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What was the Queen of England's advice?

המלכה אליזבת'

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Elizabeth, Queen of England, passed away last night at the age of 96. We live in an age when the idea of a queen or a king is typically symbolic and far removed from our daily experience. Yet In the month of Elul it is customary to say "the King is in the field." In other words, we feel God especially close to us at this time of year. Even so, for more than 70 years, until last night, there was an actual queen in Britain who wore a crown and lived in a palace protected by imperial guards.
Tzipi Hotovely, when she began her tenure as Israel's ambassador to England, met the queen together with her husband Or Alon. She spoke about the event with me last night.
"The queen met every new ambassador to England. We rode to the meeting in a horse-drawn carriage with royal guards. Everything was very festive. Or told her that in Judaism it is appropriate to say a blessing upon meeting a king or queen. He asked her if he could make the blessing and she agreed. He said the blessing out loud in Hebrew and immediately translated it into English: 'Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who gave of His glory to flesh and blood." The queen appeared to be deeply affected by these words, smiled, and thanked us.
And then my husband Or, at the end of our meeting, ignoring all protocol with a bit of Israeli chutzpah, asked what single piece of advice she would give based on her lifetime of experience. She thought for half a minute and said: 'One piece of advice? It's rather difficult to give only one.' Finally she answered: 'Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, we have learned that to invest in our relationships with family members and in our connections with other people is the most important thing in life.'
As we were leaving, a royal guard with reserved demeanor who had been accompanying us asked, 'What did she say?' We told him and have been telling this story to others ever since, how even the Queen of England thought that investing in family and friends was the most important thing in life."


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