Garbage’s Shirley Manson on the Queen: “The first time I sensed power and glamour emanating from a woman besides my mother”

Garbage’s Shirley Manson has paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, recalling the impact a photo book from the coronation had on her as a child.

The Queen died yesterday (September 8) at her Balmoral estate in Scotland at the age of 96. She served as the monarch for 70 years.

In a post shared on Garbage’s Instagram page, Manson recalled the first time she saw images from the coronation, which took place in 1953. “My parents insisted I attend Sunday School as a child,” she wrote.

“One day, alongside my favourite mischief maker – Miss Elfrieda Harrison –whilst up to good, no good at all, we discovered a forgotten and discarded book of glossy and glorious photographs inside an old store room at the back of the church. Inside this book was a magnificent collection of photographs of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth ll.”

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The musician explained that she had never been interested in “fairy-tale princesses”, dressing up or dolls when she was a child. “However when I poured over the photographs in this book I was mesmerised,” she said. “It was the first time I sensed an aura of immense power and glamour emanating from a woman besides my own mother.”

Manson continued: “As a child growing up in the early ‘70s , it was still very difficult for women to be accorded the kind of societal respect automatically bestowed upon the male species. At the church I attended for a random example, my father was treated with something close to reverence by all, whilst my mother along with the rest of the women in attendance were expected to rustle up the tea and coffee after church. Serve cake and biscuits, pour the tea and coffee and then of course do all the cleaning up afterwards.”

In contrast, she wrote, she was “bemused why my goddess of a mother was always in the kitchen with an apron tied around her waist, her sweet little face flushed and slightly sweaty from the steam rising from the sink”.

“I tore a picture of the Queen out of that book I found at Sunday School and kept it in the pocket of my Sunday best coat. I regularly sneaked back in to the store room to look at that book and I never forgot the inequities that my own mother endured.

“As I have said over and over before, I am no fan of the monarchy but I never tired of the Queen,” she concluded. “I think because I got all my feelings mixed up.”

The Garbage frontwoman joins a number of figures from across the entertainment world in paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, including Mick Jagger, Ozzy Osbourne, Paul McCartney and more.

A 2021 interview in which Paul McCartney recalled meeting the Queen for the first time as a 10-year-old has also resurfaced, while Elton John and Harry Styles both paid tribute to the monarch during their concerts in Toronto and New York, respectively, last night.