London (CNN) — Why does Britain have a monarchy? It is a query as previous because the establishment itself. However a fair greater one is why international locations, past the UK, have the identical monarchy.
The Queen is head of state in 15 different international locations that have been previously beneath British rule, stretching so far as Australia and New Zealand — actually on the opposite facet of the planet.
On account of her age, Her Majesty hasn’t traveled to those international locations for years, which makes it much more exceptional that she has retained her positions there. Extra not too long ago, senior royals reminiscent of her son, Prince Edward, and grandchildren, the Sussexes and Cambridges, have visited on her behalf.
So how does she preserve the relationships sturdy? Effectively, she demonstrated that this week with a fleeting but symbolic go to down the highway from Windsor Fort.
The 94-year-old visited the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede on Wednesday to mark the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Drive. The shock look by the monarch was her first in-person public engagement this yr.
“It has been a very long time since I have been right here,” the Queen commented as she arrived on the Air Forces Memorial. Cameras from Australian in addition to British media have been invited to seize the second.
And her selection of outing wasn’t missed by Australian retailers. “Queen’s nod to Australia in first public look since Meghan and Harry interview,” learn the headline on the Information.com.au web site.
The Queen might not have set foot in Australia for a decade however the message right here was that it hadn’t been forgotten by her, even amid the most recent household tumult.
In an order of service for the occasion, the Queen wrote: “All through my reign, the Royal Australian Air Drive has proven immense dedication to obligation and has defended our freedom in lots of conflicts world wide.”
These phrases are valued by Australians and he or she reminds them of her place of their historical past by referring to her record-breaking reign, throughout which she has constantly represented and promoted Australian pursuits on the world stage.
Many international locations have dropped Elizabeth as their head of state after gaining independence. However with regards to Australia, the Queen famously survived the final referendum on changing her as head of state in 1999 and that was simply after the Diana disaster. Has the Meghan and Harry interview accomplished her extra hurt? It will be left for Australians to resolve, but when historical past teaches us something, it is by no means to underestimate the ability of Elizabeth.
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The royals additionally had lockdown challenges
Whether or not it is baking, redecorating or studying a brand new talent, many have discovered new initiatives to reap the benefits of the countless hours indoors — together with the Duchess of Cambridge. Catherine has spent the final yr engaged on her personal ardour challenge — combining her love of pictures with neighborhood outreach. Final yr, she invited folks throughout the UK to submit portraits they’d taken throughout the first nationwide lockdown as a part of her “Maintain Nonetheless” initiative. With the assistance of the Nationwide Portrait Gallery, 31,000 submissions have been whittled right down to 100, which might be revealed in a brand new e book in Could, it was introduced this week. The duchess wrote within the e book’s introduction that she “needed to make use of the ability of pictures to create an enduring document of what we have been all experiencing — to seize people’ tales and doc important moments for households and communities as we lived by the pandemic.”
FROM THE ROYAL VAULT
The Queen has revealed her unhappiness over having to cancel the standard Royal Maundy service for the second yr in a row because of the pandemic. As “Defender of the Religion and Supreme Governor of the Church of England,” the Queen ordinarily marks the Holy Week with a service held on the Thursday earlier than Easter Sunday.
This yr’s occasion was speculated to be held at Westminster Abbey in London. As a substitute, the monarch despatched out items to the 190 individuals who would have been invited this week.
“I’m positive you’ll be unhappy, as I’m, that current circumstances make it unimaginable for that Service to happen. I hope nonetheless that this Maundy Reward will remind you for years to come back that your efforts have been really appreciated,” the Queen wrote in a letter to every recipient.
Throughout the Queen’s reign, she prolonged the ritual of Maundy cash past London and has traveled to completely different cathedrals and abbeys throughout the UK to distribute the symbolic items. As a part of the service, Elizabeth fingers out two leather-based purses which have been blessed: One crimson and one white.
The crimson pouch this yr contains two newly minted cash: A £5 coin in honor of the Queen’s upcoming ninety fifth birthday in addition to a 50p piece that marks the fiftieth anniversary of decimalization of the forex. Traditionally, the quantity of £5.50 represents the sovereign’s reward for meals and clothes.
The white purse holds bespoke Maundy cash minted for the event in denominations of 1, two, three and 4 silver penny items, which add as much as her age.
Typically, the Queen celebrates Easter weekend privately together with her household at Windsor Fort — the place she has been holed up together with her husband, Philip, and a bubble of their employees for the reason that virus struck final yr.
We often get a glimpse of the monarch as she attends church on Sunday morning at St. George’s Chapel — the gorgeous chapel that was constructed within the late fifteenth century and remains to be the scene of many royal baptisms, weddings and burials — accompanied by some members of the clan. However the conventional household gathering is unlikely to occur this yr, with Covid-19 restrictions stopping greater than six folks or two households assembly up.
The Queen might choose to worship privately — which she does on the Chapel of All Saints, close to Prince Andrew’s Royal Lodge dwelling in Windsor Nice Park — however she will definitely forego the standard journey to St. George’s to keep away from drawing any crowds.
In lieu of public appearances, it is potential we should still hear from a member of the royal household. Prince Charles has usually recorded particular Easter messages to mark the vacation, together with collaborating within the “Abbeycast” podcast final yr and sending a supportive video message to folks persecuted for his or her religion in 2018.
A WORD FROM THE ROYALS