The Queen Opens Parliament

At 90, Queen Elizabeth II is more than twice my real age and more than three times my pretend age. Today she opened Parliament with the kind of pomp and ceremony that has kept the British Monarchy in business.  For the first time in her sixty-four years as Queen, one minor traditional  concession was made to the toll ninety years has taken on her body and Her Majesty took a lift instead of the stairs to execute her Parliamentary duties.

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As Queen Elizabeth II famously proclaimed, “I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.”  And she meant it, she’s in it for the long haul with the type of dedication to duty that has garnered global respect and admiration.

Queen Elizabeth II has only missed the State Opening of Parliament twice, once while pregnant with Prince Andrew in 1959 and the second time while pregnant with Prince Edward in 1963.  As spectacular as it is to watch such a grand tradition as the Opening of Parliament, the Queen is a nonagenarian and it’s hard not to feel exhaustion empathy for her.

The Queen rolled up to the State Opening of Parliament  in the Diamond Jubilee State Coach.  Coaches are uncomfortable to ride in, even the magically conjured one in Cinderella looked as smooth a ride as a Hippity Hop bouncing its way to the ball.

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In a coach, every bump in the road sends a jolt through every injury you’ve ever sustained in your life. Tell me this isn’t the face of a woman wistfully longing for the smooth suspension and plush leather seats of a luxury automobile or at the very least, a pair of padded knickers.

QueeninCarriage

A  gilded carriage does make a statement, but so would the Queen arriving by jet pack with less of a scrambled feeling upon arrival.

Then the Queen slipped  into  something a little more uncomfortable, the Robe of State which weighs 15lbs and is 18 feet in length.  Does a 90 year-old woman really need  to be wearing ceremonial garb that footmen help carry?

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Couldn’t she just wear a Snuggie?  It comes in Royal Purple.

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The Imperial State Crown worn by Her Majesty weighs 2.3lbs.  While that may not sound terribly heavy, try putting a pair of standard 1lb ankle weights on your head.  I can’t even deal with them on my ankles.

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As much as I love head  sparkle, maybe the Queen should  pick up one of those Aros sweatshirts where the hoodie inflates  into a pillow.  Sometimes my head feels heavy even without a crown.

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The whole State Opening of Parliament could be done much more efficiently by simply getting one of those reversible Open/Closed  signs  that hang from a chain.  The Queen could just flip it to signal  the Opening of Parliament with a generically upbeat pop song like Katy Perry’s “Roar” playing in lieu of the Queen reading a ten minute speech outlining the government’s agenda.

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Considering the tradition of imprisoning the Vice-Chamberlain to ensure the monarch’s safe return from Parliament  is still ceremonially observed, it’s unlikely we’ll see the Queen with a pair of sneakers peeping out from beneath one of Angela Kelly’s gowns.  I marvel at all the Queen manages to do at 90.

The monarchy is long past the point the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge became full-time royals.  Although even counting their physical presence at official engagements in the Court Circular seems almost pointless considering how lackluster their appearances are.  At the launch of the Heads Together Campaign on Monday, Prince Harry’s presence made it even more apparent that Prince William and Kate are ill-prepared for their roles.  In a speech divided between the three, Prince Harry was the only one who engaged the audience, while the delivery of his brother was flat and detached and his sister-in-law only attempted  a few forgettable sentences.  Other than the three donning boxing gloves for photo ops and  Kate wearing a skirt Banana Republic likely won’t restock, it was hard to figure out the objective of the event which was said to work towards erasing the stigma of mental illness.

But then I spotted this photo.

HarryHug

That’s the kind of genuine warmth that reaches people and gives them hope.

Were it not for chance of birth order, the future of the British Monarchy would be bright.  And the stoic perseverance of the Queen to continue the monarchy would make sense.  I feel Prince Charles will make a good king but his reign realistically will be brief and then the British Monarchy will be left with Ignorance and Want huddling beneath the ghostly robes of history.

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43 thoughts on “The Queen Opens Parliament”

  1. I have a lot of respect for HM. I know there are people who can’t stand her, but the woman has given her life to represent the people of the Commonwealth. As far as I’m concerned they should have carried her in on their shoulders.

    As for William and Kate, I can pretty much promise that events such as these will be drastically changed as William doesn’t want to put in the effort and Kate can’t even figure out where to stand in regular events, imagine something like opening Parliament.

    God save the Queen and here’s to hoping for King Henry IX!

  2. Love that you have your real age and your fake age. I do too, and since I do not live in the state that I grew up in I can usually get away with it, but social media has made that more difficult. I mean, I cannot pretend to be 7 years younger when high school classmates insist on adding me to the 25 year reunion FB page now can I? Grrr…My mom’s great aunt was born in the days before reliable birth certificates, so when she went to apply for one when she was in her 30’s or 40’s (she was born approx 1910), she made herself 8 years younger. My hero! When my sister or I are mad at each other we threaten to reveal the other one’s real age!

    Speaking of fake ages, Andrew was born in Feb 1960 and Edward in March 1964, so were those the years QEII missed the opening of Parliament due to recently have given birth, and not pregnancy? (If the opening of Parliament is not always at this time of year, then I plead ignorant American :-))

    This is the spectacle that I love – crown!ermine robe!carriage! All that is missing is a prostrate peasant or 2. Were Charles and Camilla there? Camilla rocks the big jewels as well as HM does. As Lisa commented, this will all be changed when the gruesome twosome reign. I am still holding out a glimmer of hope that the Lamebridges will take themselves and descendants out of succession. But they love the perks too much, and it would be over Carole Middleton’s dead body.

    To quote Lisa:
    God save the Queen and here’s to hoping for King Henry IX!

    1. Yes Camilla was there and looked awesome, she nearly out queens the Queen and that’s no easy achievement. I think she’ll be wonderful when the time comes – at least the bling is in safe hands with her, she knows how to wear the big sparkles.

      Another wonderful post Lola, could read your blog all day long, hugely entertaining, thank you!

    2. Camilla was there wearing her customary wall of diamonds on her head, aka The Boucheron Honeycomb Tiara (aka The Greville Honeycomb Tiara). “Kært barn har mange navne” as we say in Denmark.

  3. David Lloyd George, Prime Minister and MP during early 20th century said about monarchy that one wouldn’t pick a dog based on birth order. Maybe it’s time for the Firm to rethink this.

  4. I have the same respect for Elizabeth II that I would for any elderly person; that respect is not dependent on status. The Queen’s continued good health owes much to her access to a cushioned existence and excess of privilege – an unlikely level experienced by her elderly fellow citizens. I don’t decry the Queen’s service, though an hereditary role seems unnecessary in the 21st century. It also works against meritocracy as a determinant of leadership, utopian and foolish as that ideal may be. In times of rapid societal change, it’s easy to see that monarchy represents security and stability to those who are continually screwed, and to others, a leverage point to accrue power and money.

    Pomp and the British monarchy go hand in hand, but at essence both are folderol. Neither improves the condition of the British people, but do suck substantial resources from it; given the previous Lola post, that point needs to be heavily underlined. When stripped bare, the BRF is like any other family wanting to shore up its future in every way possible: through compulsory breeding, financially through generous state provision and undeclared access to luxury goods and services. Massive PR keeps a myth alive and people in check.

    The Queen staying longer on the throne does not alter the inevitability of two severely unaccomplished dolts ascending to it in due course. Appalling thought – actually laughable – but a salutary lesson to all as to question why we should elevate some to magical ‘selected-by-God’ status due to history and an accident of birth when really, they are just mere human beings like the rest of us. And if judged by their achievements, a lot less than than the rest of us.

    1. I’m sorry, but I really have to disagree with your assessment of the Queen. She is greater than most, and not merely because she was born in a palace. In the modern world, very few of us can say that we have a clear destiny. Being a royal is one very obvious exception, and Her Majesty has embraced her fate with incredible grace, determination and an unwavering sense of service. I am in awe of her and yes, I suppose her pedestal does increase that feeling. Then again, it also serves as a constant reminder to her that everyone is looking up to her.

      For all the obvious stupidity of monarchy in some situations, I believe it also possesses a grandeur that a democracy will simply never have. Democracies, even the few fairly functional ones, can be shockingly non-meritocratic. A great deal of historical credit is also given to monarchies for being good deterrents to fascism.

      In Spain there was a saying that one was not a monarchist, but was certainly a Juan Carlist. I feel the same about the Queen, without concurrently having to be a royal apologist.

      1. I guess we’ll just have to disagree on this one!
        The good thing about democracies is that we can (or attempt to) throw out the rubbish politicians periodically. Doesn’t always work, of course, but it’s a possibility. The old saying ‘power corrupts’ sadly holds true. Genetically, the human race has a long way to go…
        Grandeur? Well, it’s a show to behold, for sure, but is this enough to sustain a nation’s psyche? Democracy is not sexy (unless you’re on The West Wing), though to be able to contribute my voice as a citizen is how I enter the world.
        As I said, I do not decry the Queen’s dedication to duty, as decreed for her to perform, and understand the comfort and stability her presence gives to so many. I have trouble reconciling the concept of royalty in the first place: somehow being more worthy than others because of birth and history. And presumably having higher personal standards to deserve that elevated status. Yet , that hasn’t been the case with royal families, has it? Refer to Lola’s last post/comments re financial dealings (the Queen and Charles) and just today, Andrew is back in the news for all the wrong reasons: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3601690/Andrew-4-million-kickback-Duke-brokered-385m-deal-Greek-firm-corrupt-regime-acting-British-trade-envoy.html
        It’s just good ol’ down and dirty greed from people who have a lot but feel entitled to even more. These are the same people who demand that we bow to them.
        I do admire service for its own sake: seeing a need and trying to meet it, regardless of status or resources in life. We see this from ‘ordinary’ people who to my mind are simply and utterly extraordinary in their limitless compassion and consistent care for those in need. To these people, I bend the knee; they are our true heroes.

  5. Ugh Lola I could compliment you on yet another fabulous piece where like a delicious book/TV Show/ movie I enjoy the writing so much I never really care where it goes yet it always goes somewhere fabulous….and it goes there in style.

    But I can’t because you have unleashed an “ear worm” upon me with the “half my real age” line. It brought to mind a song but I couldn’t remember what it was. Then it clicked that it was a song a boy who had a crush on me in highschool loved and because he was good looking but not bright,he suggested it be our song. The catch to this is it was about aging showgirl (no not Lola from the Copacabana) who still looks good for someone half her real age discovering her value outside of men later in life. I re-listened and noticed that like all stoner musicians the lyrics often change in the live concerts. One version made me think of the woman-child-Air Head Barbie Waitherine is as opposed to the woman the Queen is……

    And when she sleeps she dreams she’s back in Hollywood
    When she was a younger girl… a pretty heart in a tainted world
    Not sure who you wanna be
    Your mama’s little beauty queen
    I hope that when you find yourself
    You’re more than just a baby doll

  6. Can you imagine Waity in those heavy robes and crown?
    She would totally fold in half trying to walk in them.

    1. I’m thinking (and hoping) that Waity wouldn’t wear those robes. They are reserved for William. I believe she’d be in white (like Camilla) and may have some crown of sorts or maybe just a tiara. And as we all know she doesn’t really wear tiaras well, I can’t imagine her with a crown.

      Besides, if she does have a robe of some kind I can pretty much guarantee she’ll have it remade out of a lighter fabric that can move with the slightest breeze and give everyone a view, once again, of how she got the crown. Considering the age she will be if they make it to the throne and how she’s aging now, I need to find a sale on brain bleach to wipe that image away.

  7. Lola, I wonder if Prince Charles is going to show your post to QEII to try to persuade her to abdicate? “Just think, Mummy, your poor little head won’t have to carry that nasty heavy crown…”.

    1. I am a long time reader of Love Lola, and i just love the way she writes.
      an honest question, what would happen if the Queen “retires”? I fully appreciate her promise at her 21st birthday but she has met all the milestones, broken all the records. i think if she retires at ninety, no body will begrudge her and Prince Charles has proven himself more than capable. except she secretly doesnt want him to be king?

      1. The Queen has made it clear that she will not willingly retire (abdicate) under any circumstances. If she is incapacitated by illness, dementia, etc., then Charles (God willing, still alive) would take over as regent, but she would still be the monarch. I agree that no one would begrudge her, but there is no tradition of abdication (like in The Netherlands), and no issues like in Spain, and her sense of duty and tradition is strong. Stemming, no doubt, from the circumstances which brought her father, and then herself, to the throne.

        I wonder what the 21 year old young woman delivering that speech would think to know that in 5 or so short years she would ascend to the throne and become the oldest and longest reigning British monarch in history.

  8. I’d pay good money to see the queen in a Snuggie.

    Also, this made me laugh: “…Kate wearing a skirt Banana Republic likely won’t restock…”

    But I remain a little confused about the purpose of the Heads Together event, much less the entire campaign. At least Harry is compensating for what seems like poor organization by keeping the focus on the needs of the individuals who were there. I have few expectations of the other two, even if the very low bar that’s been set appears to be one of the reasons for their ongoing lack of purpose and drive.

    1. 195 dollars for marshmallows, you could get tea for 2 a Claridges, tip included, he cannot be serious??? That is on my bucket list by the way!!

      1. I saw the quote about his sisters just being Pippa and Catherine and couldn’t go any further. When did Pippa become a “celebrity/notable person, etc.” that he gets asked these questions? And there’s no way I’d spend that amount of money on marshmallows. I don’t care if they are dipped in gold.

        1. I stopped at the quote as well. Pippa is like fetch – not gonna happen, so stop trying.

      2. I think it is HK195 = US25 or GBP17 (on today’s rates). Still expensive for a box of 9(?) marshmallows! Silly.

    2. It must be a great tragedy for a man to have both a heavily hirsute chest AND a receding hairline.

    3. And, of course, there’s the ever-present signet ring so strategically in view. The Middletons do love to flash that ring the way Kate does Big Blue!

      Another entertaining and scintillating article with great use of rollicking pictorials, Lola. You never disappoint!

  9. I am like palpitation city over here! It’s been a slow burn, but damn am I hot for Harry! A billion points for the Dickens reference, Lola and…holy shit, what’s wrong with my hormones today?! I think we’re around the same age, but it’s only just now dawned on me that I am PERFECT princess material. Mature, but not yet botoxic, with a natural regal bearing and a penchant for gingers…
    …and gin-and-tonics…

    In fact, I am quite drunk.

    Long live Her Majesty! For she’s a jolly good fellow, for she’s a jolly good fellow, for she’s a…

    Wait a minute, whose pants are these?

  10. Ah, Lola, I’m always so happy to see a new post from you. As I may have mentioned once or ten times, I have become addicted to your writing – it is just too delicious! And you threw in a snuggie! And a Hugging Harry photo (swoon)!
    The Queen has done a great job all these years, but it’s high time the various monarchies went the way of the dodo. They had their uses back in the day when monarchs married off their children to other royal families to consolidate power, etc., but what is the point of them today? I’m American, so I have no horse in this race, but the thought of Waity and Whiney on the throne makes me ill. Please, Parliament- abolish the monarchy before these 2 useless idiots get there.

  11. Personally, I think the Queen should be carried to these events on a jeweled litter carried by several handsome young men! At least that’s how I would do it if I were Queen.

  12. The dm has an articles stating Jecca Craig had a son last year! I do not know how to post the link? Sorry.

  13. So maybe reports of Jecca getting married last year were correct? Perhaps a registry office thing before the baby was born and then her big party with family and friends this year.

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