Queen's Christmas Message
"Hush, hush, the Queen is about to speak." We are huddled around the radio on Christmas morning. My mother is sitting as close to the radio as possible while my brother, sister and I are trying to be respectfully quiet as this moment is obviously important to my mother.
The Queen still gives her Christmas message each year and I dutifully listen. She is after all our Queen. It seem some Canadians do not know this. They may be new immigrants from non-Commonweath countries, (or were just away from school the day they taught this lesson). My grandparents were British and loyal subjects. My mother was a history buff and loved to know about the Royal family. She passed this knowledge on to us, her children.
I recently learned that I wasn't born a Canadian. I was born a British subject. It was in the late 40's that Canadians were "born Canadian".
Sometimes I feel my generations may be the last to honour the Queen as an institution and symbol of our Nation. So far the voices to abolish the Monarchy are quiet, unlike in Australia where there are loud voices to transform that country into a Republic.
If for no other reason, the Monarchy is worth maintaining to make Canada more distinctive from our Republican cousin, the United States of American.
My mother to a great extent admired the Royal family for how they behaved during the Second World War. They stayed in Britain and accepted the risks along with their people. Our present Queen, then Princess Elizabeth and her sister Princess Margaret worked alongside others at bringing aid to people in distress in London. As a symbol of the Nation and the Empire the Royal family helped to hold the war effort focused and together.
Our Queen has dedicated her life to doing her Duty. She pledge she would do this when her father died and she has. She has served as Queen well with honour and dignity, even if some of her offspring have behaved less so at times. I wish her long life, like her mother, the Queen Mom. who lived to be 100. With luck the crown will be passed on, not to Prince Charles but to Prince William, her grandson.
Below is a video of this year's Christmas message, for those who missed it because their mother did not insist on listen to her Majesty when they were a child. This is one of the few cases when the Queen speaks informally and in her own words directly to the population. She reviews the year and speaks to the concerns of the day and about her family personally.
When the Queen speaks to the parliament of the United Kingdom it is a very formal occasion full of ritual and symbolism. She actually reads an address written by the government of the day.
I have posted the video below because I find the ritual and formality interesting. I hope others might enjoy it.
God Save the Queen!