Long inured to the ceremonial trappings, lofty pageantry and storybook unreality of Hollywood's baubles, the U.S. last week got a rare chance to show that it knows the genuine article when it comes along. It came−a sweeping constellation of exalted royalty, heralded by the solemn magnificence of equerries, secretaries, aides and ambassadors−and the U.S. found that Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, not symbols alone, but flesh-and-blood people, respond with the same human warmth and simple good will that Americans hold out to them.

Of symbols, there were aplenty: the Queen and Prince arrived in the...

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