It isn’t often that one finds such a charming letter written by a queen. But I did indeed find one!
How very appropriate that it should be brought to light on such an auspicious day! Because today marks the 90th Birthday of Queen Elizabeth of England. An amazing landmark.
However, as you well know, this is a blog about handwriting so I thought we should take a look at Queen Elizabeth’s handwriting.
Little did I expect to find such a charming and informal letter. I discovered it in the rather austere vaults of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Museum’s Manuscripts Collection.
But be that as it may, this is what emerged – and you will see what I mean from the contents of the letter.
But this is supposed to be about handwriting so here is a brief description.
The lines are well spaced while the words themselves are a little further apart. This would suggest an awareness of being somewhat apart from the general noise.
The T-bars are high and firm while the slant is mostly upright. The upper zone is tall and while the whole picture is friendly and informal there is also a quiet and conservative air of dignity.
Some of the forms are rounded and there is a slight inclination to the right – like a royal nod which reveals an inherent warmth and a desire to listen and understand.
Here is a copy of the present Queen Elizabeth’s signature. Although the capitals are large in proportion to the body, it is unpretentious in its clarity and simplicity.
And something that says a lot is the fact that the royal R is no larger than the initial E of Elizabeth. A fine demonstration of dignified modesty.
Now take a look at the following signature of Queen Elizabeth I
Granted that the times were different and writing styles were different too. But the essence will always remain.
While the first signature shows a clear thinking sensibility this second sample has many unnecessary embellishments.
Showy, elaborate and highly decorative it is anything but modest. But then of course it ties in very well with the ruffles and elaborate etiquette of the times.
By way of contrast, there is a down to earth practicality in the present queen’s signature that is completely absent from the earlier monarch’s elaborate hand.
It is well to bear in mind that more than 60 years ago, the then princess Elizabeth joined the war effort by training as a driver in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service (WATS). And not only that – she became a qualified truck mechanic.