Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Queen and the USA

There are a lot of books, commemorative magazines and other publications to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee.  The most unique book to be published this year comes from Dementi Milestone Publishing, a Virginia-based publisher.

The book is called The Queen and the USA.  The authors are The Lord Watson of Richmond, CBE and H. Edward Mann.  Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor.  The  two authors celebrate the Special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, a story that began in Jamestown, Virginia.

Although a revolution would bring an official end to British rule, the original thirteen colonies that became the United States largely retained the English place names.  This is  most apparent, at least to me, in Virginia, where the names of counties and towns reflect a royal heritage.

This book focuses on the special relationship, a shared history and a common heritage.  The Dementi Milestone firm specializes in coffee table books celebrating Virginia, and this book takes the celebration one step further with the celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and how this relates to Virginia.

So how does all of this relate to Virginia.  Well, Queen Elizabeth II has visited Jamestown and Williamsburg on three  occasions.  In 1957, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh took part in the celebrations of the 350th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown.  They returned 50 years for the 400th anniversary celebrations. 

The Bicentennial brought the Queen back to Virginia in 1976 with trips to Jamestown and Charlottesville.

The Queen has also visited Charlottesville in 1976, and in 2007, she spoke to a joint session of Virginia General Assembly.

Queen Elizabeth II has met all but one American President since 1952, and this superb book includes photographs of the Queen with Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama.  Lyndon B. Johnson is the only president who did not have an opportunity to meet Queen Elizabeth.   This superb book includes photographs of the Queen with the presidents. 

The publisher also includes photographs of the Queen from different visits to the United States, but the focus is on Virginia with plenty of photographs of the Queen during her visits to the Commonwealth. 

I must, however, take the publisher to task for omitting the visit to Mount Vernon in 1991, which took place during the Queen's State Visit.  (The Queen was driven right past my then home on Washington Street -- which becomes the Mount Vernon Parkway -- to Mount Vernon. I covered her visit for Berkswell's Royal Year.  The Royal party took a boat back to Washington, D.C., so I jumped in my car, drove the 6 minutes back to my home, and walked out to the back yard, right on the Potomac River, and waited for the boat to pass by and waved as the boat passed by.)

Despite this little omission, the book is wonderful.  The richly illustrated text offers a historical context that weaves the past with the present and the connections that still bring the United States and the United Kingdom together.  This has a lot to do with a common language, a shared history, and similar traditions and beliefs. 

Queen Elizabeth II has visited the United States more often than any European country, for example, although, of course, Commonwealth countries have received the most visits.

The Queen and the USA can be bought in Virginia bookstores.  It is also available through Amazon.  The price is $35.00.

This is the only book that  the Queen and her relationship with Virginia, a relationship that represents a microcosm of the relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom.

One can appreciate Virginia's role both in the history of America and the continuance of the always changing relationship between the former Mother Country and her very independent child.
Kudos to Dementi Milestone Publishing for producing an artistic and well-defined book that celebrates and honors Queen Elizabeth II and her relationship with Virginia

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