By Edward Hadas
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
Sixty years ago in London, Queen Elizabeth was crowned in succession to her father, the now famously stammering chain-smoker George VI. For most Brits the queen’s Diamond Jubilee is a chance to celebrate her reign with street parties, fireworks, concerts, and pageants along the Thames. They will be toasting the woman who has so far presided over 12 prime ministers, including perhaps the greatest of them all, Winston Churchill.
The New York Times reports from Bahrain where beleaguered King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa has called in troops from neighboring Saudi Arabia to help crack down on peaceful protests by the island state's Shi'ite majority demanding more rights and greater equality:
Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of the royals. From Kate Middleton's dress to the estate of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, people are tripping over themselves to get hold of something with an association to the monarchy.
For royal wedding guest list, read guess list.
Palace officials refuse to say exactly who has been invited to the big occasion on April 29, but that has not prevented royal pundits from filling their alloted column inches with creative conjecture, and then another army of commentators pitching in with what they think about those believed to be attending.
(Photo: King Abdullah on a visit to Jordan, July 30, 2010/Muhammad Hamed)
Saudi authorities are taking greater liberty in celebrating the modern monarchy’s anniversary, a sign of their growing clout against clerics who have criticized holidays outside of the Islamic calendar.