Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Sad news today about Queen Elizabeth’s loss over the weekend:

The Queen has reportedly been hit “extremely hard” by the loss of her Royal corgi Willow who died on Sunday – ending Her Majesty’s close association with the breed dating back eight decades.

The dog, which was 14th generation and descended from the Queen’s first dog Susan, was suffering from a cancer-related illness.

Any pet owner knows what it’s like to grieve over the loss of one (yes, even a cat).  In fact, who among you can claim with a straight face that there aren’t relatives you’d sooner lose than pets?  But this seems triply-worse, insofar as Willow’s pedigree is so closely-linked with Her Majesty’s reign, and also because Her Majesty herself is so old and therefore more vulnerable under such circumstances.  (Hit “extremely hard”, indeed.  I remember a few years back when the Mothe had to put down her beloved fox-terrier because she was getting too frail to deal with him and couldn’t find another home.  I don’t think she ever quite recovered from that.)

Anyway, I hope this doesn’t turn out to be some kind of eerie foreshadowing.  Apart from my dread of the utter be-clowning of the Throne that a newly-installed Charles III would entail, I’m really quite fond of Her Majesty.  As they say at in the Philosophy Department of the University of Willamalane, “She’s a good Sheila, Bruce, and not a-tall stuck up!”