God save the Queen!!
No, seriously — God save the Queen! Have you seen what this poor woman was obliged to wear as she participated in the most important date in her annual calendar, the State Opening of Parliament? A 2 lb crown embedded with over 1,300 diamonds and an ermine and velvet robe weighing 15lbs with an 18’ train.
Now, how many 90 year olds do you know could manage that? When my mother was 90, she couldn’t lift a bag of cat food. A bottle of sherry, yes, but a 4lb bag of Meow Mix, forget it. Now, granted, Elizabeth had support in that she held hands with her escort: her 94 year old husband, Prince Phillip, but for the first time, ever, on account of creaky knees, she took the ‘lift’ instead of trudging up the 26 steps.
She really is a dynamo and I love her more each year. She is a civilized constant in a world gone mad. Yes, yes, the Royal Family essentially live off the tax paying public, but at very little cost to each. In return, they give enormous Pomp and Circumstance as well as draw millions of tourists each year, many of which are Americans, who, given our own recent political choices, have no right to make fun of anyone, I’m thinking.
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Even though she has no true political power, the Queen’s words do hold weight and the speech she gave this year, well, my word! She spoke of plans for the UK’s first ‘spaceport,’ a universal ‘right’ to high speed broadband, driverless cars, and, er, a crackdown on on-line porn. Ok, that was a shock. Not because it isn’t an extremely valid concern, I just don’t want her to have anything to do with that sort of subject. It’s embarrassing. It’s like your grandmother, out of the blue, suddenly sharing intimate details about your grandfather and his penchant for wearing black socks in bed.
Auuughhh!!! Peas and carrots, peas and carrots!
But bless her, she triumphantly made it through her speech with her slightly squeaky voice and watching her endure the endless fanfare, Phillip to the left of her, on the throne (where husbands spend countless hours), I began to really feel for her. Fancy wearing a two pound crown or your head for such a long time. Even a baseball cap gives me a headache after a half hour and there’s absolutely no way I could sit still beneath a 15lb fur-lined robe. No ma’am. Not now, not in my 50s. I’d be fanning myself furiously with my speech papers, drenched with sweat and struggling to pull the thing off every fifteen minutes, barking, “I’m on fire! Turn on the air conditioning, STAT!”
However, the Queen sat quietly and remained dignified throughout the entire traditional ceremony, dating back to the 16th century, and I kept thinking she must be starving. I’ll bet she could have killed for a Hot Pockets. Because, surprisingly, not unlike you or me, in her own apartment in Buckingham Palace, she has, according to reports, quite simple tastes. The last thing she wants after weeks of State dinners and formal affairs is a big, fancy meal. What she prefers is a couple of scrambled eggs and a green salad, on a tray, yep, just like us, set on a little table in front of the television. Bliss. Can’t you just see her, in her jammies and slippers, propped up by an embroidered cushion that reads, “It’s Good to be The Queen!” And just like the rest of us, she might indulge in a little burp after her meal and pick her teeth with a fingernail while watching the news.
What must she think of Trump? Of Hillary? Elizabeth has reigned during 12 American presidents and met 10. Should Hillary win, as both of them border on the dowdy in terms of wardrobe and lacquered hairdos, they might feel comfortable together, but I have no idea if Elizabeth even likes her. And as long as Donald doesn’t offer to ‘help’ her (”I have a lot of friends in the diamond district in Manhattan. Tremendous friends. Many, many friends. I can get you such a deal, wholesale, if you want to, you know, upgrade your crown”) they should get along.
But I warn both candidates: she abhors show offs. She is a very private person and had she not been born into royalty, I think she would have been very content, living in the country with a couple of kids and a house overrun with dogs. Maybe a few hens in the front yard. I can imagine her tending a garden and bringing cakes to the bake sale. And as everyone knows, her favorite time of year is when she spends several weeks at Balmoral, in the Scottish Highlands, where she can be herself and take lovely, long walks through the countryside in her tweeds, scarf tied over her head, with her detective body guard for company. She looks so un-Royal that when she was approached and unrecognized by American tourists who excitedly asked her if she was “from around here” to which she nodded, then further pressed, “Have you ever met the Queen?!” She smiled and said, “No,” then jerking a thumb towards her body guard, added, “but he has.”
God save the Queen! For all our sakes.
Reach PAM STONE at firstname.lastname@example.org.