BRITAIN: The Informal Queen

The pomp and circumstance that surrounded Queen Elizabeth's marriage to the Duke of Edinburgh would have greatly pleased her distant ancestor, Charles I, who insisted that "a subject and a sovereign are clean different things." But when the Queen and Prince Philip celebrate their silver wedding anniversary this week, Charles may be twitching in his burial vault at Windsor Castle. As one part of the celebration, Elizabeth has invited to a commemorative service in Westminster Abbey 100 couples from round the realm whose only connection with royalty is that they share Her Majesty's wedding date.

The folksy gesture is typical of...

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