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Monday, June 24, 2024

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Compass Points – 5.3.2006

By Al Campbell

Most of us surly, ungrateful Yanks didn’t give a second thought to what happened April 21. Why should we? It was over 229 years ago; we cut our political ties with the Mother Country, Great Britain, and set a course of our own.
 Therefore, in our chase for all things American, many of us overlooked Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s 80th birthday.
 We might be an ocean away, and there may be many detractors among us, but I have a hunch, deep down inside, there are many who wish we still had a monarchy.
 Could it be worse than the mess we’re in today?
Look around. See how much we still cling so dearly to all things regal.
 Many proud parents and grandparents adoringly refer to their female offspring as “little princess.”
 Our ancestors may have hated everything about the Crown, but what is that thing Miss America wears upon her regal head? It looks like a tiara, which is … that’s right, a crown.
 If there was so much wrong with the idea of the monarchy, why must we cling so dearly to its trappings?
 How many were glued to their televisions to watch the wedding of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, then years later, the funeral of Princess Diana.
 If the royals are such a loathsome bunch, why do we care?
 Her Majesty became an octogenarian on April 21, but won’t celebrate until her “official” birthday of June 17, according to the regal Web site. Yes, even royals use the Internet nowadays. Should you desire, you might e-mail Her Majesty a belated birthday greeting from your nearby computer.
 If we Yanks love a parade, we’d probably adore being in London on that lovely June day.
 Annually, the Queen leaves Buckingham Palace in her horse-drawn carriage to drive down Horse Guards Parade for Trooping the Colour, probably the most spectacular annual military display in the United Kingdom.
 The event dates back to medieval times and now it is the sovereign’s official birthday. Crowds line The Mall to watch the procession, but only a select few are able to get a ticket for the display itself.
 “Ahh, haa,” you just said. “That’s why we dumped the wretched monarchy, because it excluded us commoners. Only the guys on the inner circle get an invite to such pomp.”
 Answer this: When was the last time commoners were invited to the White House for dinner, or just a barbecue, with W?
That proves there isn’t much difference between royals and presidents. The inner circle is always the inner circle.
 Bloodlines have a lot to do with royals. If you were of royal blood, maybe dad was a duke or an earl, or grandmom was a duchess, you held a trump card for some little privilege.
 How’s it so different from right here in Cape May County?
 With proper lineage, certain jobs are parceled out, although “everyone” may have the right to apply for them.
 Yes, connections, family or political, never hurt anyone, on either side of the Atlantic.
 When the Revolutionary War shooting ended, and this nonsense about the Colonies being part of Great Britain and being taxed without representation was history, the Founding Fathers dreamed up a “new” form of government. They hedged a bit.
 It was that fishing trip for a government, I suspect, that guided the wise ones to ask Gen. George Washington to be king. Imagine that, they just dumped one, and they wanted to start afresh.
Washington, according to history books, spurned such a foul plan. No king would he be.
Since his decision, we’ve longed for a royal American family. So we cling to pieces of the Crown.
Many view the Queen as a world matriarch, like it or not. She’s had family troubles like the rest of us. Her sons who’ve gone astray, did nasty stuff, and yet she maintains a steady outward demeanor.  An ideal, perhaps, for many to emulate.
 In a world of change, the British monarchy remains. I have a sneaking suspicion many Yanks think that’s a neat thing, even if they forgot Her Majesty’s birthday.

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