Yes, Australia is a long way from anywhere! Even in today's age where air travel is fast. So we don't get too many "celebrities" visiting. I mean real celebrities, not current "singing sensations" or similar. We get the occasional "Hollywood actor/actress" but that doesn't mean too much to the majority of people.
So the visit by Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh, while expected, who attended the opening of CHOGM in Perth a couple of days ago, took many of the commentators by surprise. Not that they weren't expecting them, rather that the hundreds of thousands of people who lined the streets and airports to see their arrival and departure, argued the point that a lot of people had been saying, "there's not much interest in the Royal Family these days!"
Well! The Monarchy, to those hundreds of thousands, and to millions of us who were watching television and reading newspapers and magazines, certainly is relevant today.
The underlying tone of journalists continues the thread set more than 50 years ago when she was crowned, that the Queen is warm and gracious; she is knowledgeable; she is intensely interested in where she goes and who she speaks to and with; she is regal; she is, as one reporter wrote, able to be serious one moment and then she smiles and the recipient is made to feel as though she personally cares.
The Queen to many of us, represents stability (even taking into account all the shenanigans that some of the Royal Family get up to); and ethics. She carries out her tasks with pride and elegance and at 85 astounds with her energy and exurberance.
We have watched her over the years grow into the role of Queen, at first tentatively but with compassion and a distinct awareness of responsibility (her first speech as Queen showed that!), and then through the years to the current day. Her popularity is, it seems, almost as strong today as it was back in 1953.
This blog is written for women, about women, and we couldn't let the opportunity go by without including this post on the Queen, as she departs Australia in October 2011.