Queen Victoria and my birthday weekend

I have a connection with Queen Victoria. Yes I do.

four generations of women

That’s me in a Christening Gown given to our family by Queen Victoria.


Yep. You see the old woman in the picture? That’s my Great Grandmother (Isabella Ferguson Davidson) who was from Ballater Scotland, the town that happens to be where the Royals’ summer palace, Balmoral Castle is. When Great Granny was a young girl, her best friend’s mother was one of Queen Victoria’s dressers when she was in Scotland. The girls used to play in the castle, and the Queen got to know the girls. She even invited them down to Buckingham Palace for lunch one day. The girls were thrilled, and the Queen made sure all the servants for the visit that day were from Scotland so the girls would feel at home.

Fast forward to the time Great Granny got engaged to a Canadian who was studying in Scotland. My Great Grandfather (Thomas Davidson) brought her to Ontario for the wedding. And guess what? Queen Victoria sent her a bouquet of orange blossoms to hold as she walked down the aisle. And when the Queen learned that Great Granny was pregnant with her first child, she arranged to have a dress that belonged to one of her own children sent to Canada and to my Great Granny to use as a Christening gown.

So for a hundred-odd years, our family and cousins and nieces and nephews have all been christened in this gown.

Yep. All true.

This year, my 60th birthday fell on Victoria Day. At first I felt a little melancholy, as there would be no big family celebration. But I know, I’m just one of the millions who have missed marking a big occasion with friends and family this year. So I’ll suck it up.

But a couple of things happened that made the long weekend a joyous one after all:

  • The hummingbirds came back
  • Grant and Jacques showered me with thoughtful gifts
    • even a sheet/slab cake over zoom!
  • The Orioles (not the ball club) came back
  • Grant interviewed me for his ongoing “From a distance” series which was cool because I was the centre of attention even though I don’t always like being the centre of attention but this was fun…go listen/watch!
  • A pair of Rose Breasted Grosbeaks alighted on my feeder…yes male and female! First time I saw the female!
  • My neighbours made a delicious beef stew and left a carton of it on my porch (YUMMY!)

(Yes, a lot of birds, but they make me happy.)

Finally, on the afternoon of my birthday, my friends from the south part of the lake had a little gathering in their large back yard area. A group of us, including some family, had a spring celebration. A me celebration. We played our guitars and sang. I got some lovely things.

I am very lucky at 60 in isolation. Because I’m not really alone. None of us are. Reach out if you need to. Your friends are everywhere.

Thanks, team Stewart Lake!