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Elinor Florence (Company name) Elinor Florence

Remembering the Queen

My own small collection of Queen Elizabeth souvenirs, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, will be cherished as mementoes of a distant yet very constant presence in my life.

Remembering the Queen -- Star Weekly, October 12, 1957

Remembering the Queen: Magazine Covers

Anyone who follows my newsletter knows that I am very fond of Star Weekly covers, the weekly newsmagazine published by the Toronto Star newspaper from 1910 to 1973.

Most of my covers were published during the war, and you can see them here: Star Weekly at War.

But thanks to my online friend, historian and collector Lee Anning of Creemore, Ontario, I now have a number of beautiful Queen Elizabeth covers published after she came to the throne in 1952.

The one at the top shows the Queen with the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, since it was commemorating one of her 20 official visits to Canada (her husband Prince Philip visited Canada 46 times.)

Remembering the Queen -- magazine covers

In the cover below, Elizabeth looks so happy to be crowned at the age of 25 years — yet she was almost certainly not happy.

Her beloved father died prematurely at the age of 56 after suffering a heart attack. She grieved for him deeply, and ascended to the throne unexpectedly after the best physicians in Britain were unable to save his life.

Remembering the Queen -- Star Weekly, July 25, 1953

Various illustrators were hired by the Star Weekly to create these beautiful covers, and some were more successful than others. This one, for example, doesn’t even look like her.

Remembering the Queen -- Star Weekly, June 13, 1953

This somewhat unusual photograph shows her without all the royal trappings, although she is wearing what looks like a diamond necklace. She really was a very striking young woman.

Remembering the Queen -- Star Weekly, October 5, 1957

In this 1947 illustration she was still Princess Elizabeth, looking almost ethereal in a soft peach-coloured gown and surrounded by cherubs.

Perhaps this is how she looks now, reunited with her parents and sister and husband in heaven. There she presumably enjoys no special status.

Remembering the Queen -- Star Weekly, November 27, 1947

Queen Elizabeth was, and is to this date, the most photographed woman in the world. I love this photograph published in the London Illustrated News on July 11, 1953. She is wearing her special Coronation ball gown, made of white satin and embroidered with thousands of pearls and crystals.

The embroidery is an homage to the Commonwealth countries, with Scotch thistles, protea of South Africa, ferns of New Zealand, golden Pakistan wheat, green Australian wattles, lotus flowers of India and Ceylon, shamrocks of Ireland, and maple leaves of Canada. (I tried but could not detect most of them).

This photograph also shows the Queen’s hour-glass figure which she managed to maintain throughout her life, in spite of bearing four children and eating thousands of state dinners.

That alone is enough to command our respect.

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Remembering the Queen: Teacups

Back when people saved teacups and actually drank tea from them on a daily basis, hundreds of royal teacups were produced by china companies around the world and sold as souvenirs.

I have just a few of them. I especially admire the pretty floral cup with ER for Elizabeth Regent on the inside of the cup, so you see it every time you take a sip.

Remembering the Queen -- teacups

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Remembering the Queen: Cookie Tins

Probably the most useful souvenir is a cookie tin, because it not only comes filled with cookies but can be used to store all sorts of things afterward. Mine hold such items as teabags, coins, and buttons, and I have also used them as gift boxes.

I have other royal cookie tins bearing images of the Queen’s parents, children, and grandchildren — but as this is the Queen’s special time, I’ll show you only my favourite Elizabeth cookie tins.

Remembering The Queen -- cookie tins

Here’s the very last Queen cookie tin I will ever buy. I purchased it at Heathrow Airport on my way home from our trip to the United Kingdom in June 2022. It is also a music box that plays God Save the Queen.

Remembering the Queen -- Platinum Jubilee Cookie Tin

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Remembering the Queen: Worst Souvenir Ever

This was so awful I just had to buy one — a little solar-powered Queen who waves when her battery is charged.

Remembering the Queen -- Worst Souvenir

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Remembering the Queen: Novels

Queen Elizabeth has been the subject of some light, amusing novels. Here are three of my favourites.

In The Queen Takes the Train by Boston writer William Kuhn, Elizabeth escapes from Buckingham Palace (wearing a black hoodie with a skull logo on the back) and goes incognito, catching a train to Scotland and mingling with the common folk. It’s filled with frivolous adventures and funny British characters.

Remembering the Queen-- Mrs. Queen Takes the Train, by William Kuhn

In The Windsor Knot by SJ Bennett, the Queen is a clever sleuth who uses both her intelligence and her powers of diplomacy to solve the untimely death of a guest in Windsor Castle. This is the first in a delightfully original crime series.

Remembering the Queen -- The Windsor Knot, by S. J. Bennett

Written by the author of the Adrian Mole series and other comic novels, The Queen and I by Sue Townsend imagines that Elizabeth and family have lost their money and are forced into low-cost housing. Their struggles to adapt are hilarious.

Remembering the Queen -- The Queen and I, by Sue Townsend

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Remembering the Queen: The Royal Family and Me

I wrote about my lifelong fascination with the royal family and my few brushes with royalty in a previous blog post here: The Royal Family and Me.

Remembering the Queen -- Elinor Florence holding vintage Queen Elizabeth cookie tin

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Remembering the Queen: Her Military Service

With her father’s reluctant permission, Princess Elizabeth joined the Auxiliary Territorial Service as soon as she was old enough and trained as a motor mechanic and truck driver during the Second World War. Read about her service here: War Veteran Wears a Crown.

Remembering the Queen -- Elizabeth in uniform

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Happy 102nd Birthday, Iris Porter!

Born September 19, 1920, Iris Porter was in uniform during the Second World War at the same time as Princess Elizabeth! She grew up in England and joined the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, and served overseas in the Egyptian desert. Iris and her husband moved to Canada after the war and for many decades she has made her home in Calgary, Alberta.

I telephoned to wish her Happy Birthday, and she sounded just as chipper as ever. Thank you for your service, Iris Porter!

World War Two veteran Iris Porter, with wartime photo album

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Dear Friends: It has been an emotional week as we reflect on the loss of someone who embodied the ideals of service and sacrifice, in a world that is ever more focused on self rather than other people.

Your Majesty, thank you for your service to your country and your Commonwealth.

Rest in Peace, Queen Elizabeth. God Save the King.


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