|Regal in rose: one of the best news photos of the Queen I've seen in a long time.|
A charming snippet of an interview with Prince William about his royal grandmother:
The high point of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee celebrations comes this weekend, with a 1,000-ship flotilla on the Thames on Sunday, a rock concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace on Monday, and climaxed on Tuesday with a carriage procession to and from a Thanksgiving service at St. Paul's Cathedral, followed by an appearance on the palace balcony.
The only other British monarch to celebrate a diamond jubilee was Queen Victoria in 1897, which likewise was an occasion of great rejoicing throughout the British Isles and the Empire. Whether you are monarchically inclined or not, this weekend's events are historic, and promise to be quite colorful too, so give them a look. A detailed schedule, with British times, is listed here; subtract 5 hours if you're in the Eastern time zone, 6 hours for Central time, and so on.
I've known this day would come for many years, ever since I did the calculation when I was still a teenager in college and the 21st century seemed so very, very far away. Hard to believe the day has come round at last - and I'm all that many years older. It's also quite remarkable to see the great change in British attitudes - for a while there after Diana died, I really thought they might do away with the monarchy. But now nearly everyone high and low, including former hippies and punkers and radicals of all stripes, seem to be singing a chorus of high praise for the Queen.
As well they should. It's a lousy job, truly horrible - just stop and think about it for a second - but she's done it, and done it well, never complained, just got on with things, did what she promised to do, and never put a foot wrong. (Your Head Trucker, for one, would have set heads rolling long ago - trust me on that, fellas - and no doubt mine would have very shortly followed.)
Britain, or any other nation, could do much worse than to have such a careful and dutiful figure at the head of things. And it doesn't hurt to have some one higher and better to whom every politician and every magnate must bend the knee or bow the head, you know? I say, God bless her, and long may she reign.