September 27, 2022

AN APPRECIATION: The United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II

AN APPRECIATION: The United Kingdom's Queen Elizabeth II

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God saved the Queen for 70 years and on Thursday, Great Britain’s longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who ruled through 15 Prime Ministers starting with Winston Churchill, and 14 American presidents starting with Harry S. Truman, peacefully passed away at the age of 96 at Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands.

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Her son, Charles, succeeds her as King Charles III, and his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, will now be known politely as the “Queen Consort.” At age 73, Chuck is the oldest to ever ascend to the throne.

The United Kingdom will now go into a 10-day mourning period of mourning, kicking off with plans that have been in place since 2017, known by the code phrase, “London Bridge Is Down.”

As family flew into Scotland from all parts of the UK and, in Prince Harry’s case, California (neither Harry’s wife Meghan Markle, nor his brother’s wife Kate Middleton, were headed to Balmoral), newly elected Prime Minister Liz Truss, who just met with The Queen two days ago, made it official when she ended her statement of sympathy with, “God Save the King.”

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Weird to hear after 70 years for many, but nonetheless, the new reality in a changing world and modern, some would say vestigial, monarchy.

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At her Platinum Jubilee celebration in June, The Queen, who ascended to the thrown at the age of 25 after the death of her father, said, “It is a day that, even after 70 years, I still remember as much for the death of my father, King George VI, as for the start of my reign.”

Americans will remember The Queen for the pomp, the circumstance, the ever-present pocketbook, and the Netflix series, The Crown. And, while her favorite American president, according to royal experts, may have been Ronald Reagan, about whom she said was “the most charming,” she was also a big stan of the Obamas.

When President Obama and FLOTUS Michelle Obama first visited the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in 2011, Michelle committed what she learned was an “epic faux pas,” when she put her hand on the Queen’s arm.

“[But] I daresay that the Queen was okay with it, too,” she wrote in her memoir, Becoming, “because when I touched her, she only pulled closer, resting a gloved hand lightly on the small of my back.”

As for Donald Trump, well, let’s just say The Queen wasn’t a fan. Reports of her trolling Trump by wearing a brooch given to her by President Obama were among the many swirling around after the disgraced American president made his visit in 2019.

In fact, The Queen was said to have complained that Trump ruined her lawn on his visit to B’ham Palace.

Her inner circle made no secrets of their distaste for the Trump state visit, either.

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“I don’t think that this president…deserves the honor” of a state visit, said Labour shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry at the time.

The late-night comedians had a field day with the gift The Queen bestowed upon Trump, a first-edition copy of Winston Churchill’s Nobel-winning The Second World War.

“Either she doesn’t know Trump,” Trevor Noah joked on The Daily Show, “or she’s trolling him.”

Queen Elizabeth was no prim prissy, serving as a mechanic in World War II, and knew how to put people in her place. We’d like to think her 70 years of rule (and, subsequently, 30% of the United States’ entire history) included knowing how to put con artists in their places with the royal troll.

May she rest in peace.

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