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British Billy
Billy the Cat (aka British Billy) lives in Elveden, a local village about ten miles from RAF Lakenheath. Billy has been around a bit. He came from a rescue centre and prefers not to dwell on the past. He is proud of his country and its heritage and counts his friends and family as hailing from all corners of the British Isles. He is proud to be a “moggy”. Many of his American friends and admirers ask Billy about the things puzzling them about life and culture in the U.K., and if he doesn’t know the answer, he has ways and means of finding out. Feel free to send him any questions, and when he isn’t sleeping or hunting, he’ll try and put a few thoughts together to help you out.
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Happy Birthday to her Majesty the Queen

Posted 4/15/2010   Updated 4/15/2010 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by British Billy
48th Fighter Wing Public Affairs


4/15/2010 - ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- On April 21, 2010, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be 84 years old. As a patriotic feline, I would like to take this opportunity to wish Her Majesty a very happy birthday.

It has long been customary to celebrate the sovereign's birthday publicly on a day in June when better weather is more likely. Since 1805, the sovereign's 'official' birthday has been marked by the Trooping of the Colour in London, which could be more correctly entitled the Queen's Birthday Parade.

This is a jolly good idea if you think about it. Her Majesty can have a quiet day with her family opening all her presents and then all the excitement, pomp and pageantry a little later. I might give the idea some consideration myself.

The Queen was born at 2:40 a.m. on April 21, 1926, at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London. The elder daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary became Queen at the age of 25, on Feb. 6, 1952. She is married to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and has four children and eight grandchildren. The Queen has been Head of State of the U.K. and 15 other Commonwealth realms for the last 58 years, reigning through five decades of enormous social change and development.

As a constitutional monarch, Her Majesty does not 'rule' the country, but fulfils important ceremonial and formal roles with respect to government. She is also Fount of Justice, Head of the Armed Forces and has important relationships with the established Churches of England and Scotland. It is all rather complicated and bound up in constitutional law. The Queen's official Web site, www.royal.gov.uk/HMTheQueen/HMTheQueen.aspx , has all sorts of handy information which should help you out if you're interested.

In the long and convoluted history of the United Kingdom, our monarchs have been a colourful and varied band of individuals, with histories and lineages to match. Our nation has had a turbulent and violent relationship with some of them.

Our present Queen is regarded with great affection by the vast majority of the British public. We may be impatient for our governments to change, but many of us find stability, strength and a sense of continuity and great pride in our monarch.

So, I raise a loyal paw to Her Majesty and wish her many more birthdays to come.



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