M Zahidul Haque
BRITAIN’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her birthday twice a year—one on her actual date of birth, that is, April 21 and the other on her official birthday usually on the second Saturday in June, which this year falls on June 13. Due to coronavirus pandemic this year, Her Majesty thought it inappropriate to celebrate her 94th birthday on April 21 in its usual form. However, under the changed circumstance, instead of ‘Trooping the Color’ (Queens’s birthday parade), the Queen’s official birthday will be celebrated at Windsor Castle with a Royal Salute from the military.
Queen Elizabeth II is the longest-reigning Monarch and the most politically accomplished person in the world. She is not only Britain’s Head of State but of 16 other countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand. The Queen is also the Head of the Commonwealth, an association of 54 independent countries including Bangladesh. Referring to the conception of building The Commonwealth, the Queen in her Christmas Day broadcast of 1953 said—“The Commonwealth bears no resemblance to the empires of the past. It is an entirely new conception built on the highest qualities of the spirit of man: friendship, loyalty, and the desire for freedom and peace.” The Queen is quite successful in her role as the Head of the Commonwealth; “the Queen not only promotes unity and increases the profile of the association but also acts as a role model for all kinds of societal actors.”
On 2nd June 1953, Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation took place. In 1977, 2002 and 2012 the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee (25 years), Golden Jubilee (50 years) and the Diamond Jubilee (60 years) respectively of her reign. The Platinum Jubilee (75 years) of the Queen on the throne will be celebrated in 2022. We sincerely wish a long healthy and active life for Her Majesty and the World is waiting to join the Queen in her Platinum Jubilee celebration in 2022.
Queen Elizabeth II is the 40th Monarch and during her reign, Her Majesty has seen 14 British Prime Ministers from Winston Churchill to present premier Boris Jonson and 13 US Presidents from Harry S. Truman to present President Donald Trump.
On Queen’s official birthday in June every year, a ‘Queen’s Birthday Honors list’ recognizing the achievements of a wide range of people across the United Kingdom is published. It may be mentioned here that this author had once wished to nominate former US President Bill Clinton for a Queen’s Honor in recognition of his humanitarian services through the Clinton Foundation. Her Majesty took interest in the nomination and it was referred to the Right Honorable William Hague, MP, and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth affairs as awarding the honour to non-British nationals is processed by that department.
Meanwhile, this author has been keeping correspondences with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for the last several years bringing various issues of human interests to the kind attention of the Queen. Interestingly, the Buckingham Palace still prefers to make correspondences via post/snail mail and this author feels honoured as he received royal responses of all of his correspondences. However, this author is feeling sorry for he is unable to send birthday greeting letter/card to Her Majesty by post because of the corona pandemic/lockdown.
This author hopes that soon the corona pandemic will be over and everything will be normal and the Queen’s birthday will be celebrated in a corona-free year! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN. As a token of warm wishes to the Queen, this author presents a self-composed poem below to Her Majesty-
The People’s Queen
A soul so divine
With motherly feelings for all!
Exceptional to her predecessors
She walks in common
Strong is her love for humanity
Always she counts every human-being,
White, black or grey…….
As members of a single community!
People in every nook and corner
Admire and adores her-
As if their nearest kith and kin.
She prefers always-
The People’s Queen!
(Author: Professor, Department of Agricultural Extension & Information System, Sher-e-
Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)