Queen Elizabeth II Dies At 96: Met U.S. Presidents Since Harry Truman

It still came as shock, even though it was often talked about over the past years. Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 and there is now a new monarch in Britain. Only earlier this week the Queen had continued her constitutional duty and invited Liz Truss to form a new government. Even with health problems and aging concerns, there was always Queen Elizabeth who kept the long line of history very much intact on the British throne, acting with quiet resolve for decades.

I have thought about how to best reflect her life as seen through the eyes of this American home, and have settled on a series of photos of her interactions with our top leaders. (The Queen never met President Lyndon Johnson.) President Harry Truman was her first president to meet even though Elizabeth was not yet queen when, at the age of 25, she filled in for her very ailing father.  

President Harry S. Truman and Britain’s Princess Elizabeth are shown as their motorcade got underway following the reception ceremony at Washington National Airport on October 31, 1951.
 Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
20th October 1957: Queen Elizabeth II, US president Dwight D Eisenhower (1890 – 1969) with his wife Mamie (1896 – 1979) and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh at a White House State banquet.
 Keystone/Getty Images
Buckingham Palace during a banquet held in his honor, American President John F. Kennedy and his wife, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, pose with Queen Elizabeth II London, United Kingdom, June 15, 1961.
 PhotoQuest/Getty Images
From BBC
President Gerald Ford dances with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth during a White House State Dinner honoring the Queen US Bicentennial visit, Washington DC, July 7, 1976. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/Getty Images)
6/8/1982 President Reagan riding horses with Queen Elizabeth II during visit to Windsor Castle, Daily Mail
Express UK
People magazine
Prince Phillip, Queen Elizabeth II, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama. Photo: Jack Hill – WPA Pool/Getty Images
(Wow….just wow.)

Queen Elizabeth Rallies Nation In Pandemic Crisis

The morning papers in Britain have a common theme.  Queen Elizabeth’s message to the British public to “come together to work as one” amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The full message reads:

“As Philip and I arrive at Windsor today, we know that many individuals and families across the United Kingdom, and around the world, are entering a period of great concern and uncertainty.

“We are all being advised to change our normal routines and regular patterns of life for the greater good of the communities we live in and, in particular, to protect the most vulnerable within them.

“At times such as these, I am reminded that our nation’s history has been forged by people and communities coming together to work as one, concentrating our combined efforts with a focus on the common goal.

“We are enormously thankful for the expertise and commitment of our scientists, medical practitioners and emergency and public services; but now more than any time in our recent past, we all have a vitally important part to play as individuals – today and in the coming days, weeks and months.

“Many of us will need to find new ways of staying in touch with each other and making sure that loved ones are safe. I am certain we are up to that challenge.

“You can be assured that my family and I stand ready to play our part.”



How Does One Apologize To The Queen?

I suspect not too many prime ministers have had to apologize to the Queen. That must be the most humbling experience! And one I am most pleased Boris Johnson had to endure.
Johnson insisted to the Sunday Telegraph that he respected the U.K. Supreme Court’s judgment “very humbly and very sincerely.”
But he suggested there would be “consequences” following the judges’ decision to intervene in his illegal decision to suspend Parliament.
The Sunday Times reports Johnson personally apologized to the queen following the court’s verdict.

“The Crown” Most Worthy Of Binge Watching

Started binge watching The Crown on what promises to be a frigid Wisconsin winter weekend. VERY well written, acted, cinematography, too.

Royal Transition, Of Sorts, Underway In Britian

This caught my eye today and made me wonder who is kidding who when it comes to royal power.  Call it a whatever one wants but Charles is going to have a very short period on the throne no matter how much staffs talk and plan about daily schedules.  It is very possible that Queen Elizabeth rules for another decade.  Charles may have more duties in the short term but the goal he wants is still miles ahead of him.

Prince Charles and his royal mum, Queen Elizabeth, are doing the shuffle today as a royal merger is underway. This is the first concrete sign of the long transition starting for Charles to slide onto the throne. Charles and the Queen each have their own teams that schedule their daily events and who communicate with the public on their behalf, but the two teams are merging together as one, according to UPI.com on Jan. 20.

While this is said to be the first link in the throne transition, the Queen isn’t going anywhere too soon. The 87-year-old has her calendar full for this new year and she’s expected to keep that “packed schedule.” This merger will allow Charles to start lessening the burden of royal work that his mom has endured for decades. She is still going strong with her royal duties, where most folks her age have been retired some 20 years by now.

What Happens To Royal Succession If Kate Middleton Has Twins?

The Duchess of Cambridge, the former Kate Middleton, is being treated for hyperemesis gravidarum, a severe form of morning sickness, which is associated with a good chance of having twins.

Which raises the question, if that were to happen what is the process for acceding to the throne?

My in-house researcher, James, discovered that the last time twins were in question was at the time Joan Beaufort Queen Consort of Scotland gave birth to twins: Alexander Stewart, Duke of Rothesay and James II of Scotland.

Given that the constitutional process is still underway to allow for a female heir to ascend to the throne makes me think a formal statement about twins is never to be realized.

If you are pondering that tidbit about a woman, given that Queen Elizabeth has ably ruled for decades. consider the following.

Last year, leaders of Britain and the 15 former colonies that have the queen as their head of state informally agreed to establish new rules giving female children equal status with males in the order of succession — something that will require legal changes in each country.

“Put simply, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were to have a little girl, that girl would one day be our queen,” Prime Minister David Cameron said at the time.

Months passed with little progress. But the prospect of a royal birth next year seems to have focused political minds, at least somewhat.

In Britain, implementing the new rule means changing bits of several key constitutional documents, including the Bill of Rights and Coronation Oath Act of 1688, the 1701 Act of Settlement and the 1706 Act of Union with Scotland.

Lacey said that if it is not done by the time the baby is born, uncertainty is bound to remain. What if Kate has twins? Experts say the firstborn will be heir — but even that could be open to question.

“Say they have twins and a girl comes out first and 20 years later the boy turns out to be the more attractive character,” Lacey said. “People will say that at the time the law meant the boy should have inherited.”

Did Tony Blair Copy Movie Script For His Book?

This is really not the way to roll out a book opening.

“You are my 10th prime minister,” Queen Elizabeth observes to Tony Blair when she meets him at Buckingham Palace on his first day in office in 1997, according to “A Journey: My Political Life,” Mr. Blair’s new memoir. “The first was Winston. That was before you were born.”

Tony Blair, the former British prime minister, leaving a studio in London on Monday after a television interview. His autobiography has sold 92,000 copies in hardcover in less than a week.

It is a memorable scene, one that (along with another one depicting Prince Philip manning the barbecue at a family cookout) has reportedly displeased the queen, since it is considered rude and uncouth for prime ministers to reveal secret details about private encounters with the royal family. But in what was the latest curveball in the carefully choreographed publicity campaign for Mr. Blair’s book, it turns out that the queen may not have actually said what Mr. Blair claims she said.

Or maybe she did, but only in the movies. In “The Queen,” the 2006 film about the aftermath of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, Helen Mirren, playing Elizabeth, greets Michael Sheen, playing Mr. Blair, saying in part: “You are my 10th prime minister, Mr. Blair. My first was Winston Churchill.”

Peter Morgan, screenwriter of “The Queen,” said that the scene in the film was entirely fictional, based on his imagination. Since it is unlikely that he “guessed absolutely perfectly,” Mr. Morgan told The Daily Telegraph, perhaps Mr. Blair “had one gin and tonic too many” and — like Ronald Reagan before him — “confused the scene in the film with what actually happened.”

Mr. Blair has always maintained that he has never seen “The Queen,” which depicts him as chirpy and ingratiating, but also politically astute.

A spokesman for Knopf, his publisher, repeated that assertion on Wednesday — the accusation is merely “a good P.R. gambit by Morgan to direct folks to their Netflix queue,” said the spokesman, Paul Bogaards, who is acting as Mr. Blair’s media representative for the book. So the mystery of the coincidence will have to remain so.

Would We Want It Any Other Way?

The visit by Queen Elizabeth to New York yesterday was one of those moments that wherever we were, or whatever we were doing, if at all possible, we paid attention.  It was a masterful performance from start to finish.  There is a polish to this lady that is most remarkable.  In a newspaper write-up today one line seemed just so perfect about the Queen that I must add and highlight it below.

The small, white-haired monarch, wearing a flowered suit and white gloves, and with an elegant silk hat on her head, stepped out of her car just past 5:10 p.m., in the still-pulsating heat that had reached 103 degrees in Central Park, a whisper of wind riffling the air. Scores of camera-ready onlookers teetered on the perimeter of the rebuilding site, keen to catch sight of her.

Not a bead of sweat on her face, Elizabeth inched her way past an honor guard, before being welcomed by Govs. David A. Paterson of New York and Christopher J. Christie of New Jersey and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. Sarah, one of Mr. Christie’s children, handed the queen a bouquet.

Long live the Queen.