The Queen In New York
Queen Elizabeth II Visits The Site Of Ground Zero
Queen Elizabeth II, of England, set foot on American soil for the third time in her life this past Tuesday, July 6, 2010. Her first trip here was in 1957 when the relatively new Queen was just 31; she spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, in New York, and took a ferry boat ride on that visit. Then, in 1976 she came to New York again, at age 50, this time greeting many anxious, adoring fans and stepping into Bloomingdale's.
Now, at age 84, after a nine-day visit to Canada, the Queen addressed the U.N. General Assembly once again. The Monarch was introduced by Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General, who welcomed her by stating, “In a changing and churning world, you are an anchor for our age.”
The Queen, wearing one of her elegant hats, addressed the assembly on the topics of terrorism, climate change, United Nations history and world peace; saying, “It has perhaps always been the case that the waging of peace is the hardest form of leadership of all.”
From here, it was on to ground zero, where the Queen was greeted by Governor Paterson and Mayor Bloomberg as well as many loyal admirers, standing in the 103-degree heat, anxious to get a glimpse of Her Royal Highness. The Queen placidly studied a lovely wreath laid in honor of the people who died on 9/11. Looking calm and resplendently cool, she was apprised of the progress of the new buildings going up.
Some of the families of the victims of 9/11 conversed with Queen Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip. The Royal Couple are known to always be at their ease when mingling among crowds such as this. Prince Philip asked a boy of 13 what he wanted to be, and the boy answered that he wanted to be a billionaire.
The final ceremony of the relatively short stay was at nearby Hanover Square, to officially open The British Garden honoring the sixty-seven British citizens who died on 9/11. Children often hand flowers and other gifts to the Queen when she makes public appearances at home in England; in New York, a beaming girl handed the Queen a bouquet of summer flowers. Her Majesty, the Queen, was later seen still holding the bouquet and smiling serenely.
A Little History
It is significant that the new British Garden is opening in Hanover Square. Queen Elizabeth’s Royal ancestry goes back to the Hanoverians. Her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria and her great grandfather, Edward VII, were the last two monarchs of the Hanoverian lineage: Queen Victoria reigning for 64 years, from 1837-1901, followed by her son, Edward VII, who reigned for nine years.
The preceding line of kings were the Stuarts, who lived by the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings, which says that kings were answerable not to man but to God. The Royal credo clashed with Parliament, and the ensuing Civil War, led by Oliver Cromwell, culminated in the defeat of the Royal army and the execution of King Charles I.
Thus, England was ruled without a King from 1649-1660. Charles II, son of Charles I, finally became King followed by his brother, James II. The throne was then occupied jointly by William of Orange and Mary, daughter of James. Queen Anne was the last of the Stuarts; she ruled from 1702-1714.
A German House
The first Hanoverian King, George I, could speak no English - he was German; but, because of the prevailing Protestant sentiment among the English subjects, the new Parliamentary appointed Germanic King was welcomed. And as the Monarchs became completely English, they were thoroughly embraced. By Queen Victoria’s time, the Royals had made a world-renowned impact and enjoyed overwhelming popularity and genuine love of the British people.
The House of Winsor
George V, Queen Elizabeth’s grandfather, changed his German name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha to Windsor, during WWI as a conscientious gesture amidst anti-German sentiment among the people of Britain. Elizabeth’s father, George VI, was crowned King upon the abdication of his brother, Edward VIII, who decided to marry an American divorcee rather than be King.
George VI led the country through WWII, along with Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. Princess Elizabeth, at age fourteen, addressed the English people by radio, inspiring much love and patriotism. Her mother, Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, was also well-loved by the people for her outward show of compassion during war-time.
Princess Elizabeth, the eldest child of the King, was crowned Queen upon her father’s death in 1952. Her husband, Philip Mountbatten, became Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. The Queen undertook her duties in the shadow of grief over her father’s death; but, she also was greeted with warm love and popularity from the English people.
From the outset, the Queen allowed superior guidance in Prime Minister Churchill. Queen Elizabeth II has always carried out her duties with utter professionalism, and though her role has become mostly formal in regards to her responsibilities among Parliament and the world at large, the Queen’s symbolic meaning remains true among many around the globe.
The Winsors have suffered family scandal and tragedy in the 58 years of the Queen’s reign, from highly publicized divorce to the tragic and untimely death of Princess Diana, in 1997. The Queen herself has, most unfairly, sustained a lot of the blame and fallout; but to this day, she emerges with dignity and grace.
The most profound impact that Queen Elizabeth II has established is the bridging of the influences of her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria’s, House of Hanover to the modern Royal Monarchy. Hanover remains one of the most interesting places in Germany and in history. Hence, the English Garden in Hanover Square, New York.
In New York this week the Queen was described, as she often is, as ephemeral, beautiful, regal, fantastic, gorgeous and - in possession of “a certain something”.
Of her adoring subjects who send her supportive cards and letters, the Queen states, “You see, they really do understand.”
Queen Elizabeth II is followed by her son Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales, first in line to the throne, and her grandson, Prince William, second in line to the throne.
The Queen’s popular website was visited 12,500,000 times in its first two months.
The Queen's Royal Website
- Welcome to the official website of the British Monarchy
The official website of the British Monarchy. Information on the history of the Monarchy, today's royal family and the Royal Art and Residences