03 May 2007

Happy Accidents

Queen Elizabeth II is in town for her fourth state visit to the United States. She originally came in 1957, then 1976, 1991, and now in 2007. She will be commemorating the founding of Jamestown, VA, but I secretly suspect that she is looking forward more to the Kentucky Derby rather than a bunch of recreationists in powdered wigs.

I am also looking forward to the Derby. Anyone who reads this blog knows that horse racing has been an avocation since I was five. Therefore, the Queen and I will be having a good time on Saturday watching the beautiful animals doing what they do best .... Run. He's rather high in the odds, but I shall be rooting for Circular Quay shown above. Liz hasn't yet informed me of her favorite.

In honor of all the pomp, circumstance, and silliness, I give you a reprint of an old article. If you haven't as yet seen THE QUEEN, why not? The movie is wonderful, Mirren is wonderful, and the lady it is about is wonderful.

Last night Helen Mirren won an Oscar for playing The Queen. Soon she may be invited to tea with The Queen. This gives me a chance to repost an old column called "Happy Accidents". So with Helen I say, " Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Queen"

In a time of bad getting worse news, it is sometimes helpful to remember that earth shaking matters that seem horribly wrong at the time actually do work out for the best.

When Edward, then Prince of Wales, first met American divorcee Wallis Simpson, she did not make much of an impression on him. But over the next few years he fell deeply in love with her, ultimately giving up the throne to marry her on November 11, 1936.

His brother Bertie, known as the spare to the heir (Crowned as King George VI) became the unexpected king without any real training for the job. By all testimony with the assistance of his wife, Elizabeth, he picked up the burden he never expected to carry, probably destroying his health in the process and led his country through the horrors of the blitz and the aftermath of WW II while his brother went his own selfish, well heeled, playboy way.

The King and Queen were still young enough to have another child, possibly male, but they didn't, so the weight of being a future monarch fell on the young shoulders of a little girl nicknamed Lilibet. It was a different age and she knew she had only one course in life: To do her duty. Her sister Margaret could be a lovely, bright light of a socialite who aged into a charming if totally useless adult, but Elizabeth had to continue.

King George, Queen Elizabeth (Later Queen Mother), Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles and Princess Anne

She could very well have had failings as a mother though her children seem to like her whatever their upbringing may have done to their ability to form lasting, healthy attachments. She has probably had to sacrifice her own will and pleasure for the sake of her duty simply because it was her job. For more than 50 years Elizabeth has continued. Whatever sorrows or personal tragedies have fallen to her, they rarely made it into public unlike the scandals of her rather rambunctious brood. Lacking in real ruling power, she has remained the source of history, as well as advisor to heads of government and politicians who sometimes forget the long view.

If she laughs and smiles now, it is the joy of a full life, lived well by someone who simply did what was right for her time, her family and her nation. For an accident resulting from a selfish action, that's not bad.

HRH Queen Elizabeth II at 80


Steve said...

I think i read somewhere, during those dark days after W bamboozled his way back in and a lot of us had spent considerable time money and effort on John Kerry that Nixon considered escalating the war in Vietnam. He didnt do it because of massive street protests in the US that were going on. The protesters didnt know until many many years had passed, but they had stopped it from happeneing.....

Jamie said...

That is one of the reasons I am so enthralled with history. It is only through the long sweep of envents that you can see tides turning.

When it comes to the present, we all just muddle through for good or ill the best that we can.

vanillabirdies said...

Ahh history...you would think people would pay more attention to it...it would help.

A happy ending, unusual and wonderful :)...but not really an ending :)

Hey Jamie, how was your weekend?

Jamie said...


She could very well go another 20 years just like her mom. :)

The weekend was very quiet. It was raining constantly so we didn't get out to some of our favorite pursuits such as the zoo. Of course this led to my walking around singing, "It's all Happenin' At The Zoo ... and the animals will thank you if you do."

blueINdallas said...

People shouls wear more hats.
LOVE has just arrived.

Jamie said...

Enjoy listening and reliving.

I love hats, particularly big floppy brimmed ones that fall over half your face. Makes waking difficult, but you look good falling down.

crpitt said...

I found it, a lovely post. Its nice that your so enthralled with history! Americans seem to appreciate the monarchy more than we brits do.

Neila said...

Great post! Can't wait to see the movie The Queen. Love Helen Mirren.

I don't know if I would say I'm a fan of the royal family, but the monarchy has always intrigued me because of the history and symbolism. I think everyone should respect Queen Elizabeth whether they like her or not. She's one tough old broad!

Joanne said...

Excellent post.

The movie The Queen is due to be released on DVD very soon. It's a shame the Queen herself won't be seeing it as she's believed to have said it would be too "distressing" (understandable, I suppose, considering it relates to one of the most difficult periods in the recent history of the House of Windsor).

It's a shame, though, as she does come out of the movie incredibly well - solid and loyal to her subjects.


Crazy Working Mom said...

Wow, what an awesome post. Thanks for linking it in comments to my post The Queen. I do not know a whole lot about the history of the monarchy, but I found the movie to be vey interesting and sureal! I think it's a must see and the Academy award was well deserved.

Linda said...

I certainly hope that you and Liz have a grand time watching the Run for the Roses on Saturday! And wouldn't it be grand for a long shot to take the win?!

dew said...

Fascinating post! Though I have to admit I was hoping that would be The Sex Pistols' version of "God Save the Queen." ;)

Have fun with the horse races!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! I have heard nothing but good things about the movie as well, so it is definitely on my 'to see' list :-)

This Eclectic Life said...

The movie was great, and your post has given me a little more appreciation for the real queen. I confess I'm not terribly fascinated with the monarchy. When I was twelve, I intended to marry Prince Charles, and I'm so glad it didn't work out. But, I've never felt the same about them since.
Thanks for a great post! I love the history you give us.

So, should I put money on Circular Quay?

Jamie said...

Your best odds are on Curlin, but any of them could win

Women on the Verge said...

Another fascinating post!!

Have you made any headway with that strack of reading?


RebelliousRenee said...



I LOVED the movie The Queen....
and I agree with Joanne....too bad the real Queen won't see it.... I thought it portrayed her in a very sympathetic light....