Thought it was 1964, but she was here in October of that year; my family was in Saskatoon, and I have no memory of missing any school for a fall Ottawa trip. Could have been 1959, with my family returning to Ottawa for a summer visit, after moving to Saskatoon in 1958. At six years old, would I have been too young to remember her? Must have been the summer of 1967, when she was here to celebrate Canada’s centennial. Like her grandson earlier today, being on Parliament Hill for July 1.
What I remember is standing on an Alta Vista Drive sidewalk corner, to catch a glimpse of her as she was driven to the airport. Lots of people on the corner, for the same purpose. An instant, and she passes by in the vehicle, waving through the window. No picture taken, but an image remaining in the mind to this day: the smile, the wave, the friendliness, the kindness. Similar to the images that many people all over the world have, of a particular moment when she passed, when the eyes met briefly.
Lots of those similar moments for a lifetime, I am certain, in terms of the visit of the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge on Parliament Hill earlier today, and throughout their visit to Canada.
Times seem to change, though. The Duke and Duchess are driven away from Parliament Hill in this massive black on black beast of a vehicle. Actually a caravan of such vehicles; the Prime Minister in another such monster. All with heavily tinted windows. Wondering how they will wave in a way that…