My mother used to refer to her as Queenie and the same name tag always stuck in my mind, just as she was always there, in the background of our lives as we weren't royalists. I'm still not, and pay small attention to the comings and goings of the UK's most high ranking family. I think I was painting the side of someone's house during the wedding of Charles and Diana, and I recall looking at early hifi equipment in John Lewis with Mum when some other huge royal event during the 70s was taking place.
But as so many others must feel, it is so odd to realise someone who has always been there as much as a parent always is has finally left us. All those angular handbags and matching outfits as bright and striking as Gerbera daisies, all those times I wondered if the Queen craved beans on toast or wished to disguise herself and wander around a car boot sale on a Sunday, all those times I asked myself what it would feel like to hear the announcement that she had passed on.