Showing posts from June, 2022

"The Queen's Suite"

I was watching Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations on the network morning shows, and when I saw the 96-year-old woman make her appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, one thought immediately came to mind: I wonder how often she listens to the musical suite that Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn wrote for her — “The Queen’s Suite”. Ellington’s orchestra had been touring in England and the European continent in late 1958, and met Queen Elizabeth at that time. Prince Phillip had seen Ellington perform in a theater in Leeds — the Prince went with composer Benjamin Britten to see Duke’s band. The Queen, however, never got a chance to see Ellington perform. But Ellington did meet the woman who would become Britain's longest serving monarch at a reception at Leeds Civic Hall later that evening in 1958. Duke wrote about the meeting in his 1973 memoir, "Music Is My Mistress: "The tension in one respect was while waiting in the entrance. You are