Happy 90th Birthday Your Majesty!
On par with royal weddings, births and deaths, a significant birthday is like Christmas for fans and critics alike. The perfect occasion for royal correspondents and armchair royal experts to provide best wishes and uncritical commentary. For critics it is a valuable opportunity to get their point across on a high profile scale. For politicians a chance to provide loyal addresses to be quoted in future. In between the saccharine greetings and parade raining tweets, I would like to take a moment to reflect on this occasion.
Along with holding records for the longest reign and marriage, she also holds the record for oldest British monarch. Today she has become the first monarch to ever reach the age of 90. At this rate, if she keeps going, she will be sending herself a 100th birthday card. The Queen can comfortably rest on these laurels, safe in the knowledge that no one will ever come close to surpassing her. To the Queen it seems to be business as usual. Unveiling plaques, lighting beacons and cutting cakes is just another day at the office for her. When she surpassed Queen Victoria, she put the occasion into perspective:
"Inevitably a long life can pass by many milestones - my own is no exception - but I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness."
The Queen will no doubt express the same sentiment today and people will laud her all the more for it. With her unquestioned dedication, the Queen has more than earned the respect she is given. No matter how valid their opinions may be, critics cannot dampen the Queen's universal appeal without making themselves look bad. As the Queen well knows, it is easy to get caught up in the occasion. Best to wait until the hyperbole has died down before making a comment that won't fall on deaf ears.
Unless you want your message to get drowned out, today, (April 21, 2016) is not the day to talk about how the monarchy is wrong in principle and has no place in the modern age. How undemocratic the system is and how there is no guarantee that the monarchy is safe and secure for the foreseeable future. Be patient and wait until the bunting has cleared. Your time will come.
© Marilyn Braun 2016
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