Today is Queen Elizabeth II’s 86th birthday.
Now, I’ve never been much of a monarchist. I mean your humble blogger had always thought the Queen was a nice lady and all, but as the late Christopher Hitchens (quoting Thomas Paine) wrote in his one of his last Slate pieces:
A hereditary monarch is as absurd a proposition as a hereditary doctor or mathematician.
But last July the Queen flew once again across the pond to The Dominion of Canada (as she does every decade or so) for a few days. On her trip (which would coincide with the national holiday, Canada Day), she was scheduled to stay a few days in Toronto and on July 6, 2010, which was her last day in Toronto (before she packed up her purses and hats and the jetted off to Washington DC for a short visit), she did her final walk-about at the Ontario Legislature, (the fittingly named) Queen’s Park.
The video I took of your humble blogger meeting the queen:
And since Liz was (even at that time) a rather ancient 84 years old (and since Queen’s Park is just down the road from my home), I thought that this could possibly be the very last time that I would have the opportunity to see royalty (and who the hell would want to see ‘King’ Charles and his fiend-like queen on their first trip to Canada after Queen Elizabeth heads off to that big fox hunt in the sky).
But even thought your humble blogger thinks the royals are mostly a bunch of inbred morons, he put on his Husband’s Queen’s Law t-shirt (to make Her Majesty feel at home) and headed over to Queen’s Park about an hour before she was scheduled to show up.
By the way, we name a lot of things “Queen’s —–” up here in Canada.
Queen’s Park had been sectioned off when I arrived. The closest section of lawn was already filled with people and closed off, so I parked myself on the second driveway behind a security fence. I really didn’t think that the Queen would walk all the over to me (she was 84 years old), but I did think that if I was able to get a photo (with my zoom lens) of her from across the lawn, at least I would be able to say I saw her (and upload it on Facebook).
Finally she emerged from the Legislative building and walked down the first driveway as I expected… but then she turned the corner and approached me…
These are my photos:
I have to say my photos turned out pretty good!
You can see more photos here: Photos: When the Queen met Jeffrey
And the Queen looked lovely in her light green and pink dress (I would be a tad perturbed later when I would see her wearing her ‘Canada dress’ again when meeting some potentate in Africa in the fall).
A couple of these photos I captured from a video that someone standing behind me took (the blurry ones). In those photo you can see your humble blogger in a gray t-shirt with his hand up in the air holding my camera.
A woman standing beside me had put up a sign on the fence that read “I’m Autumn’s cousin” (Autumn Patricia Phillips (née Kelly; born 3 May 1978) is the Canadian wife of Peter Phillips, the son of the Queen’s daughter, Princess Anne). That is why the Queen came over to chat.
As well, you can actually see me taking this video and meeting the Queen in another YouTube video taken by a guy behind me. Again, I’m the chap in the grey t-shirt with his arm up trying to get a good shot until the Queen strolls by.
You can see me and the Queen (taken from behind) here: YouTube Video: When the Queen met Jeffrey II.
And many of you may have watched the royal wedding of William and Kate last year. And did your humble blogger get up at 3:00am to watch it?
Only if Robespierre had done the colour commentary.
So a happy 86th birthday to Queen Elizabeth II. May you have many many more (if only to piss off Charles and his fiend-like queen).
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom