It’s difficult to imagine the magnitude of the historic significance of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee. Nothing like this has ever happened in our lifetimes and won’t ever again. The world is so completely different than it was when H.M. Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, a time when the sun never set on The British Empire. With the changes of world power, political and economic climates, and technology, the Monarchy has adapted skillfully, partly out of necessity, but especially due of the unparalleled dedication of The Queen.
There are many lessons one can learn from studying Her long and colorful reign. It has not been that far removed from our own lives in many ways, filled with highs and lows. For many reasons the Royal Family is different from ‘us’, but not above ‘us’. Aside from the star quality that many senior members of the family have attained, their most shining quality is their dedication to service of others. Here we can all take the lead by following their example and commit to helping those in our own families and communities.
During the extensive Royal Tours, which a number of members of the Royal Family are conducting on behalf of Her Majesty around the world, the theme is one of gratitude to those people who have served selflessly on behalf of The Queen in various capacities in both military and civil affairs. Her genuine thankfulness is reflected in wide-ranging awards of recognition, which includes helping some of the most vulnerable members of our communities and the recognition of our most heroic men and women in uniform.
One need not be a staunch Monarchist to see and appreciate the enormous uplifting of human spirit that the pomp and pageantry events involving the Royal Family in general and The Queen specifically bring to our lives. I remember watching Her Majesty’s family enjoying the joys of marriage, the distresses of divorce, and the circle of life as a whole, which is in fact part of our all of our lives.
The Queen’s yearly Christmas broadcasts, speeches from the throne, and innumerable other words demonstrate a sincerity and keen awareness few world leaders can manage. The devotion to Her husband, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, is heartwarming. Prince Philip has been a pillar of strength for Her over the years while maintaining a clearly independent agenda carefully avoiding politics. They have shown us how to instill a good sense of humor and a sense of duty into our own lives and those of our friends and family.
Many will argue that the obvious advantages Her Majesty is imbued with set Her above the day-to-day struggles others endure. I would counter this line of reasoning by suggesting that the differences are more surface than anything. During Her Majesty’s long reign, The Queen has had enormous challenges to handle from the business of running one of the world’s largest private companies to maintaining a public image that has needed to change as a chameleon.
Fortunately as a result of Her Majesty’s tireless dedication to duty, The Queen has created countless new opportunities to share the Royal Collections, Royal Residences, and in fact Her Majesty’s family with millions of people who have flocked to the British Isles as visitors. No Sovereign has maintained the schedule The Queen has. She has circled the globe countless times, welcomed more Heads of State than any world leader could ever hope to, and through Her benevolence has arguably brought more joy and happiness to people around the world than any other living soul.
I hope we can all take a moment to reflect on Her Majesty’s long reign this weekend and throughout the year. The Queen has taught me many valuable lessons through Her example of kindness, compassion and selflessness. The Queen has not lead us astray with greed or insensitivity, and has shown us how we all can adjust when necessary with hugely positive results. As we celebrate this historic occasion, let’s try to keep Her Majesty’s spirit of service in our hearts. That is what this Diamond Jubilee is really all about. Long live The Queen!