Why Americans Honor the Queen

 

As expected, Americans are expressing their deep sense of loss for Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, as well as sending our good wishes (regardless of how we felt about his politics) for the ascendance of Prince Charles as King Charles III. But I couldn’t help feeling that our participation and engagement with all these traditions, history, and formality were somehow different this time around. In the past, we have been intrigued and excited about events in the United Kingdom, ranging from the blessings of weddings, to the tragedy of Diana’s death and the controversy over misguided royals. With the loss of the Queen, however, I believe our reaction reveals a deep sense of loss, not only for the Queen, but for the losses we ourselves have sustained over the last several years in our own country.

Think about it. We have had people determined to destroy the historic symbols of our country, whether they have characterized us as racists while disregarding our determination to transcend our commitment to slavery. The Constitution, monuments, statues, and schools that represented our admiration for, and commitment to, the founding of our country have been desecrated and condemned. Our strength and power, which have always been important forces for the world, have been weakened and disregarded. We no longer have a history to be proud of, a tradition of freedom to celebrate, and a foundation to point to; these have all been criticized and downgraded in the eyes of the political Left. And we watch, perhaps with envy, the love and affection the people of the U.K. have for their departed Queen and their country.

Many people here are beginning to realize, however, that without all these traditions and symbols, there is little left to build on in America. We have been set adrift, with no heroes or leaders to light our way and to inspire us for the future. In one sense, too, we were born of the Brits, and we set forth to found our own way and future. Yet in another sense, we are kindred spirits, who are grounded in Western values and traditions, and no separation between our countries can deny that truth. At some level, I think Americans poignantly and likely subconsciously embrace that relationship, because it is the only tenuous connection that reminds us of our remarkable and laudatory past.

We are struggling to understand our own identity, and are grateful to the UK, which reminds us that we share similar beliefs and values, and that perhaps, with them to represent the possible, we can once again strive to re-establish our future.

Long live the King.

Long live America.

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  1. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    “We are struggling to understand our own identity, and are grateful to the U.K., which reminds us that we share similar beliefs and values, and that perhaps, with them to represent the possible, we can once again strive to re-establish our future.”

    Indeed. And Queen Elizabeth drove an ambulance in WWIi. A personal sense of obligation and service under the ermine robe does not go amiss. 

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Indeed. And Queen Elizabeth drove an ambulance in WWIi. A personal sense of obligation and service under the ermine robe does not go amiss. 

    My admiration in recent days has grown, as I learn more about her past. Her tact, foresight, generosity were always in the forefront, in ways that I could never imagine following. Even if I were a queen!

    • #2
  3. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    I can’t imagine living that many years as queen having to be dressed up and perfect all the time. So many rules and protocols. People think being queen means being treated like a queen when it actually means acting like a queen. Few are up to the challenge.

    • #3
  4. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    I can’t imagine living that many years as queen having to be dressed up and perfect all the time. So many rules and protocols. People think being queen means being treated like a queen when it actually means acting like a queen. Few are up to the challenge.

    I was watching a production about her, and I couldn’t figure out when she wore gloves–short gloves, long gloves, inside, outside! That alone could drive a person crazy, although she probably learned a lot of that as a young woman before she became queen. After 70 years, much of it probably became second nature.

    • #4
  5. Red Herring Coolidge
    Red Herring
    @EHerring

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    I can’t imagine living that many years as queen having to be dressed up and perfect all the time. So many rules and protocols. People think being queen means being treated like a queen when it actually means acting like a queen. Few are up to the challenge.

    I was watching a production about her, and I couldn’t figure out when she wore gloves–short gloves, long gloves, inside, outside! That alone could drive a person crazy, although she probably learned a lot of that as a young woman before she became queen. After 70 years, much of it probably became second nature.

    She always carried a purse as a prop.

    • #5
  6. The Great Adventure Coolidge
    The Great Adventure
    @TGA

    My family emigrated to Canada – a small town in SE British Columbia – in 1966 just shy of my 7th birthday.  My father quickly got involved in the committee that organized the annual “Sam Steele Days” celebration, and by 1971 he was the chairman of that committee.  The mayor asked him to also head up the Centennial Committee for our town, as BC was celebrating 100 years since joining the Dominion.  As part of the province-wide celebration, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and Princess Anne came over for a tour, which included a stop and luncheon at Ft Steele (named after the aforementioned Sam Steele).  The local dignitaries were invited to the luncheon and my parents were included in that group.

    My father was a proud American and maintained that pride through the 12 years they lived in Canada.  But the experience of being presented to the Queen and attending that luncheon was one of the biggest highlights of his life.  He wore a gold  colored blazer (hey, it was the 70’s!) and his trademark cowboy boots.  When he met the queen in the line, she remarked that she was impressed with his attire.  He kept that blazer and that pair of boots to the end of his life.

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Red Herring (View Comment):

    I can’t imagine living that many years as queen having to be dressed up and perfect all the time. So many rules and protocols. People think being queen means being treated like a queen when it actually means acting like a queen. Few are up to the challenge.

    I was watching a production about her, and I couldn’t figure out when she wore gloves–short gloves, long gloves, inside, outside! That alone could drive a person crazy, although she probably learned a lot of that as a young woman before she became queen. After 70 years, much of it probably became second nature.

    She always carried a purse as a prop.

    At least she didn’t have  to worry about laying it down somewhere and misplacing it!

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):
    My father was a proud American and maintained that pride through the 12 years they lived in Canada.  But the experience of being presented to the Queen and attending that luncheon was one of the biggest highlights of his life.  He wore a gold  colored blazer (hey, it was the 70’s!) and his trademark cowboy boots.  When he met the queen in the line, she remarked that she was impressed with his attire.  He kept that blazer and that pair of boots to the end of his life.

    I love these kinds of stories, TGA!! How wonderful for your father and your family. 

    • #8
  9. TBA Coolidge
    TBA
    @RobtGilsdorf

    Iconoclasm is the two-edged sword that mows down false gods and true heroes alike. 

    • #9
  10. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    When I was 7 years old my family took a trip to New York City. It corresponded with Queen Elizabeth’s visit there as well and I remember her motorcade going by. 

    • #10
  11. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Maybe I just live in a bubble.  Almost nobody I’ve run into or communicated with has even remarked on it, much less experienced an evident deep sense of loss over the death of Queen Elizabeth.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Maybe I just live in a bubble. Almost nobody I’ve run into or communicated with has even remarked on it, much less experienced an evident deep sense of loss over the death of Queen Elizabeth.

    What kind of crowd do you run with, Randy??  ;-) Seriously, it doesn’t matter a great deal to some. Others might feel self-conscious about making a big deal out of it. Since I don’t look to the queen to revive my sense of patriotism, I’m also not one to be motivated as the post suggests. But I believe that many Americans are. And I find the whole thing fascinating.

    • #12
  13. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    What kind of crowd do you run with, Randy??  ;-)

    Stoics, I suppose.  My brother did take it hard when NASCAR racing champion Dale Earnhart died, but that’s the only example I can think of anyone I know being emotionally impacted by a celebrity death. 

    • #13
  14. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Why do [some?] Americans honour the Queen?

    1. It’s been a long time since Americans were ruled by Britain – so the view of Britain, and the empire that the monarch symbolises, have mellowed.  “No taxation without representation” was reality within living memory for the more recently decolonised countries, and there you will find a different view of the Queen, the monarchy, the British Empire.
    2. Americans may view themselves, with some justification, as the inheritors of the British Empire – America has taken Britain’s place as global power, economic centre of gravity (till very recently unchallenged) and generator of global reserve currency.  When it comes to perceived cultural issues and achievements the line between the two empires becomes blurred. (For Americans. Because they/you won!  The Brits would probably feel differently about American symbols and achievements.  Possibly relevant: when the Romans conquered another people they took the conquered royalty, and sometimes conquered gods, back to Rome – where they lacked any power but were treated well and became conversation pieces – adding to Rome’s glory and day to day interest.)
    • #14
  15. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Although the United States Declaration of Independence rejected the concept of a ruling class (“all men are created equal . . . “), I often recall that much of the Colonialists’ grievances against King George III was the Colonialists’ belief that King George was depriving the Colonialists of their rights as British citizens. There is a considerable amount of continuity between the traditions and history of Britain (including its monarchy) and the structures and principles we associate today with the United States. 

    • #15
  16. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    …I often recall that much of the Colonialists’ grievances against King George III was the Colonialists’ belief that King George was depriving the Colonialists of their rights as British citizens…

    British subjects.

    • #16
  17. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I think people around the world honor Elizabeth, the queen of England. I don’t think anyone other than Winston Churchill is revered the same way. It isn’t because she is a queen. It’s because of who she is as a person.  

    • #17
  18. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    I rented a house on a British farm in the 1980s.  The farmer’s elderly father still got out to help when he could.  I noted one day that he wore his shirt buttoned up and a necktie.  He had on a tweed vest or jacket and I remember the seams were triple stitched, so it was definitely intended for work.

    I asked him about the necktie and he said that one never knew but that the Queen might come by! 

    He went on to say that that mode of dress had mostly died out, and that the clothes themselves, durable for work but presentable in a formal situation, were no longer available.

    An example of a farmer working in a necktie is here.

     

    • #18
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Mad Gerald (View Comment):

    I asked him about the necktie and he said that one never knew but that the Queen might come by! 

    He went on to say that that mode of dress had mostly died out, and that the clothes themselves, durable for work but presentable in a formal situation, were no longer available.

    What a sweet moment! A demonstration of dignity and practicality.

    • #19
  20. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Indeed. And Queen Elizabeth drove an ambulance in WWIi. A personal sense of obligation and service under the ermine robe does not go amiss.

    My admiration in recent days has grown, as I learn more about her past. Her tact, foresight, generosity were always in the forefront, in ways that I could never imagine following. Even if I were a queen!

    You are, of course, Ricochet Royalty.  

    • #20
  21. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    The Great Adventure (View Comment):

    My family emigrated to Canada – a small town in SE British Columbia – in 1966 just shy of my 7th birthday. My father quickly got involved in the committee that organized the annual “Sam Steele Days” celebration, and by 1971 he was the chairman of that committee. The mayor asked him to also head up the Centennial Committee for our town, as BC was celebrating 100 years since joining the Dominion. As part of the province-wide celebration, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and Princess Anne came over for a tour, which included a stop and luncheon at Ft Steele (named after the aforementioned Sam Steele). The local dignitaries were invited to the luncheon and my parents were included in that group.

    My father was a proud American and maintained that pride through the 12 years they lived in Canada. But the experience of being presented to the Queen and attending that luncheon was one of the biggest highlights of his life. He wore a gold colored blazer (hey, it was the 70’s!) and his trademark cowboy boots. When he met the queen in the line, she remarked that she was impressed with his attire. He kept that blazer and that pair of boots to the end of his life.

    And I hope someone in the family still has them.  

    • #21
  22. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    Maybe I just live in a bubble. Almost nobody I’ve run into or communicated with has even remarked on it, much less experienced an evident deep sense of loss over the death of Queen Elizabeth.

    Maybe not a “deep loss,” but a loss nevertheless.  

    • #22
  23. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    …I often recall that much of the Colonialists’ grievances against King George III was the Colonialists’ belief that King George was depriving the Colonialists of their rights as British citizens…

    British subjects.

    A fair distinction. 

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):
    You are, of course, Ricochet Royalty.  

    Thanks so much, Dave, but I think I’d rather be one of the farmers in the field!

    • #24
  25. Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr. Coolidge
    Bartholomew Xerxes Ogilvie, Jr.
    @BartholomewXerxesOgilvieJr

    The Queen embodied not only tradition, but a living link to history. And the history of the UK is our history too. The truth is that America doesn’t have much history of its own, just a few hundred years of our own unique story. It’s a great story, yes, but I often find myself fascinated by the idea of living in a country with a history that stretches back so far that its beginnings are shrouded in mythology.

    So even if we are not subjects of the British monarchy, we are heirs to the culture that developed under that monarchy. She wasn’t our Queen, but she kinda was.

    • #25
  26. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    …I often recall that much of the Colonialists’ grievances against King George III was the Colonialists’ belief that King George was depriving the Colonialists of their rights as British citizens…

    British subjects.

    A fair distinction.

    But note that it was Parliament that passed the tax legislation that the Colonials objected to.

    • #26
  27. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Nice post but I am hesitant to provide any indication of support for the ongoing Hanoverian usurpation.  

    • #27
  28. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Nice post but I am hesitant to provide any indication of support for the ongoing Hanoverian usurpation.

    Well Prince Philip of Greece at least moved the DNA a little closer to the edge of the closed circle. 

    • #28
  29. Zafar Member
    Zafar
    @Zafar

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    DaveSchmidt (View Comment):

    Zafar (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    …I often recall that much of the Colonialists’ grievances against King George III was the Colonialists’ belief that King George was depriving the Colonialists of their rights as British citizens…

    British subjects.

    A fair distinction.

    But note that it was Parliament that passed the tax legislation that the Colonials objected to.

    Yes, but it’s about heirarchy. A different way of thinking. 

    • #29
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