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.