I Saw the Queen.
I went to the memorial service for the veterans of war. The experience made me interested in the British and their customs. It also shaped my view of the Queen who was more reserved then I had expected.
I I waited outside of the cenotaph (a monument to war), after the military band began to play a woman in dark clothing emerged from a window to watch the memorial service, which began with the Archbishop of London giving a prayer. It took me twenty minutes to connect that the woman in the window was the Queen. I had expected the Queen to receive a different welcome, but I guess the occasion off set that, or maybe I had a romantic idea of the monarchy.
After the service the Queen closed the window and walked outside with a company of veterans and laid a reef on the Cenotaph. Then she went back inside without a word. I had expected that much like a fairytale, the Queen would emerge from the balcony with trumpets ablaze and she would be greeted with a roar of applause. I then imagined she would give a brief speech and iconically wave to her cheering crowd.
Instead of my expectation, which was romantic hogwash where a score of trumpeters would welcome her with a roar of Rule Britannia, the Queen just looked on and then did her small bit silently and left. Although this wasn’t what I had expected I noticed after the service the error in my expectation.
I had come to a Remembrance Day service; the focus was not supposed to be on the Queen, but on her subjects. So it was wise of her to stay out of the limelight. I guess the welcome I was expecting might be more possible during her birthday celebration.
Another thing I noticed was that the Queen, being the basis of the British government, was much like a living version of a constitution. She would receive the same welcome that say parading the constitution around would get. Which wouldn’t be much of a response after years of being put on display.
So I guess the Queen has been seen multiple times a year by all the people of the city and England and she doesn’t inspire much to these people who see her often. However for us romantic monarchist Americans we are so excited to see her and surprised that our Britons (understandably) don’t share in our star-crossed fervor.