Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, who celebrates her platinum jubilee this weekend, has ruled for more than a quarter of the U.S.’s unruly existence. Looking back on her experience of the U.S. and its people during 70 years as monarch, she might note how little has changed. Her first prime minister, Winston Churchill, had an American mother. Her current prime minister, Boris Johnson, was born in New York and only renounced his U.S. citizenship in 2016. Today as in the 1950s, Britain is bickering with France, and is allied tightly with the U.S. against Russia. One of the queen’s relatives—not her uncle Edward VIII, but her grandson Prince Harry—is complaining in the American media that his family doesn’t understand him.
Since the queen’s accession in 1952, links between the U.S. and U.K. have intensified at every level, from military and intelligence coordination to politics, finance and entertainment. Two of the last three presidents are children of subjects of her father George VI: Barack Obama on his father’s side and Donald Trump on his mother’s. Prince Harry’s marriage to Meghan Markle continues the trans-Atlantic merging that has been going on since Randolph Churchill married Brooklyn-born Jennie Jerome. So do the queen’s Zoom visits with her great-grandchildren in Montecito, Calif.
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