Friday, May 20, 2011

God save the Queen!

today's Gospel reading from the RCL is John 14. 1-6



I am in no way a royal watcher. I have manged to complete nearly five decades while blissfully avoiding any number of royal weddings; newspaper gossip and scandal rarely gets so much as a skim; and indeed I didn't even watch Princess Diana's funeral (even though I, like most of the world, paused, stunned and saddened by her untimely death). Yet as I was walking around a nursing home yesterday, with all the tellies in the rooms tuned to the Queen's visit, it really hit home to me how much respect and admiration was due to the woman. The lady in question was older than a lot of the residents I was visiting. (Note - I wonder is it the right protocol to refer to the Queen as 'lady' & 'woman'? I have no idea. But if it is, no disrespect intended.) And yet there she is, trotting around the world, working at a pace that would put someone half her age to shame.

But that's not the reason I feel she deserves our admiration. The jaw dropping thing is that there she is, 80-plus, putting herself in harms way for the sake of the greater good - to cement the peace process and foster better relations between our nations into the future. You might say she's not at much risk, what with all the security; you might say she's in more danger of being hit by a shower of eggs or a bag of flower than anything more lethal. But that's not really the point. Think of all those news clips of big strong (relatively) young male politicians being hit by eggs, flour, custard pies, etc. The first look on their face is one of terror - because, it would seem to me, they have no idea who is attacking them or with what & are afraid it might be someone trying to kill them. Any kind of attack is scary, even if you're reasonably young and fit. Now try to imagine your frail and elderly granny in the middle of a potential riot and you'll get the idea of the level of personal physical courage this lady is displaying.

Queen Elizabeth is one brave woman. I've noticed all the male members of her family have all kinds of medals pinned on their chests when they are in uniform. Her entry on Wikipedia says that she has held honorary military titles and positions, so presumably she's just entitled to awards and decorations as they are. I wonder if anyone has ever thought about giving her one for this particular act of bravery? In my book she's earned it.

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