Even when they were tiny, barely verbal creatures, my sons knew that when Mommy came clicking down the wooden stairs in her high heels – wearing a skirt and carrying a purse – that meant she was going somewhere.  “Meeting, Mommy?”  they would pipe.  “Mommy now go to meeting?”

They were always right, of course.  Otherwise, Mommy would be slopping around the house in jeans or sweatpants, wearing a sweatshirt or baggy sweater, feet in flipflops or socks.  The hair would be in a ponytail or tied up in a bandana – never “done” if staying home.

Supporting Pavlov’s experiments, it was interesting to see how quickly my boys learned what grooming, a higher standard of dress – and the killer detail – the PURSE - meant. 

All of which makes me wonder, what clues did Queen Elizabeth’s children grasp as to her intentions for the day?  She seldom leaves home, yet she alway has the hair and the stockings, the suit and the brooch.  The purse is always dangling too, even though she is at home.  She’s not going anywhere!  What’s in the bag?  Clearly not a driver’s license or a credit card.  Not a hairbrush or a lipstick.  It’s just a prop.  Well, now it may contain her iPod.  The Queen’s handbag means “business.”  It means “photo shoot.”  It means “official meeting” – AT HOME.

What a challenging and artificial life the Queen leads.  Dressing up to stay at home.  Entertaining visitors in the parlor, with papparrazzi snapping away. 

The donning of the hose, the wearing the heels, the curling of the hair, the dangling of the purse.  At home!  It’s the opposite of my life.  I truly can’t imagine.


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