Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21 - Happy Birthday, Your Majesty!

Probably without balloons and noisemakers, Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating her 87th birthday today! This is her actual birthday; the official birthday celebration is in June, when she will attend the Trooping the Color events that mark the day.

On that day “fully trained and operational” troops that comprise the Household Division present their allegiance in parade and salute on Horseguard Parade in Whitehall. Truly, with a bit and bridle, a horse can be trained and hundreds of horses can become a panoply of precision and beauty, all in honor of the realm with Queen Elizabeth at its sovereign head.

Elizabeth took the salute for many years on Burmese, her favorite horse, and on which she mastered control on the day that blanks were fired at her, startling horse and guards, but not unseating the rider.

We know that our incisive brother James has revealed to us that if we could but control our tongues as well, we would have mastered something of note.

Elizabeth has. It is nearly impossible to find a quote, even overheard in private by rogue servants printing tell-all books, that can paint her as anything less than . . . queenly. She manages this, it seems, by saying little instead of much, but when she speaks, she has become fluent in innocent, interesting, inspiring conversation, perhaps because she always speaks to the interest of others.

Today, on her real birthday, there will be 21, 42, and 60-gun salutes in various parts of her realm, but we in Cor Unum salute her discretion, and that she might appreciate more than all. It has been said that she has an uncanny ability to let a horse know what she wants of it, and then to coax the animal to do as she bids. Shall we not, here in this monastery of the heart, do so with our tongues? Shall we not make certain those tiny members know that they are bridled by kindness and with the bit of wisdom they will be controlled, now and forever? They, like the splendid mounts of the Household Division, are not on parade to display themselves but rather, the glory of their sovereign. Shall we say that if the one can be done, the precise training of a strong and fiery beast, we can apply ourselves to do the other?

In truth, Elizabeth has done both, in the cloistered world in which she is today celebrated and loved.

Trooping the Color for the Last Time on Burmese

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