It's great to see England's younger Royals stepping up to the plate for humanitarian causes, lending their celebrity for good. And the brief video below is a testament to that, focusing on famine in East Africa and the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to UNICEF's Emergency Supply Center in Denmark:
But it's really HRH Elizabeth II that I want to to talk about -- and not just because she jumped out of helicopter recently with James Bond to open the 2012 London Olympics.
That was a joke, but only sort of...Queen Elizabeth's contributions to her country since the death of her father in 1962 far exceed any contributions by others to her Majesty's Service during the ensuing years. I am more of a traditionalist than a monarchist -- but even with all the hoopla of Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee, I am not sure that people understand the full measure of what the Queen has meant for the stability of her country and the world as the British Empire continued to evolve into a Commonwealth of Nations that still respects her greatly.
Her days are filled with appearances/events to be with and recognize her subjects, dealing with an assortment of national issues, and paying close attention to what is happening around the world as well. Each morning except for Christmas and Easter, she receives a Red Box full of confidential papers to study no matter where in the world she is. Those boxes contain official/confidential documents, many of which the Queen must sign to give Royal Assent to before they become law (an essential part of the role of a consitutional monarch). Danny Boyle, director of the London Olympics opening ceremony, confirmed that "she is very sharp" -- and with an obvious sense of humor in spite of her usual poker face.
Just try to get your head around the fact that this 86-year-old woman has been steadfastly, if not eagerly and with ongoing gusto, doing a mind-boggling job for 60 years that she had no choice but to accept -- all the while navigating the waters of world history and keeping the Windsor Family in line literally and figuratively.
When I was in the second grade and insisting on watching Elizabeth's coronation on TV, I was told that I could only do so if I invited my entire second grade class to my house to watch along with me. And so I did; and so they came. I hope they remember and have followed the career of this amazing woman as I have.
It is very difficult to imagine a world without Queen Elizabeth II -- God Save the Queen!