A Fairy Tale Come True

Thursday June 1, 2017

June’s glorious weather and long days make it the perfect month to travel around England. Also, it is the birthday celebration month of the reigning monarch and Prince Philip, husband of one of the most famous and influential women on earth. Queen Elizabeth, is turning 96 on 10 June 2017. The Trooping the Colours or the summer birthday celebration of Queen Elizabeth will be celebrated on 17 June 2017 in Buckingham Palace. To be the Queen is a great responsibility and challenge, celebrating her birthday twice means a double celebration for the United Kingdom. The tradition started with Charles II in the 17th Century when regiment colors were paraded in front of soldiers so they could recognize their unit in battle. Later, they ruled that it would be used to honor the birthday of the reigning monarch. The tradition for monarchs to have two birthdays was started by George II back in 1748. George was born in November, it was winter and too cold to host an annual birthday parade at that time. It was decided that his birthday celebration would be combined with a military parade known as the Trooping the Colours, which was held in Spring. And that is how it all began. UK is blessed with a great Queen and consort, may I describe them the way British people respect and view them? I respect both from the bottom of my heart but for obvious reasons there is no way I will brush shoulders with them to describe to you the thrill of meeting them.

I once read “Man thinks every girl’s dream is to find her Prince Charming, but every woman’s dream is to eat whatever she wants, whenever she wants it.” One good thing about my experience is because I came from a faraway land having, “extremist” girlfriends from a different century, if I may exaggerate. What I mean is, those friends who are so conservative that they can live up to the image of Maria Clara, the heroine of Jose Rizal (for young readers or Filipino children born and raised in different countries ask your parents or Google the name Maria Clara to connect with your roots). Suddenly, I found myself living in one of the most modern and liberated cities in the world. I can say I am not an expert, but I have enough samples in terms of statistics, and types of women I met in my life to come up with my evaluation. Truly, most every girl’s dream is to find her Prince Charming but most grown up women’s nightmare is to eat what they want when they want it, then waking up with a waistline like the shape of that can of a fizzy drink she had the night before. Women are unpredictable like the weather. I am sure a woman who found her Prince Charming is like someone finding Nemo in the vast Pacific Ocean. She feels like the prettiest woman in the world absent of a crown on top of her head.

Queen Elizabeth is a remarkable woman. Apart from the fact that she was a real Princess meeting a real handsome Prince of her dreams, she became queen and lives happily ever after with him. Prince Philip famously walked a few steps behind her for nearly 70 years from the time they got married. The Queen describes him as her strength and stayed by her all these years. Prince Philip is the longest-serving consort in British history. In private, he is head of the family. To the public, he is a quick-tempered figure who speaks his mind whatever the consequences may be. His childhood was not perfect. Born to Prince Andrew of Greece and Princess Alice of Battenberg, he joined the Royal Navy and while a cadet met 13 year old Princess Elizabeth. They got married and have 4 children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Prince Philip has several unguarded comments that shocked and entertained the United Kingdom and the world. He once said to a Filipino nurse at a hospital in Luton who was opening a cardiac unit, “The Philippines must be half empty as you’re all here running the NHS”.

To complete the love story of our Queen and Prince, let us talk about the Queen and her secret for being the longest reigning monarch in British History. When I was a teenager, the fame of Princess Diana reached the Far East. She was so famous in our high school campus that some girls even imitated her hairstyle. At that time, the stories we read and watched on television gave us the impression that Queen Elizabeth was stony-hearted, and that it contributed to making life harder for our heroine Princess Diana. After living in the United Kingdom, things changed about everything that I thought about who the Queen is. For me, Queen Elizabeth is a model mother for a family and nation. Her record is hard to match morally and spiritually. Her secret in life? She trusts in God and draws strength from the message of the Christian Gospel. She attends weekly church services and prays daily. She vowed to serve her people as a servant of God. A secret every woman and leader should possess.

It is not your looks nor weight that will ensure success of married life, nor, will how high your educational attainment is to rule a nation or organization. It is about who you lean on in times of good and bad. If you trust in things temporal like money, power or fame, these are not the right foundation when a strong wind hits your sail. Wind is everywhere, sometimes it blows in the direction you want to go. Other times, it blows in a place you dare not go. But if you trust God who is eternal, like Queen Elizabeth who is turning 91 does, her story and your story will continue to serve as a light and inspiration to everyone who read and knows it. It is not about gender nor about status in life. At the end of the day we will stand in the Palace of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords where everyone is equal regardless of race, accent, and achievement in life. Only then will we realize that it is alright not to be invited to Buckingham Palace, if we spent our earthly life knowing the one who calms the sea in the middle of a storm and ravaging waves is in us, then we are qualified to enter a kingdom greater than any kingdom on earth. To be a good father or mother to our children or to be a person often invited by your neighbor to their barbecue dinner on a Saturday night is a good sign we are playing a good part on the stage of our own story even if we don’t have a title of Queen or Prince before our name.

With that, let us all say, “Long live the Servant Queen with her Prince Charming and hail to the King she serves” as they continue to influence the world we live in.

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