viernes, 21 de abril de 2006

La Reina cumple 80 años

The Queen examined the messages of goodwill, including scores of colourful home-made cards, from around the world, in the palace's Regency Room
Isabel II, conocida en todo el mundo simplemente como "The Queen", celebra hoy su 80 cumpleaños rodeada del cariño y reconocimiento de su pueblo.

Desde aquí queremos rendir un homenaje a su brillante reinado y testimoniar nuestra lealtad a quien encarna las esencias de lo que es y debe ser la Monarquía.

Página oficial de la Casa Real Británica

Reportaje de la BBC

Edición especial de The Daily Telegraph
Editorial de The Daily Telegraph:

A nation blessed by a golden sovereign

Her Majesty the Queen today becomes only the third sovereign in our history, after King George III and Queen Victoria, to reach the age of 80. King George was mad and Victoria's powers were failing - both were just over a year from death. Happily, our Queen shows no signs of decline.

No one should be surprised by the affirmation of her cousin, Mrs Margaret Rhodes, that Her Majesty has no intention of abdicating. Nor should she have. With her appetite for work hardly reduced by the years, and her constant and visible presence as head of state, she has become iconic not just of her country generally, but of her generation. She epitomises the robust long life and vitality more and more familiar among the elderly: and, if her late mother, Queen Elizabeth, is any judge, there are abundant years ahead yet.

There is a danger, after 54 years on the throne, that her people might take the Queen for granted. Despite being our most prominent public figure, she is also the most genuinely self-effacing. She has always been the perfect constitutional monarch: no one is sure of her views. What Bagehot called the "dignified" function of the monarchy within the British constitution is sublimely represented by her. But so too has she always represented the wider purposes of monarchy. In her consistency and demeanour she embodies the continuity of the institution, and its stability at the heart of the nation.

This is all the more remarkable for the turbulent times through which the Queen has lived. Although both her father and grandfather had Labour prime ministers, neither Ramsay MacDonald nor Clement Attlee, for all their radicalism, quite changed the tenor of society in the way that the social revolution of the 1960s did, or in the way that the New Labour project has sought to do. Nor was the upheaval caused by the economic restructuring of Britain under Margaret Thatcher something to be regarded casually. Yet the head of state has taken all these changes in her stride, and successive prime ministers have testified, without needing to resort to flattery, to her wisdom and good sense. The continuity of our national life, over decades of change, is not simply due to the function of monarchy, but also to the constructive influence of the Queen in particular.

Her Majesty's greatest trials have been the crises in her family, and their effect on perceptions of the monarchy. The fact that three of her four children's marriages ended in divorce was regrettable but not, sadly, unique in contemporary society. The failure of the Prince of Wales's marriage, and the tragic end of his ex-wife's life, were harsh blows to the credibility and popularity of the entire Royal Family.

These events were seized on by republican elements to further their own agenda, and magnified in their unpleasantness beyond their true import. By the time of her Golden Jubilee in 2002, five years after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Queen showed herself to be as secure as ever in the affections of her subjects. Without having to resort to the type of public relations stunts favoured by celebrities and politicians, the Queen, simply by getting on and doing her duty in the painstaking and dedicated way that she has made her own, rebuilt the public's loyalty not just to her, but also to the institution of monarchy. In an age when most people seem to enter public life for personal gain, the Queen, who had her position thrust on her, continues to define the concept of service in a gold-plated fashion.

On her first overseas tour, to South Africa in 1947 with her parents and on the eve of her marriage, the then Princess Elizabeth made a broadcast in which she dedicated herself to her people, at home and abroad, for the rest of her life. It is not the least of her utterly admirable qualities that she has kept unswervingly to her vow, though an empire has gone and the Commonwealth is a shadow of what it was designed to be. Her adherence to her Coronation Oath, similarly, helps to explain why abdication is incomprehensible to her. Such dedication is why Her Majesty is revered not merely here, but all over the world. In America, she is, despite competition from other foreign sovereigns, "the Queen". When the French refer to "la Reine" or the Germans to "die Königin", they do not bother to add the name of her realm afterwards. Unlike so many others who enjoy global fame, her position has been earned by service.

Our nation and its people have been blessed by a devoted and wise sovereign during times of great change. Amid all the disruptions, there is much to rejoice about: that God has saved the Queen all these years, and in such fine health and spirits, is foremost. 

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip after her coronation

Editorial de The Times:

The Queen's birthday

The nation celebrates a life of service and subtlety

The celebrations to mark the Queen's 80th birthday today will have a warmth and affection rarely displayed nowadays towards the monarchy. It is not simply that the nation's head of state has reached a venerable age in good health and robust spirit, or that she continues to perform her duties with diligence, tact and aplomb; it is the sense that the Queen has come to embody qualities and values that are recognised as important to our society. And at a time of accelerating social, cultural and economic change, her enduring example of continuity, tolerance and moderation is of inestimable value.

These values were shaped more than two generations ago, when Britain was a very different country — as our special anniversary supplement tellingly demonstrates. Since making her solemn oath in Westminster Abbey more than half a century ago, the Queen has consistently upheld the values of loyalty, respect, stoicism and reserve that she believes intrinsic to the monarchy and to her duty. They have not always found favour. A decade ago, amid demeaning rumour and titillating gossip, there was a sense that the monarchy was floundering, an expensive anachronism that was proving unable to adapt. The Queen, it was suggested, should abdicate to allow the change that only another generation could usher in.

All such talk has ended. Not only has the Queen made it abundantly clear that she believes her responsibility to be one entrusted for life; but the very values that were seen as old-fashioned and no longer representative of cool Britannia are now held in new respect.

The Queen commands, most Britons would concede, a deference due to personal discipline that is all too rare nowadays. "Wisdom" is an abused word, but she has consistently been wise. Her perceptive interest in the nation's political life, as well as international affairs, has given her an un- rivalled experience. Her discretion reflects an understanding of the limits of constitutional monarchy. And her reserve protects her privacy and preserves the essential mystery of monarchy.

It is the Queen's very age that inspires respect. For not only is her sense of duty undiminished (and the talk of slowing down appears to be mere speculation); but her dry wit and intellectual curiosity demonstrate to a country too often dismissive of its senior citizens the essential contributions that older Britons — an ever larger proportion of the population — still make to national life. The humour indicates that she takes her role seriously but herself a little less so, and that she has a comprehension of her context that has gradually given her more confidence in the exercise of her responsibilies.

The Queen does not respond publicly to pressure. She does not reply to criticism, deny press allegations or change routines according to fad and vogue. But she does, quietly and with measured caution, respond to the national mood. Her themes, broadcasts, gestures and visits adroitly reflect the changes. Her decision to hold a celebration at Buckingham Palace for 99 other octogenarians was inspired: a symbol of inclusiveness, respect and diversity that gave much unexpected delight to those invited. Today it will be the nation's turn to throw a party for her. It will be a very happy birthday.

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