_freeman
^

The queen

POINTILLISMS - Mike Acebedo Lopez (The Freeman) - October 18, 2014 - 12:00am

Last week, photos of Angelina Jolie being presented by Her Majesty the Queen the insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George went viral on the internet. People raved at how Angelina carried herself in the presence of the Queen, how beautiful and radiant she was, and how deserving she is of the honor. I concede, no doubt, she was, but I was more focused on the Queen. How, in the presence of Tinseltown's brightest star, Elizabeth II's majesty and moral ascendancy still owned the room.

I have always been an admirer of the Queen and I envy the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth of Nations for having her as their sovereign and head of state. They have the best of both worlds. They have democracy to elect their head of government, yet they have history and tradition that binds their people together in the person of their head of state, a fitting and very spiritual representative of their people.

I would have wished the same setup for the Philippines where we are able to elect most of our public officials, from our prime minister down to our local government executives. But to also be united behind an apolitical sovereign, someone who leads by virtue of constitution and birthright, not by ideology or shifting political tides; a unifying figure who can keep our emotions in check. And God knows how we, a hyperemotional flock, need a steady and constant figurehead who is above politics, especially the destructive and divisive kind that pervades our government.

I was a sophomore in high school when Princess Diana died in that tragic car crash and while my heart broke for her children who are as old as I am, I remember passionately defending the Queen amid criticisms that she was stoic and uncaring and unfeeling. If there was Facebook then, I would've dedicated a kilometric rant in her defense.

In our country where public figures love giving press conferences where they break down in tears, appeal to people's emotions and make a spectacle of even the most private moments, the Queen's restraint was a breath of fresh air. Her calm and sobriety, dignified silence and quiet mourning were admirable to say the least; she was shining example of maturity and wisdom, and something I expect from a queen.  

Here is someone who has dedicated her entire life to the service of her people, and who has done so with utmost devotion and solemnity, and she was being so unfairly bashed and judged, without any effort to see things from her perspective. I was very affected by the vitriol against her. Good thing history has been kind to her and people have come to their senses in hindsight. When media was out for blood and turned the tragedy into a circus, the Queen in fact knew better.

A life dedicated to service

Queen Elizabeth II is the longest reigning living queen, and will, next year, surpass her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria as the longest reigning British monarch, ever. (Victoria reined a total of 63 years, seven months and three days.) Elizabeth II is the oldest reigning British monarch in history, and the oldest British queen.

But it's giving meaning to all those years that makes me admire the Queen even more. A commoner's concept of royalty and a crown on one's head is a life of pleasure, comfort, and entitlement, but Queen Elizabeth is the quintessential example of the opposite.

The Queen undertakes over 400 hundred engagements a year, and according to research, between 1982 and 2012, she has completed approximately 15,000 official engagements. And that figure represents only half of her reign of sixty years thus far. And at 88 years old, she has shown no signs of slowing down. While she can opt for retirement or semi- retirement, and use age and health as an excuse to cut back on her royal chores, the Queen continues to be passionate about her job. She maintains a schedule that would prove to be daunting even to people a third of her age. 

Other royals help share her load, but she continues to be the most active amongst all members of the British royal family, making her the most active monarch and arguably the most hardworking head of state in the world. Talk about a value-for-money monarchy. Now that's true dedication to her responsibilities, an unwavering faithfulness and commitment to her oath and duty; truly someone to look up to and emulate.

I've at least two prominent relatives who have had the rare pleasure of meeting the Queen, and I've also met royalty before (I was fortunate to have been awarded by His Imperial Highness Crown Prince Naruhito, heir-apparent to Japan's throne, at his palace in Tokyo as one of The Outstanding Young Persons worldwide), but it would be so awesome, a dream come true to meet Queen Elizabeth II in person. Who knows, right? In my life, I've come to realize that nothing is ever impossible. 

God save The Queen! Long live the dutiful and committed Queen!

mikeacebedolopez@gmail.com

ANGELINA JOLIE HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN HIS IMPERIAL HIGHNESS CROWN PRINCE NARUHITO HONORARY DAME GRAND CROSS OF THE MOST DISTINGUISHED ORDER OF ST. MICHAEL AND ST. GEORGE OUTSTANDING YOUNG PERSONS PEOPLE PRINCESS DIANA QUEEN QUEEN AND I QUEEN ELIZABETH QUEEN VICTORIA
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with