When she entered the larger room, after her broadcast, the smoke hit her. She knew her father, and her uncle Eddie had both started smoking at 13. The right age for a young man to start so said her grandfather, she herself and no desire. Her mother didn't smoke. So, nor did she. The Prime Minister's pipe, the minister of war's large cigar, the Foreign Secretaries cigarette, it was like walking into a pea souper.
'Well done Ma'am, it went very well. Just the kind of thing his late majesty wound have been proud of.' said the Prime Minister. Here, here's, from others in the room.
The gist of the speech was that it was another well done to the British people and those within the Empire for their outstanding resolve, yet again standing against the forces of hate and evil. She also spoke about her mother and sister, who were in the USA. Almost a state visit, so she had gathered. It was welcomed by the American populace. Crowds had lined the streets waving them on their way to the Whitehouse.
The Yanks had lost many men, last time around, more this time, but then again no where near the amount of the forces British and Empire had. And that didn't count those killed by the air raids. The Americans lost six civilians, on the mainland she told herself, to the Japanese. Here?
When her little chat had concluded, with the new Cabernet, the Queen was approached by her equerry, Group Captain Peter Townsend. 'The new German command are waiting for you ma'am. Well I mean the new, new German command. Or is it the new, new, or about to be new again command. It seemed to change every other day. At least Galland is a constant and we deal with him mostly.
The Queen nodded. Good news or bad, she was going to do what was best for all. Better the devil you know, maybe?
Her Majesty and the Group Captain exited from the meeting with a look of dismay. They just could not believe what had been said. No, what they had been asked. Yes the Winnie and Clem, as well as herself had been told of the request, by the German armed forces, but this? This was something very different indeed.
'Lisbeth.' The Queen looked up. 'Lisbeth.' It was the Duke of Gloucester, her uncle, they hugged. 'Lisbeth. I am sorry I couldn't come sooner. Duty and all that, you know.' The Queen nodded. 'I'm here to help you as much as I can. We must talk about your Uncle Eddie.'
'I know we have to talk about uncle Eddie.' she paused.
They walked past a large window and Henry saw here in the daylight for the first time,'You look a little pale.' said Henry. 'Is it something I said.'
'No. Not at all, uncle, it's what the Germans said.'
'What ever do you mean?
The Queen told him. After a sharp intake of breath. Henry said 'Oh my good God. Is that what they really want?'
'It's what the High Command want, maybe the lower ranks as well. They wouldn't have told them, how could they. I just wish mummy was here.'
She was stopped
'Do Winnie and Clem know about this?'
See shook her head. 'They did know what they had asked a couple of days a go, but not this. Not many others, if any. Maybe Mr Eden and Mr Bevin.' she halted 'I don't know what to do, uncle.'
'How about we take a walk around the gardens? A breath of air might do some good, get some color back into those cheeks.'
After wandering about for a number of minutes, they sat in a small bench, and really chatted about nothing very much. Henry was minded it was all good and well being the Governor of Australia, but compared to taking care of a niece that was a piece of cake, no good putting it off.
'I'll talk to Clem and Winnie also Louis and,' he paused for breath, 'and my brother. As soon a possible for the first three and Eddie, if you, well we, think it is a good idea?
A smile and a thank you from the Queen.
'You should talk you your mother as well.'
A nod 'I wish she was here.'
'So do I.'
'Any other ideas uncle?'
'How about a show? Take a trip into town, let your hair down as they say. And take Philip of course, the rags are full of talk.'
'Not the Mirror, well not any more.' She smiled. Henry could see it was for real, the first time for many months. The thought of Philip, not the Mirror being shut down.