Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Queen Elizabeth II

I have a confession to make, and I would suspect there are probably support groups for people like me. Well this is my confession: "My name is Jo, I am a Canadian, and I am rather fond of our Queen, Queen Elizabeth II." Canada is a member of the British Commonwealth of Nations, and Queen Elizabeth II is our Monarch. The Commonwealth is not a political union, but an intergovernmental organisation through which countries with diverse social, political, and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status. ... Wikipedia

The fad in Canada is to diss the Queen, but I like her. She has reigned for years. She has presided over parliament through 11 British Prime Ministers, 11 Canadian Prime Ministers --- not to mention New Zealand, Australia and all the other countries of the Commonwealth. She has been the Queen throughout the presidency of 12 American Presidents. She has reigned with grace, dignity and hard work for 57 years since the death of her father, King George VI, on February 6, 1952, and she is still hard at work, fulfilling her official duties. She will be 83 on April 21, 2009.

During their youth, the Queen and her sister, Princess Margaret were the beauties of their day, with sophistication and glamor that would easily outshine any of the Queen's daughters-in-law who were to come along in later decades. It was said that Margaret was easily as beautiful, if not more so, than most of the popular Hollywood stars that were her contemporaries, and many of whom were her close friends. She was talented and vivacious. Her older sister, Elizabeth, was the more serious of the two because she knew one day she would become the Queen of England. That day came much sooner that she anticipated, when her father died at the age of 56. Elizabeth was only 25 years old --- younger than the silly celebrities of today such as Britney Spears or Paris Hilton are now.

Despite speculation on the subject, the Queen will never abdicate. She took a holy vow during her coronation in Westminster Abbey and she believes it is her sacred duty to remain Queen until she dies. I'm not overly fond of Prince Charles or Camilla, so I hope the Queen is with us for a very long time. Besides, I'm used to seeing her face on our Canadian money.

48 comments:

PinkPanthress said...

I.
I dislike her.

II.
I hope when she dies, William will become King. The boy is a much better human being than his father, maybe it's his mom's Genes, I dunno.

When I was the UK 9 Year ago, I saw Signs, Banners & such near Buckingham Palace, which would depict Charles with huge Ears and a weird nose. Some were very offensive in language, too.

Lorna said...

Good for you, Jo. I think that people consider themselves somehow intellectually or morally superior when they disdain the leaders of their country.

I saw the movie “The Queen.“ The pressures surrounding that job amazingly stiff. Brits may not think of it this way, but maybe she in her steadfast ways gave them something firm and solid that they could rebel against. I don't know. I'm just an American who watches the passing parade.

I could never stand in her shoes and do what she has to do. She has my applause.
~Lorna

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

As a journalist, I once came upon the Queen head-on. I think you have come across her too.
I was struck by her personal beauty at the time. A queen!
And ten per cent Ukrainian because of the Kievan principality. But I guess its mere solipsism.
Heh. People tell me I look like her, but I worry about that.
There's guy on my site who fancies me a queen. Nothing like a gay Nazi commentator. Luftwaffe in the ointment.

Ruby Isabella said...

Personally, I don't see the point of a royal family, and I certainly wouldn't want to do it. I wouldn't even like to be the Queen's corgies, I'm sure they get a bit of pressure too. I especially don't see the point of her being the Queen of Australia in 2009.

Poor Charles. I think he's an alright bloke. Why do people give him a hard time? Anyway, the whole idea of a queen or king is that you don't get to choose who it is or when they take the throne.

Butler and Bagman said...

I have great sympathy for kings and queens and presidents...I wonder how they would do trying to order at a fast food restaurant or changing a tire on a car.

jackc50 said...

at first glance the thought of a monarchy still ruling am empire, in this day and age seems......absurd.they wield no real power and cost alot of money doing it. but they are a symbol, a symbol of hope. at one time the sun never set on the british empire and the queen ruled supreme. today they need that symbolism more than ever....long live the queen, jc

Lilly's Life said...

I admire the Queen and think she has done a tremendous job for all these years. So has her daughter Anne who just goes about her job quietly. As for the rest, cut off their heads! When I lived in Scotland I met the Queens hairdresser and he told us she is a wonderful mimic with a fantastic sense of humor. She would need one. The Royal Family is not popular in the UK, particularly Charles.

Australia is part of the Commonwealth too but hopefully we will be a Republic soon. Its ridiculous we have ties to the UK in such a way.

budh.aaah said...

She looks and is graceful, yes I would prefer William too instead of the duo Charles and Camilla (uhh shudder) who I think will take the 'aura' out of the Monarchy or just the word 'king/Queen.
But seriously not - no way- not because I think William might have his mom's genes..then he would'nt be a fit king ( God bless her soul) But because the boy has the same 'aura' that the Queen has. I cant put it any better than this.

Leah Fry said...

Oh, I have no shame in saying I LOVE the queen. I have a dollhouse, and one of the imaginary inhabitants is an Anglophile. I have miniature photos of the royal family, mini replicas of the crown jewels, miniature Corgis, mini souvenirs of the Queen's Jubilee. I couldn't get away with decorating my full sized home like that, but it sure is fun to do it in miniature.

Firefly said...

Long live the Queen!
Some useless information. On the Royal visit to South Africa in 1947, the Royal family spent some time in Port Elizabeth (South Africa) and it was here that the then Princess Elizabeth celebrated her 21st birthday. And conterary to popular believe, Port Elizabeth wasn't named after her.

Helen's Angel said...

Someone wrote that the monarchy costs a lot of money. Well if you total it all up, yes it does but the cost of the civil list for the entire monarchy is less than £1 per British inhabitant. If you add on the cost of security then perhaps it might double.

The monarchy is part of our rich heritage in this country and the service it does for tourism is stupendous. Certainly brings in more income than it costs.

Canarybird said...

I'm Canadian and I love the Queen and I think Charles is also a decent fellow with his sensitivity to environment and his bio farming.

And to the person who commented, yes the Queen does know how to change a tire as she was in the British Army driving trucks during WW II. I collected photos of her doing that when I was a girl.
Cheers,Sharon

Deb said...

this is what i don't get...why should a person "rule" a country or commonwealth just because they were born into it. and moreover, what makes them qualified to do so? i know they are just figureheads...incredibly wealthy figureheads at that but come on...move into the 21st century already and boot the queen.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Butler and Bagman,

I was surpriesed to learn the the Queen is a certified mechanic.
Something she had to do while a princess in World War II for morale and inspiration.
Drove an ambulance and could take it apart. No klutz.
Ask a pricess to take my car apart?
The mind boggles.

uought2b.a.dog said...

Interesting information, thanks!

Mary Ellen said...

Unfortunately, what little I know about the Queen is the garbage that is in the so-called MSM which shows a one-sided view of her. I know that I was not at all impressed with the way she handled the Lady Diana situation (her marriage and her death) and her son Charles leaves little to be desired. That said, however, I'm sure inside that, what seems to be-- cold exterior, must be a heart that has been broken by the many insults and criticisms she has had to endure. Some people forget that a crown doesn't deflect hurtful remarks made in the media. She did, after all, give away any semblance of a personal life for her country, and no matter what, you have to admire her for that, no?

fathorse said...

I admire her because there's absolutely no way I could possibly do what she does and has done. I think Charles has the interests of the people at heart (I grew up in the West Country - if Chazza didn't have such a bizarre love of the place it would be in a much worse state than it is now. Westminster doesn't give a shite, except when they want their kids to go to my old school...).

I (obviously) can't imagine how it feels to be 'ruled', even symbolically, by a Monarch from across the ocean. But I do feel that what this world needs more than ever and anything else is unity, and if all countries were tied to one another by common bonds of allegiance perhaps we might stand a better chance of getting on. Or perhaps I'm being a silly romantic and should be quiet.

Politics in Britain is so lack-lustre and uninspiring. Our PMs seem to think they do whatever the bloody hell they like. A friend of mine pointed out recently that parties don't so much win elections here than simply not lose them. It's important to have a CiC of Britain whose loyalty is to the nation rather than a party. She's not elected, sure, but Queenie is who she is purely and simply because the nation exists, the commonwealth exists, and history has happened. Therefore, she owes us. And she knows it. Gordon Brown owes us nothing. He could go be a politician anywhere. Actually, come to think of it, he wasn't elected either...

Leslie: said...

Good for you, Jo, for stating your admiration of the Queen! I, too, like her and hope she will reign for a long time to come.

Jo said...

PinkPanthress, Charles will be king, unfortunately, when Queen Elizabeth dies, if he is still alive. The British Monarcy can't skip over an heir.

Lorna, the Brits don't understand it is the Queen and the Monarchy that keeps their country stable right now. They are on the precipice of a total and complete meltdown otherwise.

Ivan, *heh* You? A Queen? Goodness. She is quite beautiful in person, isn't she?

Ruby, I understand the Queen has some wonderful black Labradors. She takes them for strolls on the moors, and she has even personally trained many of them. :-)

Butler and Bagman, well, believe it or not, the Queen is a trained mechanic and worked on vehicles during the war. Charles, William and Harry are all certified airline pilots and helicopter pilots. I think they are probably more broadly trained than most of us.

Jackc50, yes, they are part of a very important parliamentary system that has worked for centuries.

Lilly, well I think Australia's ties with Britain, and Canada's too, go back such a long way, I would be sad to sever them. I rather like the British connection. It is part of my heritage, and so much of that is being taken away from me.

Budh.aaah, yes, William is very regal, like his grandmother. Charles, unfortunately, was made to look like a buffoon by the ever-silly Diana, and that has ruined his credibility. I feel sorry for Charles.

Leah, no kidding! I would love to see a picture of that sometime. Why don't you do a post about it!?

Firefly, yes, I have seen the speech she made on her 21st birthday from South Africa. She was so young!

Helen's Angels, oh goodness yes! Why would any tourist go to Great Britain otherwise. I mean -- really! The weather? The food? No! The Monarchy and everything attached to it. The Monarchy generates billions in tourism for England.

Sharon, yes, I think Charles is a decent fellow too, albeit a bit of a bumbler because of his bad relationship with Diana. She made him look bad and he has never recovered. Did you know the Queen once went to Port Alberni?

Deb, I think if people didn't have royalty, they would invent it. Somehow they fill a need. The Monarchy no longer rules, and they definitely generate much more money than they cost.

Uought2b.a.dog, thanks! :-)

Mary Ellen, when Diana died, the boys were at Balmoral in Scotland. They were only 12 and 15. The Queen wanted to keep them in the "bosom of the family" so to speak, and protect them from the hysterical mobs of people in London. I think the loss of a mother is a very private thing, and the Queen understood that. I am one of the few people who believed she did the right thing. It was a family matter and should have stayed that way. I would have acted exactly as she did at the time.

Fathorse, I agree with you completely. I honestly believe that without the Monarch, your country would unravel.

Jo said...

Leslie, yes! She is quite the amazing woman, isn't she? I rather like her.

Rod H said...

'Her older sister, Elizabeth, was the more serious of the two because she knew one day she would become the Queen of England.'

She couldn't have known this - there is no such position as the Queen of England. Why? Because England is not a sovereign state. What she became was the the Queen of the United Kingdom.

I have more Canadian relatives than UK relatives. They insist on referring to where we live as England, even though it isn't. Scotland is no more part of England than Wales or Northern Ireland. It gets so tedious I have taken to calling them Americans.

TheChicGeek said...

What pretty money :) Looks like Euros. I love the picture you picked of the Queen. She smiles just like you in that picture....so cute!
Have a Great Day!

Stephanie said...

I'd take Queen Elizabeth over Barack Obama!

Lover of Life said...

I like her, too. I think she has done a good job of trying to keep the monarchy relevant. I can't say I feel the same about Charles.

Jo said...

Rod, Ouch! ouch! ouch! That sound you hear is my pulling a hair out of my head so you can split it. *heh* I meant Queen of England as a colloquialism because it is much easier than saying, Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas Queen, Defender of the Faith,[1] Duchess of Edinburgh, Countess of Merioneth, Baroness Greenwich,[N 1] Duke of Lancaster, Lord of Mann, Duke of Normandy, Sovereign of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Sovereign of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle, Sovereign of the Most Illustrious Order of Saint Patrick, Sovereign of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George, Sovereign of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Sovereign of the Distinguished Service Order, Sovereign of the Imperial Service Order, Sovereign of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Sovereign of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire, Sovereign of the Order of British India, Sovereign of the Indian Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of Burma, Sovereign of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert, Sovereign of the Royal Family Order of King Edward VII, Sovereign of the Order of Mercy, Sovereign of the Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of the Companions of Honour, Sovereign of the Royal Victorian Order, Sovereign of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Sovereign of the Order of Canada, Sovereign of the Order of Australia, Sovereign of the Order of New Zealand, Sovereign of the Order of Barbados, Sovereign of the Order of Valour, Sovereign of the Order of Military Merit, Sovereign of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, Sovereign of the Queen's Service Order, Sovereign of the New Zealand Order of Merit, Sovereign of the Order of St. Andrew, Sovereign of the Order of Logohu, Sovereign of the Order of the Star of Melanesia.

*phew* :-) *heh*

ChicGeek, smiles like me? Oh gosh!

Stephanie, I completely and totally agree with you!

Jo said...

LoverOfLife, I agree about Charles. His credibility has been ruined and he can never get it back.

Rod H said...

'Rod, Ouch! ouch! ouch! That sound you hear is my pulling a hair out of my head so you can split it. *heh* I meant Queen of England as a colloquialism because it is much easier than saying, Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God . . .'

OK, I get it, whenever I'm inaccurate I am in fact being colloquial.

Mean Mama said...

Jo: Love your response to Rod. I am an American, and I have to say I feel a little offended. Americans are not so out of touch as folks from the UK might think.
I don't agree with everything Jo has said about the Royal family. I loved Diana. I remember watching her wedding on television when I was a young girl, and I sobbed while I watched her funeral. I loved Diana because of her philanthropy and because of her love of humanity. She probably was not as reticent as your noble Queen, but then again Diana was a school teacher from the country when Charles proposed, not a woman who was trained from birth to be a Monarch like the Noble Queen Elizabeth.
I like Queen Elizabeth and respect her. I think more women should look at her as an example.

Jo said...

Rod, okay ... I think you have made your point. I'm not very bright. I get it...

MeanMama, oh I actually liked Diana too. She became a little weird, though, one has to admit. She became immersed in her own celebrity.

Russell said...

I am so glad that Rod H pointed out this grievous error. Goodness. Calling the Queen the Queen of England is, well, just awful, isn't it?

I am so glad Rod H has resorted to calling his Canadian relatives Americans since, after all, Canadians, United States citizens and people from Mexico are all from North America. Thus, they are all Americans.

I am glad he was NOT trying to make a sarcastic remark about people who live in the United States of America as, of course, he knows that our country is a separate sovereignty and that our President is President of the United States of America -- not the President of America.

Of course, if I made a big deal out of such a silly thing I would be like some others who only embarrass themselves by trying to act so sanctimonious.

Jo said...

Russell, oh, goodness, how do my innocent little posts turn into such a free-for-all? *heh* Yes, I live in the Americas, therefore I am an American. Not only that, I live in the Pacific Northwest of the Americas. Some people say this refers to the Pacific Northwest of the United States, but in fact it refers to the Pacific Northwest of the Pacific Ocean. Therefore, I live in the Pacific Northwest, as opposed to the South Pacific. *heh*

... now, where did I put my gin and tonic ...!?

Canarybird said...

Jo yes, I was standing at the side of the road waving when the Queen came to Port Alberni. There was a big flurry at our school when the children were informed that she would be coming up 3rd avenue, so we ran downtown. She and the Duke were staying at Eaglecrest near Qualicum at the time.

Sharon.

leilani said...

Many many years ago we HAD a Queen. She was overthrown. Hawaii has since become part of the USA, but there are still Hawaiian people here like myself who wish that we had our monarchy like you do. Iolani palace is the only castle in the USA and it sits empty. The death of the monarchy here in Hawaii seemed to take along with it pride. Pride in our heritage and pride in our culture. Your Queen is a symbol of YOUR Culture, Long live YOUR QUEEN AND MAY YOUR CULTURE and YOUR PEOPLE live on forever and ever!!!

Jo said...

Canarybird, my brothers saw her in Port Alberni, and they were so excited! I have seen her in Vancouver. :-)

Leilani, thank you. And yes, I have been to Iolani Palace in Hawaii. And I agree, our Queen is very much a part of our culture and our heritage, and slowly bit by bit it is being taken away from us. Ours seems to be the only culture where it is considered déclassé to take pride in it. Bah, humbug, I say!

Russell said...

Okay... I just saw Rod H's second remark post at 11:51 am today - he said:

"'Rod, Ouch! ouch! ouch! That sound you hear is my pulling a hair out
of my head so you can split it.

*heh* I meant Queen of England as a colloquialism because it is much easier than saying, Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God . . .'

OK, I get it, whenever I'm inaccurate I am in fact being colloquial."

Rod H - you are a fucking jerk! That is not being colloquial. That is what you are. Get a life, buddy! People like you make me sick...

A smart ass like you can just stay away - okay? We don't need your kind around. Go back to your rock and stay under it.

Jo said...

There once was a Princess named Lilibet
Who reigned in the country of Nunavut.
But she caused such a stir
She proclaimed, “I defer..”
“It just isn’t worth all the hell I get.”

Jo said...

Russell, thank you...! Every princess needs a knight in shining armor. :-)

I don't understand rudeness on the blogs.

Oh, well, never a dull moment here. *heh*

Donnetta Lee said...

I have always admired the Queen. I was in London when the Queen's mum passed. Must be interesting to live life as a royal. Must be challenging. Not an easy life, I expect. D

Jo said...

Donnetta, I would trade places with them ... any day of the week. *heh* Gosh, I would love just to have any one of their indoor swimming pools.

*sigh*

Kevin Wicks said...

I am originally British and lived for thirty years in the old country and alas I do not have any time for the royals. I appreciate your view and do not want to offend but, they are where they are today because their ancestors robbed pillaged and plundered their way to the top. They are over privelaged users that not until recently even paid income tax. The two Princes are the first to be related by blood to every monarch ever to grace the throne...chalk another one up to inbreeding. If someone came to your house for a job and you found out their family history you would slam the door in their face.
I do not think there should be any violent displacement of the royals...they should be retired and their vast wealth returned to the country...the people they stole it from.

Jo said...

Kevin, apparently the Royal Family costs each man, woman and child in Britain 66 pence per year. But the Royals are very much a tourist attraction, so they generate a lot more than that. There are many British aristocrats wealthier than the Royal Family. What is the alternative? Nicholas Sarkozy? It doesn't matter who or what your head of state is, they all cost money. In any case, I think once the Queen is gone, it will be the end of the Monarchy. I think William and Harry understand that as well. My post is about the fact that I like the Queen as a person. I think she is an amazing person.

Arley said...

Wow Jo, never a dull moment on your blog. It looks like I missed a lot today!

When I was a little girl, I would see the Royal Family on the news and wondered why we didn't have a king or queen. I even recall crying once because my Dad said it would be stupid for the United States to be a Monarchy. I so wished I was a princess and even when so far as to turn our kitchen into my royal throne.

I was a few years older when Princess Diana was killed. I saw it all over the news and watched the funeral on TV, but I was sickened when the world cared more about Princess Dianas' death and barely acknowledged the death of Mother Theresa. I guarantee her life was far more meaningful and productive than any Royal Family.

I have nothing against the Royal Family. I hope they carry on their legacy forever. though I despise our current President, I would never trade our democracy for a monarchy.

The Promiscuous Reader said...

Jo, I guess I don't have the gene that makes people go all soft and wet for royalty. But have you by any chance read Alan Bennett's novella The Uncommon Reader? I blogged about it here; it's charming, and I think you would enjoy it.

PinkPanthress said...

@ Jo
Wait a sec... a.)Charles did divorce his Wife. b.)He remarried. c.)His second Wife is divorced herself.

Does that mean while his Great-Uncle couldn't become a King because of his choise of Wife, Charles might just do that? -When did the Brits change this Rule?

@ Ruby Isablla, jackc50, Deb & Kevin Wicks
You're right about the Monarchy part, Status of Blood shouldn't be the reason to Rule People.

Veronica said...

I'm a little late in catching up with this one... but I like her! I think she's done a great job and continues to do so with dignity and devotion. There are a lot of naysayers out there but many of those will still turn out to watch the pomp and ceremony, will queue to get a glimpse of her and go away with a good feeling from getting that glimpse. Try to get through the crowds at Buckinham Palace when the Changing of the Guards is takin place...even in the middle of winter it's quite a job.
It's so easy to criticise yet we still demand our pound of flesh from her. She's nearly 83 and still she goes on with the job she believes in.
Fundamentally, she is one of the few heads of state that actually makes money for the country (net). And of course, the Monarchy is part and parcel of who the British are.. like it...or not.
That said, I'm sure that countries like Australia have no further need of the 'ties' - but I wonder how much they will regret that severance in due course. When I was young in Australia, most of the population was British - it went without saying that the country was loyal to the Queen. Long live the Queen!

Jo said...

Arley, I admit I am not crazy about your President either. But time will tell whether or not he will do a good job. I am rather fond of our Queen Elizabeth, though. And yes, I agree about how Diana's death overshadowed Mother Teresa's. That was appalling!

The Promiscuous Reader, I read the link. It looks wonderful...! Thank you!

PinkPanthress, yes, they changed the rules. But not only that, they ruined Princess Margaret's life by not letting her marry the man she really loved, who was -- ta-da -- a divorced man!

Veronica, yes! "Fundamentally, she is one of the few heads of state that actually makes money for the country (net)." Why is it so hard for people to figure that out? I think in many ways the Monarchy is a stabilizing force in most countries.

Cedar said...

I like the Queen and I like Canadian money...and beer. I like the Queen, Canadian money and beer...and those little maple candies...sighhhh...I like the Queen, Canadian money, beer and those little maple canadies.

CF_Right-wing_Atheist said...

It is time to get the queen off our money, abolish the post of Governor General & lieutant Governor in the provinces & once and for all, become a republic.