July 4, 1776. That's the date on the official excuse note. It was signed by Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Samuel Adams, and others, and delivered by George Washington. As of that date, it's official: We Americans don't have to worry or care about monarchs. And I don't.
That said, I can't help but feel a bit of affection for Queen Elizabeth II, who is celebrating her Diamond Jubilee as monarch. Sixty years on the British throne--longer than I have been alive. She has been an old school class act throughout her time as monarch. She has a powerful sense of duty that comes through clearly in whatever she is doing, even when it is plainly ridiculous, e.g., the fawning, idiotic statement she was forced to read upon the death of the hideously stupid, self-destructive airhead Princess Diana. The few times I have heard the Queen say anything off-the-cuff--she is usually very heavily scripted--she appears to have a refreshing and biting wit, with a touch of sarcasm. Her husband, the Greek-born Prince Phillip, is an appealing irascible old coot, who has dedicated his life to playing second banana.
Her parents were a class act, too, and she inherited that. Her sister did not, nor did the Queen's children. Prince Charles, the "heir apparent," is smart compared only to his two younger brothers. Charles would have been happy as a Hollywood celebrity jumping onto every fashionable cause and trend. He has shown deplorable taste in women, and, in essence, lived a wasted life. His brothers have done likewise. His children, Harry and William, seem somewhat better than their dad, but the jury is still out. I can see why the Queen has never given up the throne to her son, Britain's longest "serving heir apparent."
Anyhow, I like Queen Elizabeth. I wish her the best. Here's to another sixty years for you . . .