Hosting the Queen
Today (Thursday), Queen Elizabeth is to arrive in Richmond, Virginia 50 years after her first state visit to commemorate the founding of Jamestown and,
...celebrate the exploration of new frontiers -- to push the boundaries of our worlds and knowledge. A common spirit from the settlers of 1607 to the astronauts of 2007.
What does it take to host a monarch?
The right look . . . The right greeting . . . The right tone and atmosphere . . . It's all such an obsession that the U.S. State Department has appointed someone to work with [Amy] Bridge, [director of the Governor's Mansion] on royal protocol. Buckingham Palace flew in about 15 others -- including the queen's personal assistant and Buckingham Palace's deputy master of the household -- for consultations. Washington Post
What tea do you serve? Lipton's? Or something British? No offense to the Queen, but I'd be inclined to let her bring her own tea bag or serve coffee. We have to retain some semblance of dignity as we fawn over a figurehead with almost no real power as if she were, well, the Queen or something.

Virginia Governor Tim Kaine even has a section of his website dedicated to proper etiquette before the Queen. I'm glad to note that US citizens are not required to bow or curtsy and the little reminder there that we don't recognize the Queen as our Head of Nation (at least that much is taught in school, right?). I do wonder at the last point under dress, however:
Where black tie and long evening dress are called for, cocktail dress, national dress and dark lounge suit are also acceptable.
Does that mean that jeans, a T-shirt and baseball cap are perfectly acceptable since it is the closest thing to a national dress we have?

And who is this person we are getting so worked up over?

No one knows, much about her, really,...except that bit portrayed in The Queen, and who needs to know the reality when you have what is said to be a great movie to refer to? This leaves the Queen a somewhat enigmatic character whom we can color as we please. Her position and her character are merely symbolic of a nation.
"The queen not only stands apart from the hurlyburly of adversarial day-to-day politics but also stands apart from the hurlyburly and bed hopping and generally bad behavior of her immediate descendents," says [author Will] Self. "She represents a kind of transcendence of the next two generations of her own family which curiously chimes in with the kind of the attitude that the British have about the breakdown of their own family life. She becomes a kind of head of a dysfunctional family that is kind of enduring, if you like, a kind of 'Tony Soprano of the monarchy' in that way." CBS News
A symbol of aloofness at the breakdown of the family. What an inspiring model for the world.

I, for one, am glad we are no longer part of this charade. Or perhaps I have to second that motion since Below the Beltway appears to have beaten me to it.

For more on the founding of Jamestown on May 14, 1607, try Virtual Jamestown, where you will find maps, primary source documents and other information about the founding of Jamestown. Never used primary source documents with young children? Try here for some ideas.

Are any of you planning any special lessons in conjunction with this visit or the founding of Jamestown? I'd love to see your plans! Here is a little of what we did earlier this year.

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