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The Long, Slow March of Time

A fictitious retelling of a historic event

By Luke FosterPublished 5 months ago 3 min read
The Long, Slow March of Time
Photo by Church of the King on Unsplash

She opened her eyes on yet another day. Instinctively, she reached across the bed, feeling for that which she knew wouldn't be there. It had been well over a year now, since the death of her husband, and she missed him more terribly that she ever thought possible. It was almost a grim ritual that she still reached for him every morning, even though she knew that the bed was empty apart from herself.

She sighed as she pulled herself to a seated position. That was getting harder each day as her elderly frame betrayed her a little more each time. Her frustration raged inside her head as she waited for the pains to die down. At 96 years old, she took comfort from the fact that her mind was just as sharp as it ever had been, but her frail body could no longer keep up.

She was determined to keep the severity of her failing health from the people around her. A by-product of her upbringing, alongside a sense of personal pride. Showing weakness was not in her nature, and her iron will had thus far provided her with the strength she needed when she had to go out in public. This was something that she carefully managed, so as to be able to keep going as long as possible.

It had been around three months since she last had to strain herself, when she had been in London for the jubilee celebrations. It had been wonderful to be around family, as her grandkids and great grandkids were all in town, but it had taken it out of her in a big way, and she immediately retreated back to Berkshire, and she hadn't really been anywhere else since.

That had to change today, as she had an important meeting. The idea that she was still working at her advanced age was a travesty in of itself, but no-one was more aware of the responsibilities that came along with her last name than her, and she was never one to shirk her duty.

Someone entered the bedroom and crossed to the window, pulling open the heavy curtains and the morning light poured into her room. She couldn't make out the newcomer's face as her vision blurred. She retrieved her glasses from the nightstand and blinked her eyes until the figure now at the foot of her bed came into focus.

"Good morning, your majesty." she heard.


Queen Elizabeth II steeled herself for the onerous task ahead. It is tradition that after a general election, or as in this case, the appointing of a new leader of a governing party, that the serving monarch meets with the leader of said party, and asks them to form the government that will run the country.

HA! She tried to have little opinion on the current state of politics, what party was currently in power and who was leading them. When it worked well, monarch and prime minister had a good relationship. Several former PMs had kept her in the loop of events, and sought advice from the 70+ years of experience she had gained in diplomacy.

When it doesn't work well... The party clown that had been in charge for the last few years. Her lips momentarily pursed in disapproval at the thought, but she quickly shook the feeling, and no-one would have been the wiser as to her thoughts.

Today was to be the fifteenth prime minister of her seventy years as monarch, and she had lost count of the amount of governments she had asked to be formed. Frankly, she found the whole process tedious. She had little interest in today's politicians, and resented the time away from her animals.

Conversely, it may do her some good to get back to work. Her health had been on a downturn since the jubilee celebrations, since Philip really, and a bit of work will give her something else to focus on, rather than her failing health.

She didn't envy the woman she was due to meet today. This was the fourth prime minister, from the same party, in the last six years, the leadership appearing something of a poisoned chalice at the moment.

Before the meeting, she had some photos taken, aware that the British public had not seen much of her in some time. As she sat, nausea swamped her once more, threatening to engulf. She swallowed back the pain, and waived off the person who had worriedly approached.

Taking a moment to regain her composure, she nodded, and the door opened. Queen Elizabeth II prepared to host a prime minister for the last time.

HistoricalShort Story

About the Creator

Luke Foster

Father. New husband. Wannabe writer.

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Comments (1)

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  • Heather Hubler5 months ago

    This was a thoughtfully written story of what her final days and thoughts might have been. Her strength of character was shining through. Nicely done :)

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