Tips for tourists: Jay-walking
"Death may be the greatest of all human blessings" --Socrates

God Save the Queen!

Queen Elizabeth II is touring my home state of Virginia today. The Queen and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinborough, will commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown -- the first permanent English colony in the Americas. 

Before moving to the UK, I was never particularly interested in the British Royal Family. But lately I find myself obsessed with every little piece of gossip surrounding the Royals: Prince William and Kate Middleton break up!  Prince Harry goes to war in Iraq!  Zara Phillips wins a gold medal in horse riding!  Prince Charles marries a horse! Prince William gets drunk and gropes a girl!    Philip is, umm, nothing.

I've seen the Queen twice since moving to London: once was a fleeting glimpse as her limo dashed past my office in Tottenham Court Road downtown. The second time I was only a few yards away from her when she arrived at the world premiere of "Casino Royale." 

This August 31 marks the 10th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. I was in Chicago at a friend's restaurant when I heard about the death. The bartender switched on the TV and everyone was engrossed, even in the Windy City.  She was the People's princess. A memorial benefit concert will be held in London on July 1, with headline acts Elton John and Rod Stewart, Duran Duran, Lily Allen and a few others.

Incidentally, If you haven't already, I urge you to go rent "The Queen" starring Helen Mirren. GREAT FILM!