Thursday, June 14, 2012
Since there is so much that drives me crazy about my native land these days it was wonderful to be flooded with British pride. And one thing it demonstrated was that England certainly knows how to throw a party. So many parts of the celebration impressed me: the vast crowd walking in orderly fashion down the Mall toward Buckingham Palace, nobody pushing ro shoving, no policeman having to turn around and use force to control them. All those people standing out in that rain, not only uncomplaining, but looks of joy on their faces as they waved flags--especially the young women singing on top of a barge in a deluge.
And above all I was overwhelmed with pride for the queen herself (and Prince Phillip) She's in her eighties and he is ninety and yet they stood for several hours on that barge, never once using the chairs provided for them. She had a packed schedule of church service, carriage procession, rock concert, balcony appearances while worrying about her husband who had been rushed off to hospital. She remained gracious throughout a concert full of music she doesn't like. She was visibly moved by her son's speech (and didn't you love it when he called her 'Mummy'?
My husband reads the Daily Telegraph online every morning and one nameless creature had the gall to mock "Phil the Greek" and say "it would be a good job if he croaked." I'd like to use some of my skills I have picked up as a mystery writer and murder him with no trace if I met him. Does this worm not realize what a huge asset they are to the country--how many tourist dollars they bring in, the tradition and dignity that makes Britain unique. And their schedule is one that not many of us could imitate.
I do a book tour for a couple of weeks each year. I am met by an escort and essentially I am ON all day. I collapse into bed exhausted each night and at the end of two weeks I am whacked. The queen does this schedule every day, all year and has done it for over sixty years. Always gracious, always smiling and with a terrific sense of humor.
One of the highlights of my life was when I had tea with her when I was eighteen. Just a few young women and myself alone with the queen, and after a few minutes we were all laughing together. She has that wonderful quality of making everyone feel comfortable with her. And she was stunningly pretty as a younger woman. And Phillip--well, he was a hunk, wasn't he?
And now there were William, Harry and Kate ready to back up their grandma, giving us wonderful hope for the future. Would I trade them for a president? Would you?