Majesty

Majesty

Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl, but she doesn’t have a lot to say.

Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl, but she changes from day to day.

I want to tell her that I love her a lot, but I gotta get a belly full of wine.

Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl, some day I’m gonna make her mine, Oh yeah, some day I’m going to make her mine.

— “Her Majesty”, Abbey Road, The Beatles, 1969, credited Lennon-McCartney but written and sung by Paul alone

On Wednesday, September 9, Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, marked 63 years and 215 days since her accession to the throne on February 6, 1952.

While she didn’t celebrate it or even talk about it much publicly, it’s a pretty big milestone, as that made her the longest-reigning British (or English or Scottish or Canadian or…) monarch in history. She caught up to the 23,226 days that her great-great-grandmother, Victoria, sat on the same throne between 1837 and 1901.

I’ve always been impressed with Elizabeth.  Unflappable, unfailingly polite but also unfailingly intolerant of fools, intelligent, wise even in her youth, always willing and ready to serve. Every one of us would benefit from these qualities.

Sure, it might seem stupid to have just someone who won the birth lottery to serve as your nation’s head of state. But look at the rest of the world outside the Commonwealth Realms1; in so many nations, their heads of state are elected officials, which makes it easy for people to besmirch their whole nation when they whine about the person elected (cf. US President Obama and the nutjobs who’ve been crapping on him for 7 years straight), or they’re loony dictators.

And heaven knows when it comes to monarchs, there have been some real winners out there. Just because one is raised to become a monarch doesn’t mean that one will necessarily be a good example.

But I’d say we’ve done alright with Elizabeth. Especially for those of us in Canada, it doesn’t cost us much at all to “support” her, she looks good on the coins, and again, she’s a Very Good Example of a decent human being.

God Save The Queen indeed!


1 While Elizabeth is the head of the Commonwealth, an organization made up of 53 nations, there are just 16 nations of which she is the actual Queen and head of state, and these 16 nations are known as the Commonwealth Realms.  In alphabetical order, they are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and, of course, The United Kingdom. She’s also Queen of a buttload of leftover territories and colonies; 14 “British Overseas Territories”, namely Anguilla, Bermuda, the British Antarctic Territory, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Pitcairn Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and Sovereign Base Areas on Cyprus, and 3 “Crown Dependencies”, the Isle of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey.

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Silver

Silver

This Labour Day weekend is a kind of special anniversary for me. 25 years ago, on the Sunday just before Labour Day, I was at church in Burnaby BC. I’d done the first year of my MBA at UBC, gone home to Yellowknife for the summer, and then returned to the Vancouver area. Our church often creates congregations specifically for “young single adults” (18-30), and that was the congregation I attended.

I’d said Hi to friends from the previous year, all that kind of thing, and then it was time for the meeting to start. For those of you who aren’t Mormons, I’ll tell you about the church meetings we usually have on the first Sunday of each month. Most Sundays, in between the hymns and the announcements and the administration of the Sacrament (think “communion” or “Eucharist”), two or three members will speak after having been assigned to do so by the bishop of the congregation or one of his counsellors. But on the first Sunday, there are no assigned speakers; anyone who wants to can get up to the pulpit and speak for a few minutes about their faith in Christ or whatever. We call that “bearing your testimony”. Also, on those first Sundays, we fast by skipping two meals (usually breakfast and lunch), then taking the money we saved (or more) and donating it to be used to help people who need food or other help. So those first-Sunday meetings are often called “Fast and Testimony Meetings”.

Anyhow, of course, the day before Labour Day is almost always the day for a Fast and Testimony Meeting. (Unless, of course, the first Sunday in September is September 1st.) So I’m sitting there in church, watching different people get up and speak.

And then this cute blonde girl gets up to speak, and I perk up, because a) I hadn’t seen her before in that congregation, and b) she was pretty cute, eh? She talked about how she just finished serving a mission for the church, which explained why she hadn’t been there in BC last year. And I thought “Hmmm … I need to go say Hi to her afterwards.”

So I did. And we talked for I-don’t-know-how-long. And we started dating. And we started talking about getting married … which we finally did about a year and half after we met (May 9, 1992).

Yesterday, of course, was another fast and testimony meetings. And we just moved from Coquitlam to Burnaby (one suburb closer to the city of Vancouver proper), so we’re now part of the Burnaby ward (our congregations are usually called “wards”, like what you call different parts of a city). So we were in the very same building where we met 25 years previously. And I got up and shared how I know God loves me, because he put this wonderful woman in my path so she could become part of my life. And she’s the best thing that ever happened to me. (Now, I know I’m not the best thing that ever happened to her, necessarily … but I’m working on it.)

So Happy Anniversary, Linn-Marie!  Love you so much!