December 18, 2009

ONLY RAILS ARE FIT FOR ROYALTY (via The Other Brother):

Your (commuter) carriage awaits!: Thrifty Queen catches ordinary passenger train on her journey to Sandringham for Christmas (Rebecca English, 17th December 2009, Daily Mail)

There was a buzz at King’s Cross this morning as platform 11b began crawling with police.

Could it be a drug bust, the crowd wondered? Or was a rock star about to board a train?

Then a small lady in a headscarf appeared, a handbag on one arm and a posy on the other.

Fellow passengers on the 10.45 First Capital Connect service to King’s Lynn couldn’t quite believe their eyes as the Queen stepped on board a first class carriage.


That is one classy dame.


MORE:
The Queen’s Tears (Mark Steyn, 9/17/01, National Review)

The foreign leader who said it best last week was the Queen, though she didn't really say a word. I have met Her Majesty from time to time (I am one of her Canadian subjects), and to put it at its mildest, for those with a taste for American vernacular politics, she can be a little stiff: The Queen stands on ceremony and she has a lot of ceremony to stand on. But on Thursday, for the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, she ordered the Coldstream Guards to play "The Star-Spangled Banner" — the first time a foreign anthem had been played at the ceremony. The following day something even more unprecedented happened: At Britain's memorial service for the war dead of last Tuesday, the first chords of "The Star-Spangled Banner" rumbled up from the great organ at St Paul's Cathedral, and the Queen did something she's never done before — she sang a foreign national anthem, all the words. She doesn't sing her own obviously ("God Save Me"), but she's never sung "La Marseillaise" or anything else, either; her lips never move.

And at that same service she also sang "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic," for the second time in her life — the first was at the funeral of her first prime minister, Winston Churchill. On Friday, she fought back tears. When she ascended the throne, Harry Truman was in the White House. The first president she got to know was Eisenhower, back in the war, when he'd come to the palace to brief her father. She is the head of state of most of the rest of the English-speaking world — Queen of Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Bahamas, Belize, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, etc. But she understands something that few other leaders of the West seem to — that today the ultimate guarantor of the peace and liberty of her realms is the United States. If America falls, or is diminished, or retreats in on itself, there is no "free world." That's the meaning of the Queen's "Ich bin ein Amerikaaner" moment.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2009 6:38 AM
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