Queen Elizabeth II will be in New York City today after spending a week in Canada. This afternoon, Her Royal Highness shall lay a wreath at Ground Zero, the site of the World Trade Center, and then open the British Garden of Remembrance, honoring 67 British citizens whom were killed on 9/11. She will also address the U.N. General Assembly for the first time since she was 31 years old back in 1957.
The 84 year old monarch will only spend five hours in New York. She has been a busy Lady of late, attending Canada Day ceremonies in Ottawa, and even briefly visiting Wimbledon for the first time in thirty years. One could say that she has been forced to earn her keep, as budget cuts back home threaten the monarchy.
The Royal budget of some $60 Million dollars per year has been slashed about 12% due to the new austerity measure in the UK. Likewise, another $60 Million needed for repairs and upkeep of several castles and palaces is being reduced.
More British politicians are questioning the value of the Monarchy again. They see the Royals and their trappings as mere tourist props to pull in revenue. A move to make Buckingham Palace more accessible to the public is underway. The Queen and her family must start to earn their keep.
This is not the first time the Queen had to endure hardship. During World War 2, she did volunteer and joined the Women’s Auxiliary serving as a mechanic in a vehicle motor pool. Even her wedding to Prince Phillip had to observe some austerity as the UK was still rationing food and other goods well after WW2. Her wedding gown was even limited to the standard ration of clothing material as any other UK bride.
Today’s visit to New York City will be the first in 34 years for Queen Elizabeth II. Albeit a short and busy one, many royal-fans are disappointed that she will not be hosting any balls or other courtly affairs. Even the Queen must watch her pence these days. So for you Royalists who can’t see her live, I’ve found a nice tribute video below for you to enjoy.