April 21st is the birthday of HM the Queen, who is 84 today.
To my mind we are inexpressibly lucky to have the Queen as our Head of State. She is a woman of utter integrity, who throughout her long reign has never put a foot wrong. On her 21st birthday in 1947, when she was with her parents and sister on tour in South Africa, she made a famous speech, saying: "I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service", and she has remained true to that promise for all the years between.
She has seen out many prime ministers, from Churchill to Brown (or you might say from the sublime to the ridiculous), and her wisdom and steadfastness have been of inestimable help to them all.
Her poise and dignity, her vast experience, her total discretion, her selfless dedication, her sweet smile and sense of humour, all go to make up someone whom in many ways we take for granted. We should never take her for granted, but appreciate all she has done for us and realise how lucky we are to have her.
Happy birthday, Ma'am!