The Queen is dead. Long live the King. As I begin to write this piece, a bird just slammed into my window. Shocked. Stunned. Ominous. Yes, these are the words that come to mind right now. When the news was announced on the BBC, I was watching live as I was convinced the Queen had already passed away given the highly unusual message from the Palace about the Queen’s health. I’d had a restless night, waking at 4 a.m. feeling anxious without knowing why. But still, the actual words of confirmation were like a punch to my heart. I found myself quietly singing along to the national anthem as they played it after the announcement, then bawled my eyes out realising that it would be the last time any of us would sing those lines again – ‘long live our noble queen’. The lyrics have now changed. Everything has changed. As a not particularly royalist person, I never expected to feel so affected.
In the UK chart, there is a mass of activity in royal Leo – Pallas, Ceres, Mercury, Jupiter, the Sun, Saturn and the Moon are all now in this sign in the nation chart. In my imagination, I hear Kate Bush singing ‘Oh England, my lionheart’. The progressed Moon (a symbol for the people) is currently at 29 Leo. The 29th degree is volatile, critical, peak, no-man’s land – magical and mysterious yet also deeply in flux. The Moon in a country chart represents the people. Right now, our country is in terrible trouble politically, financially, emotionally. Progressed Uranus is also anaretic giving great anxiety about the future. The death of the Queen on the heels of naming her namesake as a new Prime Minister feels uncomfortably critical too. Pluto of course was always going to bring great institutions to an end as he comes towards the end of his journey through Capricorn but still, it feels highly symbolic. The Queen’s death feels like the land itself is dying.
I was around ten years old when we went to The Horse of the Year show. Being horse-obsessed as I was, I was so excited, but part of that excitement was that the Queen would also be present. ME, sat in the same room as THE QUEEN! I remember looking across the stadium to her on her balcony, filled with wonder. I wondered what she was thinking, whether she was hot in her jewelled dress, and which was her favourite horse. Afterwards, outside, we lined up to watch her car drive past. I waved furiously and for a split second, the Queen locked eyes with me and smiled a dazzling smile. My little Leo Rising self was delighted. The QUEEN smiled at ME!
When I was growing up, I loved the Queen because my Grandmother loved her. I grew up in a time when the national anthem was played at midnight when the BBC switched off for the night and my Nana spoke of how people used to stand in front of their televisions as it played. This deference, this honouring was part of her history. It was a very different generation to now, old fashioned we might say, entirely out of touch with modern times. Over the years there have been stories and speculation, deep questioning about the institution itself and its connections to colonialism along with the behaviour of one certain member of the royal household in other unsavoury matters. The opulence that the royal family enjoy certainly clashes with the lived experience of many in our country now so I can see why there are calls for change.
Yet, despite my own misgivings, I also recognise that this was an extraordinary woman and an extraordinary story. This is our story, embedded deep in the collective psyche. The Queen and the land are inextricably bound in myth and lore. She is part of us. Her bloodline reaches back to Kings and Queens we learned about in school – Alfred the Great, Aethelred II The Unready, King Henry VIII (with his many wives), Queen Victoria. The Queen was a living embodiment of history itself. She was there on every stamp, on every post-box, on every TV on Christmas day, every state opening of parliament, every coin. Depending on our age, our lives are marked by seeing her ascension to the throne, the birth of her children, 1977 celebrations in the street marking her silver jubilee. I remember her speeches, her ‘ annus horribilis’ when Windsor castle burned and of course the very public criticism after the death of Diana. I remember her mother’s death and her sister’s. We count the passage of time by the Queen’s life events – and now death. ‘She was everybody’s grandmother’ said my friend as I expressed my unexpected deep sadness and sense of profound loss. These words I see repeated on social media – ‘she was our grandmother’ – because for many, she was a significant part of our own grandmother’s lives. She reminded us of the times our elders grew up in – a constant (Taurus), an unchanging figure in a rapidly changing and unstable world. In her passing, she also touches the core part of me that knows too, the march of time and eventual demise. Her leaving is a foreshadowing of my own, one day. Somehow it feels a little closer today.
Queen Elizabeth II was born with a 0-degree Taurus Sun. I share this with her in my own chart and life – a deep and abiding connection to the land. For the Queen to have this in her 4th house of home, family, ancestors and the land itself is perfectly fitting. People who knew her say that in private, the Queen was kind and always sought to put others at their ease, a reflection of a Venus-ruled Taurus Sun. But close by to her Sun is Chiron, a representation of the pain that her identity would bring her in private. The shocking ascent to the throne by her father after his brother Edward abdicated. The searing pain of loss when her beloved father died. The realisation that she would never be just herself – but herself and Queen, inextricably bound like Chiron, half man, half horse. Little Lilibet, grew up to live an extraordinary mythical life, guardian of a vast tradition yet walking into a new world.
That story is also told through her Moon, in the regal sign of Leo in the 7th house of others. Her emotional life would be given over to the people, to be the Great/Grand Mother (with Ceres). The Moon’s Nodes too sit on her Ascendant and Descendant, the North Node in the 6th house of service. Hers was a karmic story of an old family and institution (South Node in Capricorn, North Node in Cancer). It’s interesting that she had to learn to show a little more emotion over time. The ‘stiff upper lip’ was famous but was criticised as new generations demanded to see the more human side to the Queen. But still, the family (Cancer) business (Capricorn) was her karma from beginning to end.
I note Mars in her 1st house, its link with her role as head of the armed forces. It also shows her untiring energy which only failed her in the last couple of years. But I also note Mars opposite Neptune, the things she would have loved to do but had to give up. Had she had her way, most likely her life would have been spent on a quiet farm, surrounded by her beloved dogs and horses – how very Taurus! Our Queen had dreams like everyone else. It catches my attention that asteroid Veritas was sat on the Queen’s IC at her birth. Veritas, Goddess of Truth, was the daughter of Saturn and mother of Virtus, the personification of bravery and military strength.
With a Capricorn Ascendant, the Queen too, was a daughter of Saturn. This Capricorn energy showed the huge respect she garnered throughout her lifetime and also showed the way she moved through life; steeped in tradition and rules, living in castles, living under the shadow of her father, the pinnacle of discipline, a careful wall to guard her innermost thoughts. She did her duty until the very end. Hers was a bucket-shaped chart, with her ruling planet Saturn on the Midheaven. Everything hinged on Saturn, on her status and reputation. It was a very heavy responsibility, carried with grace. Saturn too also marked her longevity, not only as a human life living to 96 years old, but also a royal reign of 70 years, pipped only at the post for longest reign by Louis 14th of France who reigned for 72 years.
With her long reign, the Queen also carried the history of those years – living through women getting the vote, the second world war, the invention of telephones, calculators, mobile phones, computers, cd’s, the first jet plane, the moon landing, Hubble and James Webb, fifteen different Prime Ministers beginning with Winston Churchill. Saturn also gave her the incredibly long marriage with Prince Phillip, whose passing on April 9, 2021 seemed to mark her slow demise as she no longer had her ‘rock and stay’ by her side. The image of her sitting masked and alone in Westminster Abbey due to Covid regulations, for once seeming small and so very human, was a distressing picture. I think many of us sensed then, the wheels of time beginning to creak loudly. Saturn made its first opposition to her 7th house Moon (ruler of her 7th house too) just three days after Philip’s passing. Uranus, the shock of separation, began a square to her Moon the following month. But it’s Saturn every time that speaks loudest. Lady Colin Campbell said that she has been reliably informed that the Queen had bone cancer and with Saturn’s connection, it would not surprise me. Saturn rules the bones.
Inevitably, it was Saturn who released her from her duty. The Queen’s time of death was given by Lady Colin Campbell on YouTube as 14:37 (BST), September 8, 2022. The chart connections are extraordinary. At the moment of her death, Saturn was making its third conjunction to her progressed Moon (a phenomena called ‘Saturn Chasing the Moon’, exact today as I write, one day after her passing). Given that the Moon and Saturn were the rulers of her Nodes, it feels like everything was finally coming together, the final lesson. The transiting Moon was ALSO at this exact degree and all three – progressed Moon, transiting Moon and Saturn were conjunct her natal Mars, also at 20 Aquarius. Saturn conjunct Mars by transit was exact just 11 days ago so the transiting Moon triggered this aspect into action. Note that her natal Nodes were at 20 degrees of Capricorn/Cancer. Any planet in the degree of the Nodes (whatever sign) is going to have a karmic resonance to it. When Elizabeth’s father died, making her Queen, Pluto was on the opposite degree, at 20 degrees Leo. But it was Father Saturn who came in the end to carry his daughter home.
‘At ease, soldier.’
Thank you for your service, Ma’am.
Painting – Princess Elizabeth of York, painted by Philip Alexius de László