obama and the queen
obama and the queen
with The One planning a 2nd european apology tour to coincide with the 65th anniversary of D-Day, i’ll be blogging about several aspects of his overseas trip in the next week or so – mostly because i am a huge history lover and he, apparently, is not.
so let me start by saying whenever the leader of the free world (and this one in particular) goes anywhere — you know every detail of how things ‘look‘ is taken into account — especially on overseas trips. i mean look at the first obama apology tour: tremendous stage craft involved. now as obama is planning to go and represent us all at Normandy — with gordon brown and nikolas sarkozy — why wasn’t queen elizabeth included in such an important international event?
princess elizabeth, 1945
leaving her out of d-day activities honoring people who served in a war she was deeply connected to is, in short, completely unacceptable.
“Queen Elizabeth is not amused.
Indeed, she is decidedly displeased, angry even, that she was not invited to join President Obama and France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, next week at commemorations of the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, according to reports published in Britain’s mass-circulation tabloid newspapers on Wednesday. Pointedly, Buckingham Palace did not deny the reports.
The queen, who is 83, is the only living head of state who served in uniform during World War II. As Elizabeth Windsor, service number 230873, she volunteered as a subaltern in the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, training as a driver and a mechanic. Eventually, she drove military trucks in support roles in England.”
that last paragraph really understates elizabeth’s role, i believe. she was a princess who drove a military truck. while there were surely others who saw more impressive acts of heroism, the fact remains that princess elizabeth was not hiding away in a castle in the country while all of london was being bombed by the nazis. she and her family served as examples of british courage for her countrymen during a pretty awful time. did you know that by the end of the war, princess elizabeth was a junior commander in the ‘women’s auxiliary territorial service’?
even at the end of the war on VE day, elizabeth and her sister mingled anonymously with the happy crowds in the streets of london. she later said in a rare interview:
“We asked my parents if we could go out and see for ourselves. I remember we were terrified of being recognised. I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief. It was so wonderful.”
it seems to me that if you’re going to have someone at your d-day party, where you celebrate the turning point of the european arm of the conflict, which was accomplished not just by americans but by british soldiers as well, it makes a lot of sense to have someone present who was around at the time and kind of knew what was going on.
she’s a veteran for gosh sakes.
and predictably, after a thunderous outcry of disbelief from every corner, queen elizabeth has now been ‘issued’ and invitation to be with brown, sarkozy and of course The One on d-day. in fact, it is obama himself who is taking the credit now for making sure the queen was invited. sadly however, it is just prince charles who will attend in her place.
what an incredible shame.