Elizabeth Regina - Long Live the Queen
June 20, 2012
Did you watch the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on TV? It was a gala affair, and I caught some moments from the concert. As the resident Scot, you would expect no less of me.
Prince Charles' tribute to his mummy was a bit of alright, and it was grand to watch all these newly titled Sirs rock on stage, like Sir Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney.
Whether one agrees with the idea of a monarchy, or considers royalty an anachronism, nobody can dispute that Queen Elizabeth II (House of Windsor) has given 60 years of unflagging, dedicated service to the country and the Commonwealth. The British Empire may have diminished—scattered on the winds of independence over the years since she took the throne, but many of these countries, such as Canada and Australia, still look on her as their queen (even if only titular).
As an ambassador to the world, no duly elected politician could match her loyalty and incorruptible abilities in diplomatic world. She has actually served the country longer than the 60 years. During World War II, the teenage Princess Elizabeth drove ambulances and helped at aid stations alongside the Queen Mother. They had refused to be evacuated or sent to the safety of the countryside and chose to stay along with their people during the bombing and blitz of London. They also reportedly visited people who were taking refuge in the subways.
These are some of the reasons the monarchy has held the people’s love, especially the Queen Mother. The Queen Mother spent a lot of time in her later years at Balmoral Castle, their family home in Scotland. It is also the home of the annual Highland Games, like the ones held here recently, but on a larger scale. Balmoral is to the Highland Games what St. Andrews is to golf.
Some years after her Coronation, she and her family, on their royal yacht, Britannica, took a tour around the islands of the Scottish Inner and Outer Hebrides. I remember because my friends and I didn’t get to go, as we were deemed too young to be taken to the bustling metropolis of Stornoway with its expected influx of crowds for the occasion. Bibles were presented to us at school—New Testaments with the dark blue covers on which the Queen’s profile, etc. imprinted in gold. During those years, one would be hard pressed to find a house that did not have at least one wall adorned with her portrait.
Some Scottish purists still consider her Queen Elizabeth I because the first Elizabeth (House of Tudor) was never queen of Scotland. At the time, her cousin Mary, Queen of Scots (House of Stuart), was-- the cousin who was beheaded by Elizabeth, aka Good Queen Bess. The powers that be, her advisors, convinced her that Mary was a threat to the throne. So it’s a little ironic (or poetic justice?) that Elizabeth died childless, and Mary’s son James became the first king of a unified Britain.
MCPL has many books and videos on her and with the upcoming Olympics, one may also want to check out our selections on London and various menu items for the Olympic parties that you know will be held.
Although the popularity of the extended royal family has decreased over the years, the Queen herself has mostly stayed loved by the average person. She has weathered some downtimes and scandals with her usual calm and dignity.
Long may she reign.