Friday, May 28, 2010

The Queen's Speech

"My government will invest in new high-speed broadband internet connection," spoken by an 84-year old woman wearing an actual ginormous crown in imperial purple sitting on an actual throne.

I'm sure that to Commonwealthers the theater (theatre) of the Queen's Speech (or its viceregal equivalents) is old hat, but this is the first one I've ever actually watched. It strikes me as wonderfully odd. It seems undignified for the Queen to have to read a first-person speech written by some newly-elected politico and simultaneously undignified for the elected leader of a great power not to be able to deliver his own agenda to Parliament, and just wildly incongruous to have the longest-serving head of state in the world (is that right?) wading through a detailed list of bills to be introduced ("alcohol-related violence!") and through boringly jargony catchphrases. And yet it all works-- I enjoyed it more than I've enjoyed a State of the Union, like, ever.

I especially liked that the official statement of the government's agenda doubles as the Queen's Christmas card/ annual letter ("The Duke of Edinburgh and I look forward to our visit to Canada in June").