeth right there. So close I could’ve touched her.

She passing away gracefully in Scotland, a country she loved to visit. A woman who left a wonderful impression of herself that will last a lifetime.

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