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Stand Up Straight--She's Not Your Queen!

In Richmond's Capitol Square and along the streets of Colonial Williamsburg, Americans wearing Burger King crowns greeted the visiting British monarch. Women who had lined up hours in advance sported tiaras. Gracious hospitality, all in good fun.

But look closer:

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine gave state workers a day off to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's visit. Cost to the taxpayers: about $11 million, in a state where legislators this year rejected raising the minimum wage, which has not changed in a decade.

When the queen met with four Virginia Tech students who were injured in last month's horrific shootings, one of the students presented the visitor with a gift, a custom-designed silver bracelet featuring 32 orange and maroon stones, one for each person killed.

And get this: Inside the Virginia Capitol -- a building designed by the American revolutionary Thomas Jefferson -- the majority leader of the House of Delegates, Morgan Griffith, paused before ushering the queen into the House chamber and then bowed his head.

The hype and hoopla over the royal visit has driven too many of us to forget who we are.

"We are Elizabeth's subjects and she our monarch for a day," editorialized the Virginian-Pilot newspaper.

No. We are no one's subjects. We do not bow to kings and queens. When we forget this, we sully ourselves.

In our country, all men are created equal. "Exalting one man so greatly above the rest cannot be justified on the equal rights of nature," Thomas Paine wrote in "Common Sense," the 46-page tract that called on colonial Americans to revolt.

Our revolution was not against King George III so much as the concept of the monarch, the notion that power and status are inherited from one generation to the next. Paine called this idea "unwise, unjust, unnatural -- an insult and an imposition on posterity."

Every word of Paine's booklet applies as much today as it did in 1776, when he warned that people who believe they are born to be in charge of others "are early poisoned by importance. . . . The world they act in differs so materially from the world at large that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests."

Today, as we enter the eighth consecutive presidential campaign involving a Clinton or a Bush on the ticket -- a span of 28 years -- it is sad to see Americans bowing and curtsying to a monarch, a descendant of the very king against whom we fought a revolution.

"The people who wrote the American Constitution were the most radical people on the planet," says Craig Nelson, author of "Thomas Paine: Enlightenment, Revolution, and the Birth of Modern Nations," a biography of the most important anti-monarchist of the Revolution. "Paine was trying to undo people's loyalty to the crown. Today, most Americans are taught that King George was a mean guy, not that ours was a revolution against monarchy and inherited aristocracy."

Both left and right in this country have embraced the symbol of Tom Paine. His stirring assertion of the value of ordinary people -- "one honest man," he wrote, is of more worth "than all the crowned ruffians that ever lived" -- remains at the heart of our self-image as Americans.

But in a society increasingly divided by money and access to power, in a country that places more value in stability than in Jefferson's belief that "a little rebellion now and then is a good thing," the visit of a queen becomes one more chance to celebrate celebrity.

In Britain, our attitude toward the royal visit strikes many as odd. The Guardian newspaper, wondering how the queen got "so hot stateside," blames it on " 'The Queen' Effect," actress Helen Mirren's sympathetic portrayal of Elizabeth in last year's movie. "America now believes that the Queen is a graceful, complex, dignified but still very human monarch with an admirable devotion to family and duty, instead of a little old lady who likes horses and never says anything much," writes Tim Dowling.

"The idea that anybody should bow to anybody is beyond me," says Graham Smith, campaign manager for Republic, a British political group that pushes to replace the monarchy with an elected head of state. "Americans wouldn't bow to George Bush. But they think that's what people do over here."

Smith says the democracy inherent in the digital revolution -- electronic voting, blogs, the ability to use the Internet to foil powerful governments -- has finally lifted the taboo against discussing elimination of the British crown. The American reverence for the queen, he says, is nothing more than "untainted celebrity worship," a quest for a fairy tale to believe in.

It is a dangerous fairy tale, fomented by celebrity-crazed media companies (700 news credentials were issued for the queen's visit) and accepted all too readily by people who should know better. Let the queen play at the Kentucky Derby; the rest of us should read Tom Paine.

By Marc Fisher |  May 6, 2007; 9:57 AM ET
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Please email us to report offensive comments.

This is quite possibly the stupidest blog entry I have ever read. It's just good clean fun! British royalty (and come to think of it, all European royalty) is ridiculous! Let us have our fun with the royals--it's not hurting anyone.

Posted by: Brian | May 6, 2007 12:08 PM

Hey, we like royalty. It's easier than thinking.

Posted by: Vincent | May 6, 2007 3:19 PM

Some people should remember this editorial when they talk about how one should treat the president, an ELECTED (usually) official, respectfully.

Posted by: AK | May 6, 2007 3:26 PM

I guess the next move is to burn all of the museums in this country. And all of the theatres. And all of the books. After all, all of these things--and more--give tribute, in various ways, to the past. And, according, to Lord Fisher, we cannot have that! Nothing but the present is acceptable to his lordship! Burn the past! Dig up anybody who lived before we did and burn their bones! You heard Lord Fisher right everyone! You have your marching orders!

Posted by: Thursday Next | May 6, 2007 4:59 PM

Marc, I wouldn't bow to Queen Lizzy if someone gave me a million dollars. If I did meet her, I would offer her a glass of milk to counteract those dill pickles that she is apparently always eating. I just wonder how many facial muscles gets strained when she does try to smile. I just relish in the fact that everytime she looks at Harry and William, she sees Diana's features.

Posted by: Diana wannabe | May 6, 2007 5:38 PM

There are not many comments made on this subject. I guess, no one cares?

Posted by: Who cares | May 6, 2007 6:14 PM

I am shocked that any American would even consider bowing or curtsying to the Queen, whom I respect.

The pics on the front page of the Examiner and the Express show the same person. I wonder who that is.

She should be, rhetorically, tarred and feathered for treason.

Posted by: Karl Olson | May 6, 2007 6:23 PM

It's called being polite.

Posted by: Brent | May 6, 2007 6:28 PM

Aw, reverencing the Queen is one of the few chances we dwindling Americans of English descent ever get to acknowledge who we are: the Anglophiles who built this American democracy. We're allowed to bow and curtsy if we want, it harms no one and only lasts a moment. Tom Paine was right, but he never anticipated E2R: a Queen who lived through the Blitz and managed to come out on top. Vivat Elizabeth, vivat Regina, vivat!

Posted by: joshtom | May 6, 2007 6:53 PM

We can show honor, respect, or friendliness without bowing to them.

Bow your head is form of submission to your master, and the Brit queen is NOT our master!

Posted by: siberiafire | May 6, 2007 7:01 PM

She is our guest, she is very very old, loosen up....

Posted by: Neerja | May 6, 2007 7:10 PM

Bravo! My exact sentiments. The United States is not much of a democracy, but at least its a republic. Aristocracy is not just clean fun, its closer to evil.

Posted by: shoebeacon | May 6, 2007 7:29 PM


Posted by: Karen R | May 6, 2007 8:12 PM


Posted by: Karen R | May 6, 2007 8:12 PM

I think this article is excellent. We need to show respect for someone in her position, but not to subjugate ourselves.

I think the scariest remark here is that for nearly 30 years, our elections have involved a Bush or a Clinton. I would hope that with 300 million people here, we could find someone here to lead our nation who wasn't from the old group of cronies that show up every time.

It's time for fresh and honest leadership. I only wish I knew who that would be.

Posted by: Patrick | May 6, 2007 8:16 PM

Thanks for writing this - I totally agree. I find it disgusting - not cute, not fun - to see Americans bowing and curtsying to monarchs. If you want to do that, go back to England - please! This is the good old US of A. Thanks!

Posted by: Kay | May 6, 2007 8:44 PM

We can show honor, respect, friendship to our guests without bowing our heads to them.

It is a form of submission to your master that you bow your head, and the Brit queen is NOT our master.

It is totally unacceptable for Americans to bow their heads to the Brit queen.

Posted by: siberiafire | May 6, 2007 8:54 PM

Hear, hear! Sadly, plenty of Americans practically wet their pants whenever they encounter a British English accent, thinking that they have met their betters, and they rush to either ingratiate themselves or attempt to imitate the British. All the more so if it's the queen who shows up.

Posted by: Boyd | May 6, 2007 9:00 PM

Good column, Marc. Sadly it seems sheep cannot stop acting like sheep.

Posted by: Jihm | May 6, 2007 9:57 PM

I think you have a typo there: should read "...we silly ourselves." The queen is a national house pet, though a very expensive one.

Posted by: Michael O'Hare | May 6, 2007 10:43 PM

Yay, Raw Fisher. My feelings exactly. Bad move on Tim Kaine's part. Private people can bow all they want, but no state representatives should have. The queen insists on rigid protocol in her home, and we should insist on our own rigid protocol. Americans don't bow to monarchs.

Posted by: Cordelia | May 6, 2007 10:59 PM

As someone born and bred in London but who has lived longer in the USA than I ever did in the UK, I simply cannot understand the US reverence for an unelected monarchy, the obsession with the love and hate affairs of its children, and the confusion of historical longevity with inherent dignity. The USA fought two wars (and threatened others) to be rid of a system that was then simply iniquitous and is now merely parasitic. Yes, it is polite to be courteous to the individual, but please let us not kowtow to an institution that has neither status nor function in our lives.

Posted by: Matthew | May 6, 2007 11:16 PM

Quite right! It's the job of all Americans to go on griveling before George Bush and the other goonies they have elected -- plus, of course, Richard Cheney. That 28 percent of the nation still supports the present administration in its continuing pretense of gallantry and courage in allowing the slaughter of thousands of its finest young citizens on a pretty silly and ever-changing set of pretext, shows that some red-blooded Americans still know where the knee should be bent, and the head bowed.

Posted by: kunino | May 6, 2007 11:21 PM

I agree that our leaders and public officials shouldn't act submissive to another country's head of state, but I feel the same way about religion and culture. When our leaders, particularly our woman leaders, visit foreign countries, they should not subjugate themselves to "show respect" for another religion or culture. If that religion or culture makes women submissive, then I see no reason for our leaders to respect it.

Posted by: Another Angle | May 6, 2007 11:30 PM

How adolescent! Americans are still defined by their resentments and insecurities after all these years. Some time after we leave home, we usually develop some appreciation for our parentage and the richness of the traditions we inherited. If we deny our roots, we remain immature. Acknowledging them liberates us to claim our true inheritance. Then we attain grace as confident and humble people.

Posted by: Nick Wright | May 6, 2007 11:46 PM

How ridiculous to think that an American should bow to the queen! It is not at all a sign of disrespect; we are simply not her subjects. Nor does she expect it. I had the great pleasure of living in London for 5 years and was a guest at a function at Prince Charles' country home, Highgrove. How surprised I was that so many of the other Americans did curtsey. We were all briefed in advance. It was up to us whether we chose to or not. Not doing so isn't a breach of etiquette.

Posted by: MaryJo McGee | May 7, 2007 12:21 AM

Oh come on. She's a representative of an allied country. We should treat her with respect while also showing respect for her culture and customs. It's not our place to say what is right in Britain. If the British want to do away with the Monarchy, then we won't have any Royal delegates to pay respect to and I'm quite sure we'll all be fine with that. Until the British make that decision for themselves, it's up to Americans to be kind and gracious hosts. It's called good manners - something the world thinks we've forgotten.

Posted by: Sarah | May 7, 2007 12:39 AM

drunk by power and vanity they will do anything.

Posted by: Maybe | May 7, 2007 12:41 AM

What a load.The Japanese bow to each other all the time as a matter of courtesy. Not even the British consider themselves the slaves of the Queen(catch that capital "Q") when they offer a bow of respect for the symbol of their nation. I have the choice to bow or not, so stay out of it. This is just a cheap quick write-up to get something in for the occasion.Respecting the traditions of others seems to be big now, so, what's up with this whining over a little break in the mundane slop we serve up to one another in what we call society today in the U.S.

Posted by: dave | May 7, 2007 1:03 AM

I think it's reasonable for United States citizens to welcome Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state of our closest ally. For some, that may mean a bow. I think the people bowing to her are doing it in the same way they would if they were told that this is the appropriate way to greet the democratically elected PM of Japan. It's not an act of submission. It's just what some people do when they meet the Queen.

For the Brits who've criticized Americans' response to their queen's visit, I say decide yourselves whether you want your monarchy already. Until you finally do end the monarchy, I think most US citizens will continue to treat your monarch with the same respect we have for your country.

Posted by: Steve | May 7, 2007 1:15 AM

There is nothing wrong with showing respect to a foreign head of state. Should one decide to show said respect in a 'head nodding/bowing' form, that is their prerogative. This is the USA...we each have a choice in that matter or did y'all forget that?

Posted by: AHB | May 7, 2007 4:22 AM

At least she speaks English, is well mannered and doesn't demand amnesty...I'll bet if she spoke Spanish and wanted a handout you would have kissed her A**

Posted by: Bob H | May 7, 2007 5:38 AM

Americans worship celebrities. The Queen is one more. Sort of like Paris Hilton with brains and experience. But both with no real work experience. Americans went ga-ga over Princess Diana, as well. Some media referred to her after she died as our princess. All pretty silly.

Posted by: Steve | May 7, 2007 5:48 AM

Let me top that. If she was a Muslim there would be a hundred tv crews, people would be also kissing butt, and it would be in the headlines of the Post.

Posted by: Dave | May 7, 2007 6:02 AM

Riiiiight, because there were no tv crews to greet QE, nobody kissed her a**, and her visit failed to generate any headlines in the WaPo. But it would have been SO different if she were an *insert random ethnicity with vaguely racist intent here*. As Americans, I think bowing to the queen is the least of our problems--it is the rampant stupidity we urgently need to rethink.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 6:38 AM

Too many Americans have also forgotten that the word for Conservative in 1776 was "Tory".

Posted by: Bob | May 7, 2007 7:01 AM

Apparently bowing is okay for some in the media. Maureen Dowd once said that every woman in America should fall to her knees and give Bill Clinton a bj.

Posted by: Thursday Next | May 7, 2007 7:35 AM

What a waste of virtual ink. No one is required to curtsey/bow to the queen, British or not. To act like we're compromising our ideals by offering a symbol of respect is nonsensical.

Fisher, get a sense of humor. The Queen has put in a hard day's work every day for the past 55 years, even on holiday. You newspaper columnists don't even have to get out of bed to write these worthless three-paragraph blog entries.

Posted by: Joe | May 7, 2007 7:39 AM

Get over moaning yanks, there is nothing to say you should 'honour' the queen in anyway, but as a head of state however she got there a little bit of international courtesy goes a long way.

On the flip side we have to put up with ignorant US multi-nationals trying to get us to celebrate US independence day with a smile and a burger!

Posted by: English Guy | May 7, 2007 7:52 AM

It is only rampant stupidity that Americans bow their heads in an act of submission to a foreign Brit queen who is NOT our master!

Amercians can be kind, gracious, good manners, honor, respect our guest without bowing our heads.

We must be ourselves and not try to be something that we are not. We are Americans not Brits!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 11:17 AM

It's all play-acting. We are interested in royalty as an extension of the kings and princesses in fairy tales. And we bow and curtsey, even though it is not only not required but shouldn't be done at all because that's what people always do in the movies.

Posted by: WMA | May 7, 2007 11:40 AM

I guess bowing is a form of formal greeting for this head of state and just plain polite, like shaking hands is in political arenas or bowing in Japan. Remember the Japanese actually do not prefer physical contact and only really shake hands because of western bussiness interest in their country.

I thik she has earned the right and respect, the rest of her family are far behind her in that respect. Besides you are looking at your history when you look at her.

Posted by: bill | May 7, 2007 12:17 PM

It is wrong to use the Japan analogy. In Japan both bow to each other, which is not what the Brit queen is doing.

You see people bow to the Brit queen, but the Brit queen never bow to the people!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 12:31 PM

Northern Ireland

Posted by: SAOIRSE | May 7, 2007 1:18 PM

A handshake is polite and respectable. That should be enough for her.

Posted by: DCAustinite | May 7, 2007 2:24 PM


Posted by: A REAL DEMOCRAT | May 7, 2007 2:49 PM

I'm British - born and bred, and God wiling will die here too.

As a loyal subject of The Queen I would bow and I would be honoured to do so.

What others wish to do is a matter for them not anyone else.

In the presence of The President, I would stand to attention - irrespective of his (or in future, perhaps her) name.

Now again - what you or anyone else would do is a matter for them.

All the hoopla aside - QEII would probably just have a very good laugh about it all - HM does have a very wicked sense of "British" humour...perhaps some people here should acquire one ?

(A sense of humour that is)


Posted by: Karl Hindle | May 7, 2007 3:05 PM

...and following on from my "get a sense of humour" posting I received this a moment ago....

" ......... WHY THEY SPEAK ENGLISH ! ..........

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included
Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies.

At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of
officers that included personnel from most of the countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a
French Admiral suddenly complained that, whereas Europeans learn many
languages, Americans learn only English.

He then asked "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these
conferences rather than speaking French?"

With only a slight pause, the American Admiral replied .....

"Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies , Kiwis, Poles, Indians and Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."

You could have heard a pin drop ..."

PS Raw is perfectly correct - HM is NOT your Queen - she's ours..remember it's only a visit so lighten up :)

Posted by: Karl Hindle | May 7, 2007 4:15 PM

I had no idea that Gov. Kaine gave state workers the day off. I think that's terrible. In general, I like Gov. Kaine, but I think this was a mistake.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 4:29 PM

> Marc, I wouldn't bow to Queen Lizzy if
> someone gave me a million dollars.

Really! Good for you, I'd do it twice for $100K.

Reminds me of the Beverly Hillbillies episode where the all visit England. Mr. Drysdale tells them as they're getting off the plane that they all have to go through British "customs". He then waves to hail a cab and to be polite they all go around waving.

Maybe you had to see it.

Posted by: TonyR | May 7, 2007 5:42 PM

My Goodness, the Brits tighty-whities are certainly binding in this blog. Yes, she is your queen and you can have her. Of course, Lizzy knew all along that Charles was playing stink-finger with Camilla while he was married to Diana, so apparently she doesn't mind extra-marital affairs. Maybe she was dreaming of one..........

Posted by: Long Live Shame | May 7, 2007 7:24 PM

It is not Brit humour but Brit hypocrisy that is world famous.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 7, 2007 8:00 PM

Hey, if people are lining the streets wearing Burger King crowns to welcome the Queen, I think Thomas Paine would approve. The American experience treats monarchy as novelty. In old colonial days around the world, people bowed and they seethed against their colonial masters. Today, in America, I think people bow not because they think the Queen is a greater person than they are, but maybe because despite all the crowns, history and hoopla, she is one of us, and she has earned her bow.

I don't think Americans would bow for a Monarch did not have popular appeal.

Posted by: BE | May 7, 2007 9:35 PM

George Fox refused to take off his hat to so-called "nobles", because he felt everyone should be treated the same. I don't mean to try out-Quakering the original Quaker, but my instinct would be to take off my had to everyone. I think we best treat everyone equally not by reducing the kinds of formal politeness, but by granting such formal acknowledgments to everyone.

I've never met a Queen, but I've tipped my hat to innumerable people -- or, if not wearing a hat, done the nod that goes with it.

I doubt the politician in question bows for everyone as he did the Queen. But maybe it would be a better world if every elected official saw every citizen as his boss, to whom he SHOULD bow his head.

Posted by: D Provine | May 7, 2007 10:58 PM

The only thing I find funny is the notion that all men are created equal.

Posted by: D Burnham | May 8, 2007 9:07 AM

I am a proud American. I would bow to the Queen.

Posted by: Buzz | May 8, 2007 10:21 AM

On one hand I completely agree, but then on the other ... what power? Today's monarch isn't our Founding Father's monarch and showing defference does not quite carry the same weight as it once did.

Posted by: Anthony | May 8, 2007 10:50 AM

You have all got it so wrong. In the UK we don't see it as a bow, but a NOD! It is not an act of submission, subjugation or reverence, it is simply a form of greeting, like a handshake but without the RSI that you would get from shaking 20,000 hands a year. The same goes for the frozen fish Royal wave, it is not an affectation but a refinement of movement to save the joints from wear. Just imagine all of the germs that could get spread by a Royal handshake.

Posted by: Rhys | May 8, 2007 12:58 PM

It amuses me when you Americans display such sycophancy in front of the Queen and also how many of you bristle with indignation at the thought of kowtowing to her. Get over it. She is just a figure head whom many Brits love and respect. Many others do not.
You Americans appear to love the red carpet treatment and pomp and ceremony just as much as we do but remember it is merely symbolic. You may mock and laugh at all the get ups but I felt exactly the same when I watched the changing of the guard of the unknown warrior at Arlington cemetary. The "Tin Soldiers" marching like robots made me want to laugh until I looked at how seriously you Americans were taking it. I suspect that Americans of British descent will be partisan but those from elsewhere can't possibly be expected to feel the same. However, may I remind you all why you speak English if it weren't for those brave adventurers 400 years ago.

Posted by: Estelle | May 8, 2007 1:06 PM

Far too many people on this blog have no sense of US history. But why should I be surprised, since you would prefer to watch American Idol in record numbers, but not vote. Nor do you think you should sacrifice for the war in Iraq. TJ and the other revoluationaries must be spining in their graves. The American people as a whole are mental midgets.

Posted by: Tired of it all | May 8, 2007 1:08 PM

God Save the Queen. please.

Posted by: Pandora | May 8, 2007 1:28 PM

I see all you Brits come here to spew anti-American propaganda. If it weren*t for us Amreicans, you Brits would all be speaking German now. Remember that!

Love live the United States of America, forget the queen.

Posted by: BostonTeaParty | May 8, 2007 3:16 PM

I share the sentiment of "What a load.." It's ideas like this that gives Americans a bad name internationally. We are so obbessed with our own ideals (that which are heavily hypocritical - "WE ARE ALL CREATED EQUAL" ?!??! Please... I'll give you a dime for every time the US government or society for that matter, actually held up their sides of that bargain) that we find ourselves overly critical and way harsh! Its called hospitality....thats it. If I remember correctly, when she stepped out her car to the welcome ceremony (on CNN) NO ONE courtesied. She extended her hand and gave handshakes to all. If some Americans want to go above and beyond to make her (an ally) feel welcome by courtseying...well by all means do so. That doesn't make them anti-American. I think the fact that Americans are trying to make her feel welcome...OR even IF they are enjoying the fairy a good thing....definitely not a bad one. I cannot see this little and short lived phenomenon, affecting us or who we are as a nation. No one issued a proclamation mandating us to act in one way or another during her visit, so if you feel like all she deserves is a handshake then by all means, do you. I love the US and no one, Queen or King, will change that. And if you feel that you are being compromised by a few hospitable Americans, then the problem is not us, its your sense of security.

Posted by: Jamie | May 8, 2007 4:11 PM

I've travelled all over America bar three states and I have loved it. Of course you must be proud of your diversity but I do wish that some of you would develop a sense of proportion. During my travels I noticed that you swell with pride when anyone compliments but my goodness a lot of you can't take criticism. It is not anti American to remind you that the English settled in your country first. It's a matter of history.
Naturally they spoke ENGLISH! As to us speaking German- well we did hold out against the Huns in 1940 keeping the Nazis at bay and we suffered mightily. I can remember as I was a small child.
However it is ridiculous to keep carping
on about how you saved us and it has nothing to do with the Queen's visit. We are supposed to be best friends.

Posted by: Estelle | May 8, 2007 5:12 PM

"Of course you must be proud of your diversity"

Um, would you please elaborate on that comment? Is it the African American thing or the American Indian thing? Which bothers you the most?

Posted by: Do tell | May 8, 2007 7:14 PM

Get a grip! Are you so tight that you an not be polite? I have a distant relative that signed the Declaration of Independence and I would curtsy to the queen out of respect. I am not going to become a Tory..Is you pedigree shorter than your dog's

Posted by: Marie | May 8, 2007 8:04 PM

There are many non-submissive ways for Americans to be polite and show respect without the need to bow our heads or curtsy to a foreign queen. Only ignorant Americans would bow to foreign queen.

Posted by: American | May 8, 2007 11:15 PM

Marie, do you curtsy to the Emperor of Japan? No? I thought so. Then why do you curtsy to a foreign queen?

Posted by: Atlanta | May 9, 2007 12:16 AM

I feel sympathetic towards the man who complained about the "Dwindling" number of anglo-americans. ;) All 99 signers of the declaration of independence were either English or Welsh. Carroll was the only "Irish"man, but of the old "English" stock.

Anyway, aristocracy and hereditary ranks are almost always "evil". But as an immigrant from one British colony to another (India-to-U.S), I must say that, compared to all the other nations in history, the English/Scottish aristocracy has been the most democratic (paraphrasing Disraeli); one of the greatest founders of America (Hamilton ) was himself a scion of the Scottish aristocracy, and a serious anglophile, as opposed to that eminent francophile T.J.

Anyway, in a world that is losing all sense of dignity and decorum, The Queen, an 80 year old woman who has stood above the frays of her unclassy relatives, still stands as a link to the "old" world.

As a self-declared virginian, I seriously doubt if the delegate who "bowed" would have done so if the Queen had any REAL power over our lives. Big difference between courtesy/gentility and... servility.

Take it easy :)


Posted by: Raj | May 9, 2007 9:46 AM

There is no business like show business! Bow and curtsy all you want, hypocrites!

Posted by: Mickey | May 9, 2007 11:20 AM

"Of course you must be proud of your diversity. Is it the African American thing or the American Indian thing?..."
Goodness- this is what I mean. Why are you so touchy? It was a compliment and merely a comment. You have a rich mix of people from many nations and you should delight in all that they bring to your country with their diverse cultures and heritages. I'm thinking you don't speak English after all as there appears to be a communication problem with a few of you.
We all think our countries are the greatest on earth and we could all do with adopting a little humility.
I trust the Queen was made welcome. I doubt she will come again.

Posted by: Estelle | May 9, 2007 12:15 PM

Oh dear oh dear. All of this is getting very petulant and out of hand.

As a point of order I would like to respond to the entry made by the Boston Tea Party author, firstly English is in essence German (unlike my own language which celtic and is much older). Secondly, by the time the USA entered WWII the threat of invasion from Germany had been destroyed by the Austrailians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Poles, Czecks, Free French, South Africans, Rodesians, Belgians, Norwegians, Dutch, Irish and British, but most imporatantly by a change in tactics by the Germans and by the Russians who died in their millions. Your remarks are both ill informed and offensive to those who died and given the fact that the Queen's visit is a gesture of unity and support at this time of trouble you should think (if possible) before you type.

Posted by: Welshman | May 9, 2007 2:51 PM

Please keep the queen and horse-face in England! And keep Charlie there too!

Posted by: For real | May 9, 2007 6:29 PM

I seem to remember the British PM, Margaret Thatcher, bowing/curtseying at the coffin of your president, Reagan... If you respect a person greatly, I see nothing odd in bowing or curtseying. No one has to curtsey to the Queen today if they don't want to, except members of her family.

Here in Australia, some bow, some don't. It's entirely up to the individual.

As for one of the comments here stating in America, all people are born 'equal', that's just so not the case in the US or anywhere, republics or monarchies.

Posted by: Geoff | May 11, 2007 2:26 AM

With the dwindling bee hives I say we should have given that 11 million to find out what is wrong with our own queen, The American Honey Bee Queen.

Polite is what we should be. Britain has stood behind America, in everything even when I personally was disapproving of what was going on.

I wonder how much Britain spent when Bush went there?


Posted by: pixie | May 11, 2007 2:29 AM

To the individual who said Europeans (and maybe the rest of us) would all be speaking German now if it wasn't for America, what about each Euro countries' respective resistance organisations and the forces of Australia, New Zealand and Canada? You didn't win the whole thing on you own, you know!

Posted by: Geoff | May 11, 2007 2:35 AM

And I suppose having only those steeped in wealth undreamt in the thrall of oil companies able to stand for public office is better?
You have replaced George III for the following line of succession:
George Bush
Bill Clinton
George Bush's son
Bill Clinton's WIFE! (?)
Well done. At least we in Canada enjoy stability, tradition, and honour rather than such degradation every time your first certified moron-in-chief speaks, let alone continues to kill foreign innocents.

Posted by: Keir | May 12, 2007 10:04 PM

Her Majesty represents Tradition, Duty, and Honour.

Her Grandson is off to fight, she herself supported the war effort in her time, her husband served, her son fought in the Falklands war - at the front too.

The 'elected' 'leadership' in this fair 'republic' has avoided all such hardship since the 60s.

And this ninny dares to complain that the common folks here show recognize these things and show Her Majesty the respect due her position, contributions, and age?

Begone with you, and the loathsome attitude of bigotry against both those who do their duty and those who know how to show respect you seem to have ridden in on.

Posted by: Bo | May 15, 2007 1:19 PM

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