Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Liz is 84 Today (but not Officially)

It took me a while to get used to living in a country with a monarch, even if it is just a 'constitutional monarchy'. When I think of it, I had to get used to living in Salt Lake City, surrounded by Mormons, too. It's not a problem, it's just different. I even got used to the idea that part of my taxes went to help keep the world's wealthiest woman on top of that list. I'm a guest here in Britain, so I don't figure it's my place to question how they do things.

I think the present Queen has lived in interesting times, as of course did many of her predecessors. The end of the empire pretty much happened during her reign. She started paying income tax in 1992, though at what rate I'm not certain. There may well have been come trade-offs. Her council tax (ie, property tax) isn't much if this source is accurate. The mess around Charles and Diana's troubles will have caused a fair amount of annoyance and she went through Tony Blair's 'modernisation programme.'

One thing that didn't get modernised, however, was that she has more than one birthday, in fact she has handfuls! Today, however, is the actual day in which she came into the world in 1926. Apparently it all started because her great-grandfather, Edward VII (son of Queen Victoria) was born in November, but he moved his official birthday celebration to June, in hopes that the summer weather would be better for parades and such. I don't know if the Met office (that's the National Weather Service) decides the date the celebrations will be, but it ends up usually being the first or second or sometimes the third Saturday in June. So much for having a public holiday... However, her birthday is supposedly a public holiday in any number of commonwealth countries, but not the same date I gather.

In answering this question for myself, I discovered the official website of the British Monarchy and if you love history like I do, it's a great place to dig around in. I read that Queen Victoria was the longest reigning monarch ever in Britain, lasting 63 years. This year marks Elizabeth's 57th, so it's possible she might beat this record, and I hope she does. Though I don't care for the concept of a monarchy in any form, by all accounts the Queen works very hard to serve the interests of her country and to share her knowledge and experience with the leaders in the Commonwealth, so well done her. Looks like Charles had best stay in good health if he wants to enjoy his inheritance.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How very interesting! I had no idea she pays taxes... part of it goes back to her in the form of income though. So much has changed since 1926! I'd love to live to old age and see how our world has progressed (hopefully).