I’m sorry to hear that Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is in the hospital. The queen, 86, was admitted with gastroenteritis, a condition that causes inflammation of the stomach lining and intestines and can be caused by eating contaminated food or contact with an infected person.
I don’t quite get how there can still be a hereditary monarchy, of sorts, in Great Britain, but the British people seem to like it and therefore it’s really none of my business. I’m not one of those Americans who finds the British royalty endlessly fascinating, either. I paid no attention to the Princess Diana controversies and don’t care about royal weddings or the other events that command media attention. Still, I commend Queen Elizabeth. She’s reigned since before I was born — which seems hard to believe — and during that time she has done her job, presided over the openings of Parliament, awarded medals, and performed the other tasks required of a modern-day monarch. She’s done it all without scandal and, apparently, with an appreciation for her role and the need to comport herself with dignity and discretion. And, of course, she’s been the subject of a Beatles song. It’s a pretty good record for a queen.
Of course, by reigning for as long as she has, Queen Elizabeth has kept Prince Charles, who seems a bit batty even by British standards, off the throne and free to tilt at global warming, modern architecture, and other windmills that attract his attention. That may turn out to be one of her greatest achievements. I hope she feels better soon and continues her long reign.