The Queen And I

The British royal family on Buckingham Palace ...

Have you heard the news? The 2012 Summer Olympics will be held in London. Pretty big deal for Londoners, don’t you think? And yet, in conversations with at least a half-dozen people in that fair city, not one has asked if my trip there has something – anything – to do with the Olympics. They’ve all asked the same question: “Are you coming for the queen’s jubilee?”  The queen’s what? 

First, respect to Queen Elizabeth II for holding on so long to the crown. Some of her predecessors didn’t fare so well on the throne. She’s managed, through wars and all sorts of strife, to continue to rule for 60 years, in the process outlasting countless other monarchs around the world. But I don’t know of any Americans – at least none in my circle of friends – who would travel to England just to celebrate the queen’s 60 years of reign, unless of course they are part of some diplomatic corps or have some special ties to England. Or are themselves members of the royal family and are keeping that shame a secret.

When I get to England in the coming week, I will get there just in time for all the pomp and circumstance. I never saw the televised wedding a year ago of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge. I was somewhere on top of a South American volcano at the time. But today, a funny thing happened. I was watching Cable News Network and instead of news, the channel was airing a special about the royals, focusing on the newest royal, the duchess. And as I watched, it snatched my attention. Wasn’t so much the wedding itself, but all the trappings and glitz surrounding the event: the military parades, the high-stepping horses and gaudy horse-drawn carriages, the marching bands, the crowds holding Union Jacks. So now guess who might find himself among the flag-waving crowds?

I still maintain I have little to no interest in the daily twists and turns of the Royal Family. But while I’m in London town, why not? Who knows, I may even meet the queen, throw up a horizontal peace sign, and snap a picture with her.  Now wouldn’t that be royally lovely?

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