Just returned from standing in a large crowd on the White House lawn for an appearance by President George W. Bush and Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Even to those of us who believe the American Republic is mankind’s greatest political achievement, experiencing the Queen’s visit was well worthwhile — a vicarious exposure to the grand events of the 20th Century and an opportunity to pay one’s respects to a dignified head of state of a redoubtable U.S. ally. The military pageantry is always stirring, as well.
We could barely hear the President and the Queen, but the President did mention John Locke and Edmund Burke — so that’s good — and the Queen recalled her visit last week to Virginia and Jamestown. On a beautiful, sunny day in Washington, it was just a nice experience to honor a shared history and shared principles.
UPDATE (2:30 p.m.): The President and the Queen’s statements are now available at the White House website here. Fine observations by the Queen:
Last week, I had the pleasure of sharing with you an extraordinary anniversary in our common history. It was a privilege to join the commemoration of the Jamestown landing by that small group of British citizens all those years ago. My two days in Virginia gave me a new insight into those events, which helped to shape this country’s development and to lay the foundations of this great nation based on shared principles of equality, democracy and the rule of law.
And now in Washington, we have a further opportunity to acknowledge the present strengths of our relationship. I shall enjoy not only renewing old acquaintances and making new ones, but also recognizing the breadth and depth of the friendship we have shared for so long. We can celebrate the close and enduring associations which thrive between the United States and the United Kingdom at every level, be it government or corporate, institutional or personal.
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