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Emails to my Therapist

All The Queen’s Daughters

In my mind, my mother and Queen Elizabeth have long been connected. Until the queen died, I thought I was the only one harboring such a thought. Now I’ve read a tiny fraction of the public responses and I realize that a lot of people, women especially, of about my age  have had the same feeling.

And strikingly, the comparisons are made for different reasons.

My own mother admired the queen because she was good at her job. She and Mom shared a conscientiousness about work, about duty and responsibility and accomplishment. Both of them with a wry wit and powerful presence. Both of them rather no-nonsense. Both died at 96, four years apart.

The first similar comment I ran across was from a friend who posted on Facebook that with the queen’s death, she had lost one of the last living links to her mother.  Her mom and the queen were born the same month, married two weeks apart, liked matching hats and pocketbooks, favored similar hairdos and lipstick….

Mom and me

Losing my mum all over again

Another woman said that her mother and the queen had weathered similar hardships, especially in the loss of their fathers. “I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s like losing my mum all over again.”

From a writer for Reader’s Digest Canada:  “I think Her Majesty bears some resemblance to my own mother.”

From Canada’s online page of condolences:  “My mother was just like her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, very strong, kind and loving.”

A headline in The Globe and Mail: “The Queen didn’t mean much to me, so why did her death trigger a deep longing for my mother?”  The writer concluded that loss of the queen was the end of “another connection to life on this Earth as it was when my mother was on it.”  Her mother had been fascinated by the queen, shared her taste in purses and rainy-day kerchiefs.

I also noted similar reactions from a few men, including President Joe Biden: “She reminded me of my mother in terms of the look of her and just the generosity.”

Purses, lipsticks, kerchiefs, generosity, love, and devotion to duty

With the news of this death, so many people are thinking of their mothers and for such varied reasons. The similarities are in part a matter of a generation’s values and style. She exemplified the parent generation for people my age.

And perhaps to some degree the inevitable mystery and remoteness of a queen provide a sort of screen that we each can project on. If so, it’s notable that a lot of us project there a memory of our moms.

I’m glad that the celebration of her life will go on for a while.











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  • kenju
    September 10, 2022 at 4:12 pm Reply

    When I heard she was very ill, I cried. I had hoped she would reach 100. She was my idol, whom I admired very much. I never thought of my mother resembling her, but now that you mention it, they had similar characteristics. I felt sorry for the Queen when Charles had an affair and when Andrew acted in a very non-royal manner. She didn’t need scandal in her life. But she handled it all very well and kept her composure. I will really miss seeing her and how she lived her life. A good role-model for all women.

    You look like your pretty mother!

    • Peggy Payne
      September 10, 2022 at 4:17 pm Reply

      Thank you, kenju! And I share your admiration for the queen. I’m impressed that she was still at work two days before she died. She had a tough job.

  • Linda Fraser
    September 11, 2022 at 7:43 am Reply

    It is a sad time indeed! I just loved your mom! She was so beautiful, never a hair out of place! I miss my mom too. I was lucky she lived with me until her death at 102.
    Now they reign in heaven! I am overwhelmed with grief.

    • Peggy Payne
      September 11, 2022 at 3:19 pm Reply

      They’re still with us, Linda. Two such strong presences as our two mothers will always be.

  • alcooke
    September 11, 2022 at 10:22 am Reply

    The Queen and my mother were both born in 1926. They both gave birth to thei first child (both, sons) in 1948. Though my mother is still alive, she has to be told when it’s her birthday and how old she is. And her son has no pathway to a coronation.

    • Peggy Payne
      September 11, 2022 at 3:17 pm Reply

      I’m sorry about your mom, Al. And you’re certainly horticulture king of Chathamshire.

  • Brooks Preik
    September 12, 2022 at 12:52 am Reply

    Beautiful picture pf your Mom!

    • Peggy Payne
      September 12, 2022 at 4:16 pm Reply

      Thanks, Brooks. It’s one of my favorites. Nice to hear from you here.

  • September 12, 2022 at 4:19 am Reply

    Losing you Mom was terrible for us all – she was a wonderful woman and Mom. bob

    • Peggy Payne
      September 12, 2022 at 4:15 pm Reply

      Heart emoji, Bob!

  • alcooke
    September 12, 2022 at 9:36 am Reply

    Thanks, Peggy. I may have been at one time. I am trying to shed that “crowm.”

    • Peggy Payne
      September 12, 2022 at 4:14 pm Reply

      I’ll bet you get asked for advice quite a lot.

  • Gail Chesson
    September 12, 2022 at 5:29 pm Reply

    My mom was a bit older, but she dressed similarly. Every thing had to be properly done including the handkerchief in the purse. All matched-scarf, coat, shoe etc. she decried my late 60s style as not a style but a mess. Miss my mom, and I really appreciate her attention to her style.

    • Peggy Payne
      September 12, 2022 at 7:41 pm Reply

      I miss mine too, Gail. And I still like a bit of matching, what others are calling match-matchy. I think of it as “complementary colors.”
      I’m betting your mother was cool.

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