February 8, 2002

God Save the Queen on her 50th Anniversary

Queen Elizabeth's 50th Anniversary: The only time I ever sawn the Queen was in 1983. I had just arrived in San Francisco on business, and the TV news was trumpeting that President Reagan was going to have dinner with Queen Elizabeth at a Golden Gate Park museum. So, I grabbed a taxi and issued the Mother Goose-like command, "Take me to see the Queen!"

"Any queen in particular?" asked the cabbie. "This town's loaded with 'em."

I eventually landed on a street corner full of Irish protestors holding signs denouncing British rule in Northern Ireland. After a long wait, the biggest motorcade in the history of world rolled by, and there at the back was Elizabeth II, giving her famous little wave to all of us on the corner. I turned around to watch the furious Irish protestors, only to see them leaping up and down in joyous excitement, waving back with tears of adulation in their eyes. When she was gone, the embarrassed Fenians skulked off.

By the way, a lot of hyper-intellectual bilge has been written in the years since the Queen's 25th anniversary "explaining" the Sex Pistol's great single "God Save the Queen." The real reason Johnny Rotten (a.k.a., John Lydon) hated the Queen with such memorable passion was simple: he's an Irishman.

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