Posted by: mdmusingsie | May 20, 2011

It’s good to be Queen…or is it?

The Queen of England has been visiting Ireland this week. It’s quite an historic event, considering the stormy past between the countries, and it’s all over the news – radio, TV, newspaper, and internet. Opinions on the subject litter both sides as well as the top of the fence. Some folks aren’t happy about it, the past injuries still burning too brightly in their eyes. Others see it as a mending, or ‘building a bridge of friendship’, as President McAleese put it. The straddlers don’t really care either way, assuming it will be a benefit rather than a detriment to the fragile economy; hoping all the security and road closures don’t interrupt their normal routines.

“A hUachtarain agus a chairde,” Queen Elizabeth II began her speech at Dublin Castle (‘President and friends.’) That little bit of Irish turning many hearts and minds that might have been riding that fence, in a positive direction. The past can never be erased, but we do hold the power to shape the future.

It also had me thinking about childhood dreams of princesses and queens. Our dreams are hardly in line with the reality of such a position. Yes, the castles, nearly unlimited resources, servants, and privilege are tempting (the servant part topped the list while cleaning the bathroom this morning). Yet, imagine having every word you say, move you make, garment you wear (head to toe), analyzed, scrutinized, and/or criticized every day of your life? You virtually can’t go anywhere by yourself. A vacation means upheaval for whatever place you plan to visit. Do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages?

Not one but two articles in the Irish Independent were devoted entirely to what the women at the assorted events wore, with three separate outfits being analyzed in a single day for the Queen. Everything from the hat to the outfit, to the jewelry, including whether the shoes matched the dress or the purse were reported in excruciating detail. Good Grief! I’m surprised someone didn’t try to find out what kind of under garments were being worn (on second thought, I suspect someone did actually try, but fortunately for us, was unable to succeed).

Of course, there had to be at least one amusing headline to come out of the whole media circus surrounding the state visit, and that turned out to be “Queen visits National Stud.” Most knew that to be the equestrian centre in Kildare, but others, myself included, couldn’t help but smile and picture something, or someone, entirely different. I know who would be at the top of my list.

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