The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. —Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence, 1776
It's Independence Day in the United States, the day that the colonies declared their independence from their British overlords. Or was that the 2nd?
Regardless, the day is greeted with fireworks and fired-up grills in what is now the United States of America. Here in Britain, it's greeted with nothing more than a reminder that stock markets are closed in the US.
I get the sense there's not much lingering animosity over that whole Revolutionary War thing. Maybe because people here are too busy enjoying the benefits of American tourism, especially now that the dollar is high against the pound. Welcome, sneaker wearing American tourists! May your backpacks overflow with Mind the Gap memorabilia!
Or more likely, it will be Royal memorabilia that fills those backpacks. Every American I know (well, every one who comes here) is obsessed with British Royalty. Yes, the descendants of hated George III, who our forefathers rebelled against, are objects of awe to the royalty-deprived Americans.
Sometimes I think if the Founding Fathers knew how Americans would one day go gaga over British Royalty, they wouldn't have bothered. I mean, what do we care about trial by jury and "transporting us beyond Seas" when our self-made celebrities aren't nearly so fascinating?
American media websites are saturated with stories about the eminent Royal birth. There's far more breathless speculation there, in fact, than on British media sites. (At least the ones I go to—I don't read the Daily Mail or the Telegraph.) What is it with Americans' fascination with all things Royal? How soon they forget that whole taxation without representation thing. Those "injuries and usurpations" are just water under the bridge now.
So what if the King plunders our seas, ravages our coasts, burns our towns, and destroys the lives of our people—Kate Middleton's having a baby! And Prince Harry dances so well! And Queen Elizabeth has such a warm, friendly smile, doesn't she? She couldn't possibly want to transport large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny. That would be totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation.
Ah well. Bygones, and all that. All is forgiven. Because Kate Middleton wears really cool footwear.
I'm actually more fascinated by the dead royals than the living ones. (I even went to see Diana's grave.) I love going to palaces and stately homes, but I care nothing at all about how Kate is decorating her Kensington Palace digs.
As long as she and Wills don't plan to "Quarter large bodies of armed troops among us," I'm cool.
Despite the fact our blood runs red, white and blue, we don't do much celebrating here. Our Irish dog doesn't appreciate the fireworks, although he might appreciate the sentiment of Independence Day. We'll probably take him for a walk, let him run free in honor of the day we tore off the choke collar of our English tyrants.
Now, don't go cutting off our trade with all parts of the world while our backs are turned.