Ross: Why my moment with Queen Elizabeth changed my view of American politics

Sep 9, 2022, 8:03 AM
The union jack is flown at half mast at Hillsborough castle, her place of residence when in Norther...
The union jack is flown at half mast at Hillsborough castle, her place of residence when in Northern Ireland on September 9, 2022 in Hillsborough, United Kingdom. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

I found myself more affected by Queen Elizabeth’s death than I thought I would be.

I do have a superficial connection: she became queen the year I was born, and when you’ve heard the name Queen Elizabeth for 70 years, it takes on a permanence that’s hard to shake.

Plus – I got to see her in person. In 1977 my wife and I were in Newcastle-on-Tyne to spend a week living with a British couple as part of Jimmy Carter’s short-lived Friendship Force. That year also happened to be the Queen’s Silver Jubilee – the 25th anniversary of her reign. And she had come to Newcastle aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia. She appeared before a crowd of admirers.

We were part of that crowd. And to our delight, the Queen stepped out of the car:

“There was one unscheduled stall ordered by the Queen to enable her to accept a gift of flowers,” a newscast of the event details.

She walked right by us – and my wife recalls actually touching her gloved hand.

OK, so not quite a Forrest Gump moment.

But the other thing I remember about that day in Newcastle was that there were no protestors, barely a security detail, just a lot of people who wanted to wave and smile at their queen. I can only compare it to the kind of love Seattle felt when Marshawn Lynch tossed Skittles at the Superbowl parade.

As an American, of course, I should have nothing but scorn for the institution of the monarchy.

But there is something to be said for having a figure whose job it is to maintain a sense of dignity no matter how ugly the politics become.

The Queen never gave a public interview. She was there to be the Queen – dignified, and distant.

A chaperone at the political prom – who could talk to a prime minister in private – not give orders – but to calm things down. And to serve as a reminder that politicians come and go, but for a nation to endure, its people have to find a way to stick together.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross

Dave Ross

Ross: The key to wedding success? Eat lots of cake and make your dancing look spontaneous

Yesterday on Gee & Ursula’s “Scenarios” segment they took on a listener’s wedding dilemma. The listener is going to his brother’s wedding, and he’s bringing his girlfriend, who likes to do karaoke. Well, his brother needs a wedding singer, and the girlfriend convinced him … to let her do it. More from Dave Ross: Before fearing […]
2 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Before fearing what migrants destroy, try helping them build something first

The U.S. border is swamped with hundreds of thousands of migrants who want in – and border states are fed up.
3 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Those who don’t learn history are doomed to accept whatever they are told

Zinn’s book failed to shake my patriotism, any more than visiting Cuba or the Soviet Union. I still see America as a unique experiment worth protecting.
4 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Metaverse already has its problems, from monetization to groping

2D social media isn’t immersive enough, so now we’re going to strap a fat cell phone over our eyes to join a lawless 3D cartoon universe?
5 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: Physicist says time travel is impossible … but can’t make an absolute promise

I wanted to highlight part of an interview with a physicist about time travel since it appears mainstream media didn't pick up on it.
6 days ago
Dave Ross

Ross: It’s either middle managers or robots looking over your shoulder

If you draw a paycheck, one way or another, your office is going to make sure you deserve it.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Ross: Why my moment with Queen Elizabeth changed my view of American politics