London (CNN) – Why does Britain have a monarchy? It is a question as old as the institution itself. But even more important is the reason why countries beyond the UK have the same monarchy.
The Queen is head of state in 15 other countries that were once under British rule, stretching as far as Australia and New Zealand – literally on the other side of the planet.
Due to her age, Her Majesty has not traveled to these countries for years, which makes it even more remarkable that she retained her posts there. More recently, royals like her son, Prince Edward, and grandchildren, the Sussexes and Cambridges, have come on her behalf.
So how does she keep the relationships strong? Well, she demonstrated it this week with a fleeting but symbolic visit on the road to Windsor Castle.
The 94-year-old visited the Air Force Memorial in Runnymede on Wednesday to mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force. The monarch’s surprise appearance was his first in-person public engagement this year.
“It’s been a long time since I’ve been here,” the Queen commented upon arriving at the Air Force Memorial. Australian and UK media cameras were asked to capture the moment.
And its choice of outlet was not missed by Australian outlets. “Queen’s nod to Australia in her first public appearance since Meghan and Harry’s interview,” News.com.au read.
The Queen may not have set foot in Australia for a decade, but the message here was that she had not been forgotten by her, even amid the latest family uproar.
In an order of service for the event, the Queen wrote: “Throughout my reign, the Royal Australian Air Force has displayed immense dedication to duty and has defended our freedom in many conflicts throughout the world. world.”
These words are loved by Australians and she reminds them of her place in their history by referring to her record-breaking reign, during which she has always represented and promoted Australian interests on the world stage.
Many countries abandoned Elizabeth as head of state after gaining independence. But as far as Australia is concerned, the Queen survived the last referendum on her replacement as head of state in 1999 and that was right after Diana’s crisis. Did Meghan and Harry’s interview hurt her more? It’s up to the Australians to decide, but if history teaches us anything, it’s never to underestimate Elizabeth’s power.
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Whether it’s cooking, redecorating, or learning a new skill, many have found new plans to enjoy the endless hours inside – including the Duchess of Cambridge. Catherine has spent the last year working on her own passion project – combining her love of photography with community outreach. Last year, she invited people across the UK to submit portraits they took during the first nationwide lockdown as part of her ‘Hold Still’ initiative. With help from the National Portrait Gallery, 31,000 submissions have been reduced to 100, which will be published in a new book in May, it was announced this week. The Duchess wrote in the book’s introduction that she “wanted to use the power of photography to create a lasting record of what we all went through – to capture the stories of individuals and document moments important to families and families. communities as we lived through the pandemic. “
OF THE ROYAL VOTE
The Queen has revealed her sadness at having to cancel the traditional Royal Maundy service for the second year in a row due to the pandemic. As “defender of the faith and supreme governor of the Church of England,” the Queen usually marks Holy Week with a service celebrated on the Thursday before Easter Sunday.
This year’s event was to be held at Westminster Abbey in London. Instead, the monarch sent gifts to the 190 people who were reportedly invited this week.
“I am sure you will be sad, like me, that the present circumstances make it impossible to hold this Service. I hope, however, that this Saint-Don will remind you for years to come that your efforts have been truly appreciated.” Queen wrote in a letter to each recipient.
During the Queen’s reign, she extended the ritual of holy money beyond London and traveled to various cathedrals and abbeys across the UK to distribute the symbolic gifts. As part of the service, Elizabeth distributes two leather handbags that have been blessed: one red and one white.
This year’s red wallet features two newly minted coins: a £ 5 coin in honor of the Queen’s upcoming 95th birthday as well as a 50p coin which marks the 50th anniversary of the currency’s decimalization. Historically, the amount of £ 5.50 represents the ruler’s gift for food and clothing.
The white handbag contains bespoke Virgin silver minted for the occasion in denominations of one, two, three and four silver pennies, which corresponds to its age.
Usually the Queen celebrates Easter weekend privately with her family at Windsor Castle – where she has been locked up with her husband, Philip, and a bubble of their staff since the virus hit last year.
We usually get a glimpse of the monarch as she walks to church on Sunday morning at St. George’s Chapel – the beautiful chapel that was built in the late 15th century and is still the scene of many baptisms. royals, weddings and funerals – accompanied by some members of the clan. But the traditional family reunion is unlikely to take place this year, with Covid-19 restrictions preventing more than six people or two households from meeting.
The Queen may choose to worship in private – which she does at the Chapel of All Saints, near the home of Prince Andrew’s Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park – but she will certainly forgo the usual trip to St. George’s to avoid to attract crowds.
Instead of public appearances, it’s possible we’ll still hear from a member of the Royal Family. Prince Charles often recorded special Easter messages to mark the holiday, including participating in the “Abbeycast” podcast last year and sending a video message of support for those persecuted for their faith in 2018.
A WORD FROM THE ROYALS
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