To me, this blog is more than just fluff. Even the fluffy tea-party articles have a deeper meaning. For me, tea time - whether it be Asian style, British style, or your own style - is ultimately about this: slowing down to experience this moment. It can also be about taking time for solitude, or about time with friends. It can be about personal indulgences or contemplating the socioeconomic status of tea pluckers around the world. So, gentle reader, if you think my posts are all fluff, please reconsider.
March is Women's History month. I'd like to circle round to my tea tour and make a connection between the two. In preparation for my trip to London, I did a lot of studying on British history, including the monarchy. I've become a fan of one of Britain's better-known Queens, Queen Elizabeth I. What I like most about her is that she chose never to marry, despite strong political pressure. She was an independent thinker and a formidable woman ruler, in times when that was not the norm. I like that she was a smart woman and was not afraid to trust her own judgements. She was called a "political genius." She also spoke 5 languages. While not without her flaws, she stands like a beacon to me in the spirit of an independent, strong and bright woman.
When she became Queen in 1558, England was an impoverished country torn apart by religious infighting. When she died in 1603, England was one of the most powerful and prosperous countries in the world. In fact, women's history month is an appropriate time to remember Queen Elizabeth I. She died on March 24.
I had two encounters with Queen Elizabeth I's legacy in London. First, I saw the original coronation portrait (left) at the National Portrait Gallery. Second, at Windsor Castle, I saw a her insignia in stone.