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Queen Elizabeth II is 80 and going strong

Queen Elizabeth II is 80 and going strong


by Oscar Ramjeet

Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 80th birthday today and she is going extremely strong.

She is still the undisputed head of the clan and is totally confident in her role as monarch and knows exactly what is expected of her and of her relatives.

The Monarchy invited 100 commonwealth citizens who were born on the same date as the Queen, April 21, 1926 to lunch and two proof coins from the Royal Mint made of 22 carat gold and sterling silver were minted to mark the occasion.{{more}}

Despite half a century of rifts, rumours, broken marriages that have surrounded the royal family, the Queen, according to her husband Prince Philip has “the quality of tolerance in abundance.” Her friend Margaret Rhodes explained “She has this wonderful ability to shut off worries, putting them into compartment and closing the door, so even if something pretty awful is happening… she remains resilient, able to laugh and do her ordinary stuff.”

She is the second longest serving head of state in the world, and ten Prime Ministers have served during her reign, including Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher. Incidentally the present Prime Minister, Tony Blair was born during her reign. She became Queen in 1952 following the death of her father, King George VI who became the King of England after his elder brother, Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry an American divorcee. Elizabeth was at the time only ten years old.

At the age of 80 she will still be inspecting battalions of soldiers, only now those soldiers include her grandsons Princes William and Harry of whom she is very proud.

Ingrid Seward, editor of “Majesty” magazine wrote that “the queen prides herself on her memory and can recall dates and events precisely. IF she is unsure she can refer to her diary, which she keeps locked in her desk. Several years ago she talked to a group of American students about her diary keeping: “My husband reads in bed and so does Prince Charles,” she told them. “But I write a diary. It is far more truthful than anything you ever read in the newspapers.”

The Queen as Head of the Commonwealth, has a work force of 339 full time employees and 250 part time or honorary positions, and so far during her reign she has conferred 387,700 honors and awards, a number of them are Caribbean nationals..

She does not like many of the changes that have been forced upon her. She is constitutionally required to remain above politics, but it is no secret that she is apprehensive about much of what is being done by a Labour government which still, in theory, acts in her name. She disapproved of the removal of the 700 year old right of hereditary peers to sit in the House of Lords, seeing it as a move against the hereditary principle which would eventually lead to the palace gates.

She stressed “the importance of history” and said that we can make sense of the future if we understand the lessons of the past. She agreed with Winston Churchill’s statement when he said that “the further backwards you look, the further forward you can see.”

The Queen is very dedicated to the Commonwealth. In 1947 when she became of age, in a broadcast to the Empire she said “I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.” She has a long life and so far she has kept that promise. She has never faltered and pledged that she will not.

God Save the Queen. May she enjoy a much longer life… remember her mother lived to see 100.