The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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The Diamond Queen

on June 5, 2012

    I’ll admit it: I’m fascinated by the British Royal Family. In all honesty I’m fascinated by any royal family, but this particular one is most fascinating to me.  Not in a “stalker” fascinated kind of way: I don’t really care what kind of cereal they eat and I’m not interested in reading the thousands of unauthorized biographies about them so that I can feel like I know the “inside scoop.” I just love the regalness and pomp.  I love the history.  And, okay, I love the hats.

I’m an American.  We fought a war to get away from this royal family didn’t we? Why then are they and their history so interesting to me?   I could blame it on the probably 1/36th Welsh blood running through my veins, but I doubt that is it.   I think it probably has to do with the fact that there was a Royal Wedding which took place the summer before I entered Junior High.  The summer of 1981 to be exact.  That was when I first became aware of the current royal family in the United Kingdom.  Before that I didn’t really care.  After that I was fascinated.  What young girl’s attention isn’t caught by a huge wedding with glitter and glamour and a beautiful young woman become a princess? I was hooked from that wedding on. 

I’ve always loved history.  I love to read about past events and how they have shaped where we are today.  American history has always been a favorite subject of mine.  The problem with American history is that while it is always “expanding” it is relatively short.  You can cover it pretty easily.  Not true with the history of Great Britain.  These people have been around forever .  They have a rich and long-enduring history.  They have buildings that are older than our entire country.   I discovered that I could read about their history for the rest of my life and still never learn it all.  Or understand it all. I believe there are some things that you just have to be British to understand.  That doesn’t mean I don’t have a respect for it.

There is no one I respect more than Queen Elizabeth II. She is an amazing woman.  I can write nothing about her that hasn’t been written.  I have enjoyed watching the celebrations this week marking her 60th year as Queen: her Diamond Jubilee.   60 years doing anything is pretty daunting to think about.  Being queen? Might sound easy, but I don’t think it has been.  She carries herself with dignity and grace.  Is she a bit stuffy?  Yep, but she’s British so we’ll give her that one.  She listens more than she speaks.  When she does speak it is thoughtful.  She has spent her life in service to others.  She is the anti-typical image of what you think when you hear “queen.”  Not demanding or self focused  but rather a “giving queen.” She has given up her privacy and her freedom to live as she wants in order to be the sovereign.  (For example: I saw that her husband was hospitalized yesterday.  The article I skimmed had WAY MORE information than anyone really needs to know.) Her life has been devoted to serving her country and she’s done it well.  Yes, she gets big houses and big jewelry and lots of servants, but I am not sure that the trade-off is worth it. 

As I was catching up on the coverage of the Thanksgiving Service held in her honor this morning I couldn’t help but think about the things that we commoners, even we American commoners,  can learn from her.  As I viewed pictures of the massive and cheering crowds I stopped to wonder if the things that endear this woman to her nation aren’t things we could, and perhaps should, implement in our lives.  I’ll never have a nation cheering for me but maybe I can leave those around me a little better because of the things I did.  It’s something to think about anyway.  Being a giving queen of my world.

My husband keeps telling me that he is going to get me to Great Britain some day.  I laugh at him but there is a large part of me who hopes it does happen.  I’d love to be able to see all that history first hand.  And the queen.  I’d love to see her. (Or at least her house.)  I have a feeling she will take after her mother, Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, so perhaps we can plan the trip for her Platinum Jubilee marking her 70th year as sovereign.  That’d be cool.  Until then:

Long Live The Queen!

 

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