Bowling Green woman reminisces about singing for Queen Elizabeth II

BG woman recalls singing to Queen Elizabeth II when her reign began
Published: Sep. 19, 2022 at 6:35 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Dorothy Kelley was up since 2 a.m., watching footage of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

“Each time someone made a tribute to the Queen, I would become more emotional thinking about what an impact she has made all over the world and how fortunate I have been with having that as an example,” Kelley said.

Though she currently lives in Bowling Green, Kelley grew up in Edinburgh, Scotland where, at just 13, she was chosen to perform in a choir for the queen during her tour of the realms.

“I don’t think I realized what a privilege it was at the time,” Kelley said. “One of my teachers had put my name forward, then they came back and said, ‘you’ve been selected to sing in the choir.’”

Though she has no pictures from the event, Kelley remembers it fondly.

“It was ‘I Vow to Thee my Country,’” Kelley said. “When I hear the words to that song, it always makes me very emotional because I think of the queen.”

Now, as Kelley watches the proceedings, she thinks back to growing up with Queen Elizabeth as a role model.

“The nice thing about the queen for people like me, is that she is such a wonderful example for young women,” she said. “Part of my identity, as being British and being Scottish, is having Queen Elizabeth as my queen. She sets the example for all young women.”

Though, unsurprisingly, Kelley says it’s the music in the services that touches her the most.

“The most moving thing for me is at the end of the services, any of the services they’ve had, the last thing is a bagpiper.” Kelley said. “That always makes me cry, when I see the bagpipes. She loved the bagpipes.”

The queen was crowned in June 1953, and remained in power until her passing, making her reign almost 70 years long.

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