Congratulations to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the occasion of her Platinum Jubilee.
HV Morton was as patriotic as they come and a monarchist through and through. His profound sense of the history of his native land and of the monarchy shone from many of his books and articles.
As one of the most respected writers of the day he was present at the wedding of the the 21 year old Princess Elizabeth to Prince Phillip in November 1947. At the time he described the future monarch as “young and radiant”, comparing the young couple’s love-match to that of Queen Victoria and Albert in the previous century.
Later he was invited “by command of the Queen” to attend the Coronation at Westminster Abbey in 1953, reporting for a number of publications including Illustrated magazine and the National Geographic. By then Elizabeth had already been Queen for sixteen months and, against a background of a London still scarred by war yet already preparing for the possibility of another, Morton described her as a “Queen of Hearts”, a “beautiful young woman… crowned with universal acclaim”.
Morton was born in the twilight of the Victorian age. I wonder if, during his early years working as a cub-reporter at his father’s newspaper in Birmingham he could ever have imagined he would be there to witness the dawn of the new Elizabethan age and to record events for us in his timeless style.