Happy 90th Birthday to Queen Elizabeth

My sainted mother was a Newfie of pure Irish descent, with fiery red hair and a tempestuous, but lovable, temperament to match.  She had small use for the British monarchy except for the current reigning monarch who she adored.  My own fondness for Queen Elizabeth dates from the following:



Queen Elizabeth after 9-11, breaking with royal protocol, ordered the playing of The Star Spangled Banner at Buckingham Palace:



Star-Spangled Banner at Buckingham Palace


Queen Elizabeth after 9-11, breaking with royal protocol, ordered the playing of The Star Spangled Banner at Buckingham Palace:






PopeWatch: The Queen



Pope Francis met with the Queen yesterday:

According to Vatican Radio, Thursday’s audience marked the queen’s seventh encounter with a pontiff and the fifth different pope she has met. Besides trips to Rome, she also welcomed Pope John Paul II and Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus, on their respective visits to Britain.

Her first papal encounter was with Pope Pius in 1951, the year before she ascended the throne, the broadcaster said.

The Queen’s latest visit to Italy, at the invitation of Napolitano, was initially planned last year but was postponed because of illness.

Britain’s ambassador to the Holy See, Nigel Baker, told Vatican Radio the Queen had decided to take advantage of the rescheduled trip to meet Pope Francis.

“If you look back in terms of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, it is extraordinary how far the relationship between Britain and the Holy See, and between the Anglican Church and the Catholic Church, has developed since 1952 when she became queen,” he said.

A key aspect of that has been her several encounters with different popes over the years, Baker said. Continue Reading


PopeWatch: The Queen



PopeWatch’s sainted mother would have loved this.  A Newfie, she was Irish to her core, but she still had a great fondness for Elizabeth II.

In Rome, the Queen will also meet Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, a great admirer. The meeting with the Pope will be in striking contrast to the pageantry of 1980 when she became the first British monarch to make a state visit to the Vatican.

There was also strict formality in 2000 when the Queen went to the Vatican on a state visit to Italy.

This time, the atmosphere will certainly be very different from the security clampdown and media  circus expected a few weeks earlier when Pope Francis entertains  US President Barack Obama.

The Queen’s visit will underline her  position as the most Catholic-friendly Supreme Governor of the Church of England of modern times.

In 1982, she became the first sovereign to welcome a Pope when John Paul II came to London. She also gave Pope Benedict XVI a full state welcome when he arrived in Edinburgh in 2010.

Only nine months ago, she signed  legislation repealing the 300-year rule excluding royals who married  Catholics from the succession. Continue Reading