Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 2, 2009

      On his day in 1953, 56 years ago, Elizabeth II was formally crowned Queen of England. She's actually become Queen sixteen months earlier when her father died, but the British don't like to rush these big ceremonies.
     And it was big.  "Elizabeth II," the title rolled out, "by the grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Queen, Empress of India..."  Actually it wasn't quite that grand even back then.  India didn't have an empress.  It and Pakistan had become independent in 1947.  Still, there were vestiges of the old empire busily turning into the new Commonwealth, and the Queen had lots of issues to worry about.
     She doesn't rule, of course.  The Prime Minister of whichever party has a majority in Parliament does come to see her on a regular basis to brief her on what's going on.  One person, with access to that kind of information for over half a century.  What if we had somebody like that?  Has she made a difference?
     Hard for an outsider to know, of course.  The suspicion is that, if she's a smart woman,  she probably has offered valuable advice from time to time.  She's had prime ministers like Tony Blair who were probably smart enough to take it, and unfortunates like Gordon Brown who probably weren't   But wouldn't it be fun to get her to chat about it for an evening! 
     Brings in the tourist dollars too.  I kind of wish we had one, don't you? .  

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