Queen Visits New York, to Yawns

What happened to all the pomp?

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On Tuesday, Queen Elizabeth II visited New York for the first time since 1976, addressing the UN General Assembly for the first time since 1957. But far from being ripe fodder for political and social commentary, the visit prompted little excitement in the blogosphere. There was, however, discussion of how much the UN had changed, how much New York had changed, and how little the Queen's fashion had changed.

  • The World Is Different "Although her walk to the green marble podium was similar to her first visit," notes Evelyn Leopold at The Huffington Post, "the British Empire in 1957 still had colonies while many of the UN's 192 members now are former British colonies." In addition, "the 2010 speech by the 84 year-old queen was much meatier than the nine paragraphs she recited in 1957, where one would be hard-pressed to detect that World War II ended only 12 years earlier and much of Europe was still in tatters." She continues this historical comparison.
  • New York Is Different "Yesterday, as the 84-year-old monarch toured New York for perhaps the last time, she no doubt was astonished by the changes she saw and sensed," observes The New York Observer. "A city left for dead in the mid-1970s has revived beyond anyone's imagination."
  • Pastels--Not So Different "By not changing her look, she sends a powerful message of stability and power," decides Kate Betts at The Daily Beast. "We would be gravely disappointed if it were any other way. Imagine if, upon arrival for her historic speech Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly, she had suddenly traded in her signature pastel suit or dress for one of those greige Giorgio Armani pantsuits favored by female power brokers in D.C.? ... Bloody hell, imagine if she showed up at Ground Zero in clogs?"
  • 'So the Great Wheel Turns' "I've got very little Englishness left," writes an introspective John Derbyshire over at National Review's Corner blog. "I hardly ever visit the place, and dislike most of what I see when I'm there. I still go a bit lumpy-throated over the Queen, though. The first public event that really impinged much on my consciousness was her Coronation in 1953, the day before my eighth birthday. Now here are Betty and I at the other end of life in a world completely changed. So the great wheel turns."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.