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  • Writer's pictureKay Reeve

Royal paper trail. Memory Journaling ideas for creating family history.

Memory Journaling Ideas for the Coronation
Memory Journaling Ideas for the Coronation

As I watched the coronation of King Charles III, I was talking to may father saying I recall Prince Charles as early as his 20's, being on TV and in the news. Now here he is being crowned the Oldest Monarch at his own coronation. This goes in unison with seeing Queen Elizabeth II go from a mother of teenagers - as Andrew and Edward were then, to being the longest reigning monarch and great grandmother, watching her funeral in full and well earned honors in 2022. All in my lifetime alone.

While I was discussing this, my father said how he remembered the funeral of Queen Mary (Mother of King George VI) and it made me think what my grandchildren will reflect on in future, at the coronation of Prince William - Prince of Wales which I hope to see, and later his son Prince George, which I am highly unlikely so see from this mortal plane. This got me thinking about memory journaling.

I was honoured the chance to see Prince George (on tv at least) as page boy, carrying the train for his grandfather King Charles III at his coronation. He looked every part a royal, and serviceman in his uniform, portraying a loyal and traditional future to come. One that my grandchildren are likely to be reflecting on with their children and grandchildren by then.

I now wonder what my grandparents remember as their earliest royal celebration, and wish I had something in a journal or notes to say so. I know my grandmother was a huge fan of the royals, and would paint portraits of the engagement photos from the latest magazine, while chatting away about the lace wedding dresses, ornate carriages, and the Queen Mother as her favourite of all. If only we had her personal memories written down to look at now.

Memory Journaling: Photo of Prince Charles with my father Terry Gleadell and Micheal Ryan, and My Journal - The Gold Moments
Photo of Prince Charles with my father & Michael, and My Journal - The Gold Moments

I now have many of my own memories about royal occasions, including the time when I had my daughter, just one month old. My father (centre right) was working as a deaf-blind facilitator for a Services veteran named Michael Ryan. Although Michael was still in his 30's, he had suffered devastating effects from two brain tumors at once. They met with Prince Charles in 1992 through the Princes Trust.

There is usually a protocol about standing too close to the prince, however Prince Charles wanted to talk directly to Michael using the method of typing on the hand that he could see my father doing. So my father let Michael know what was happening, then stood beside them. Prince Charles told my father what he wanted to say then copied my father's actions, so he could communicate directly.

Sadly that day also brought devastating news that Windsor Castle had caught fire, and the humbling images next day, of the Queen in her wellies, inspecting the ruins still come to mind thirty years later as i write this.

King Charles III has always has been a people's person and stepped forward to do something out of the ordinary that day to make Michael's and my father's day. Their encounter created a memory to be handed down through my family. Even my grandchildren can see the photo on the wall at Grandpa's house but the photo needs words to help them understand it later in life when we're no longer here to explain it.

As I think about these moments, it is only a month after publishing 'My Journal - The Gold Moments'

I realise I could fill a volume, with memory journaling ideas like these alone..

My daughter at the age of 13, being home educated at that time asked me "How many kings and queens of England have there been?" My face instantly recoiled through the mono-tone hours of history lessons and realised that the only thing I recalled was King Henry VIII had many wives and killed some of them. My reply was to point towards the computer and say "Ask Google!"

To my surprise, she started searching, listing, chatting away as if she was listening to the latest TV soap, and went back to the computer every day, till a week later she came back with the answer 64. Some of the early kings had names I'd never heard of, such as Ethelred who reigned at the turn of century when the yearly dates jumped from 999 to 1000. Then she said "I wonder how each got to take the throne from the others?" And so continued a beautiful project, one of my favourite memories of home educating my children, seeing my daughter learn more history in weeks under her own steam, than I ever learned in years at school.

I suggested she begins with what she does know, and that Queen Elizabeth II took the throne when her father King George VI died. She then googled, chatted, and plotted on a sheet of paper till she run out of room. I suggested using another piece of paper to continue like mapping a family tree. A few months later, after numerous fascinating conversations, she had traced the lineage right back to the first Kind of All England and stopped there. It was too complex to continue as it unmerged to kings of the seven counties - as England was then - but what a memory, as she laid out all thirteen sheets of paper to show us her accomplishment!

Later come the memories of my grandchildren learning about the Queen for her 70th Jubilee.

Imagine if you and your family started their own tradition of journaling royal events, or any other celebration that is important to your family and culture. Memories to pass on.

Here's my first 'Royal' Gold Moment entry, with many more to catch up on. May other gold moments and memories to journal for myself and my grandchildren.

My Journal - The Gold Moments, available on Amazon

Memory journaling ideas inspired by the coronation
My Journal - The Gold Moments - King Charles III Coronation and reflections for the future.

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