In spite of the 5 hour difference in time, at least one of the 24-hour TV news channels I receive has devoted hours of coverage to the Jubilee goin's on. Since that bloody disagreement with King Georgie 3, the closest to royalty we have here are Hollywood Stars or spotlight seeking politicians so such things catch the interest and fire the imagination of millions in the US and also across the globe.
Seeing that huge flotilla of craft of almost every conceivable type and dimension sailing down the Thames reminds me a bit of the Dunkirk evacuation, commonly known as the 'Miracle of Dunkirk', code-named Operation Dynamo by the British, which, as we all know, was the evacuation of Allied soldiers from France. It is instead perhaps "The Miracle of Elizabeth II".
There seem to be plenty of republicans in the UK and yet the streets were flooded today not only with rain but also thousands and thousands of Britons and others from all over the world braving the weather and gathered there to see the Queen and be part of the spectacle of her Jubilee. The monarchy is aging and so are we Dux. Elizabeth may live on for many years. The next King will be Charles and he is long in the tooth already. None of us is likely to see the likes of this celebration again in our lifetime, eh?
No lesser light than Peers Morgan has suggested that Elizabeth 2 may well go down in history as England's greatest monarch. I dunno. There was Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. Not to mention Queen Victoria whose rein I believe is longest so far. Victoria reined during a great age of expansion, change and discovery fraught with much war and turmoil. Victoria warmed the British throne right into the twentieth century. I believe she died in 1903 when my own grandmother was but 3 years of age. Both my maternal grand parents were born in the age that bears Victoria's name. When the Great War broke out the leaders of both Germany and Britain were members of Victoria's family.
We give them credit for their greatness yet all those king's and queen's were really made great by the age in which they lived. By meeting the challenges of their age Henry, his daughter Elizabeth and Victoria have all made a secure place for themselves in the pantheon of British history. I am simply not qualified to say which of these is greatest among them or to say how to place Elizabeth II.
Please permit me this subjective observation from across the pond. Elizabeth II did not have the powers to wield or the overwhelming threats from abroad of the monarchs of old. British monarchs of today rule by virtue of the immortal majesty of their title and their own ability as a mortal human to inspire their subjects. There is certainly something very special and inspiring about today's queen. She dedicated herself to the service of her people on the radio decades ago and in doing what she pledged she has bridged the gap between the first and second parts of the 20th century and beyond.
HM the Queen has not dealt with the threat or Armada as did the first Elizabeth but she has managed to personally inspire her subjects for 60 years and maintain her dignity through much adversity keeping the personal crown she wears spotless despite the muck and mess thrown all about her.
That is really the "Miracle of Elizabeth II" I suppose. She has managed, perhaps by the unassailable brightness of her own virtue, to bring the British monarchy with at least some of its dignity intact into the 21st century.