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May 5, 2007

The Queen Honors Our History … And Other Colorful Subjects

Queen-Usa-Diptych-1

(click for full size)

Queen Elizabeth paid tribute Thursday to a ragtag band of adventurers who founded America’s first permanent English settlement, but also the “great civilizations” of native and African peoples that together forged a bloody tryst with destiny 400 years ago.

– AFP Photo Caption/Timothy Clary

Initially, I was going to offer you Annie Leibovitz’s newly-unveiled portrait of Queen Elizabeth and let you cogitate on what all the controversy was about.  (Queen looks too much like George Washington? Like Queen Mother?  Like Helen Mirren?)  (Link.) But then I thought, celebrity — as a political issue — swallows up enough space here already.

Studying the first wave of images from the British invasion, what jumps out is the Queen’s effort to put a more “multicultural” spin on her visit (as is the theme in this Jamestown anniversary year).  Specifically, I was interested in the visual interplay between newswire shots of the Queen in Virginia and the NYT coverage of the royally-manic state dinner preparations at the White House.

Queen-Usa-Diptych-2

In The BAG’s diptychs above, the top pics are newswire shots, the first from a ceremony at the Jamestown Settlement Museum, the second from a ceremony at the Virginia statehouse.  The bottom images were pulled from the NYT slideshow detailing the White House spruce-up.

Wh-Social-Secretary

Finally, I had to also offer you this shot from the NYT slideshow.  If you take the caption at its word, it depicts: “Amy Zantzinger, the new White House social secretary, with a screen that shows table arrangements for the state dinner.”  I had a choice association or two — really choice, I’d say — but then, the shot is so wonderful, so evocative, I wanted you to feast on it.

As I do from time to time, I especially invite loyal lurkers and first-time responders to roll around in the threads with us.

(image 1: Jim Young/AP. May 4, 2007. Jamestown Settlement museum.  Williamsburg, Va. YahooNews. image 2: Doug Mills/The New York Times. White House. May 4, 2007. nytimes.com. caption: Aides to the first lady shared a few dos and don’ts in anticipation of the event. For women, curtseying is acceptable but not required. One does not shake the queen’s hand unless the queen offers hers first. image 3: Fiona Hanson/AP. Virginia Capitol Building. Richmond, Va. YahooNews. image 4: Doug Mills/The New York Times. White House. May 4, 2007. nytimes.com. caption: Workers cleaned the floor of the East Room on Friday for the queen’s visit. Aides say the state dinner is the social event of the entire Bush presidency. image 5. Doug Mills/The New York Times. White House. May 4, 2007. nytimes.com.)

  • http://www.BriceWolfgang.com BWolfgang

    Has anybody seen a similar photo of actual war planning from inside the white house? It seem like there should be one around. In my memory this is the first picture of a person in the residence pointing at a plan. Somebody please prove me wrong.

  • g

    So – all the “multiculturalism” involves brown people either entertaining the white folks or cleaning up for them.

  • Kitt

    Personally, I can’t imagine hanging out with Cheney the Dick for a day.

  • ChaChaBowl

    Regarding Amy Zantzinger – Does she happen to be any relation to William Zantzinger, the man that was responsible for assault and manslaughter in Bob Dylan’s “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll”?
    Just wondering.

  • maureenh

    I think the kind of over the top hoopla about the queen coming, combined with our fascination with celebrities of any stripes is an example of why most Americans wouldn’t really mind having a monarchy again.
    Well, that and our passive resistance to losing civil liberties.

  • lytom

    Interesting! Spruce-up?
    I can still see the blood!

  • lytom

    …”a screen that shows table arrangements for the state dinner.”
    It looks like at least 4 of the tables had a direct hit! and Amy does not too happy about that!

  • lytom

    Good title for the top 4 photos:
    “We and them”

  • lytom

    correction:
    ….and Amy does not look too happy about that!

  • Kitt

    I don’t think Americans particularly want a monoarchy; but then again….
    BTW: Did ya know that “Queen Liz was a Brit Army truck driver in WWII. She has a lot more vet cred than The Dick.” (via Gordon at Alternate Brain)
    I mean, check out this LOOK!

  • http://profile.typekey.com/lovebugs/ felicity

    Yes, 400 years later the ‘unvarnished’ truth of the Natives perishing at the hands of colonial settlers is still struggling to be heard.
    The old broad looks pretty good for age….and Kitt that look is truely withering!

  • jtfromBC

    Kitt, love Liz’s beady eye, the first time I saw it was back in the seventies when Idi Amin came for tea. Cheney is almost cuddly compared to her former subject who later proclaimed himself ‘Conqueror of the British Empire’, ‘Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea’ etc, etc.
    http://www.moreorless.au.com/killers/amin.html.

  • http://www.bugseyes.blogspot.com tardigrade

    I have to confess…. I love this photo best of Dick and Queen….
    He looks as if he just passed gas and she is ready to dock him one…
    http://www.americablog.com/2007/05/does-british-royalty-really-deserve.html

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Kitt:
    The Queen endured the London Blitz with the rest of her subjects. Buckingham palace was bombed during Battle of Britain at least once and she often toured the rubble strewn streets of London after bombings attacks. Yeah, I say that she had most war cred that all Dicky “Dead Eye” has or ever will.

  • http://ruinsofempire.blogspot.com/ Rafael

    Kitt:
    The Queen endured the London Blitz with the rest of her subjects. Buckingham palace was bombed during Battle of Britain at least once and she often toured the rubble strewn streets of London after bombings attacks. Yeah, I say that she had more war cred that Dicky “Dead Eye” will ever have.
    Plus one of her sons and now her grandson are marching off to war….

  • margaret

    That hat! Doesn’t it remind you of the famous Mad Hatter ( of Alice in Wonderland? I I think she must have a bullet-proof helmet under there. That could be the only reason to wear such a monstrosity!

  • http://molly.douthett.net lowly grunt

    Hmmmm….. interesting juxtaposition of pix. Dignitaries attempting to give some dignity to past people of color who suffered under an undignified institution while today’s people of color are employed to spruce up the joint. What’s really changed?
    Oh, right. People of color are *cough* paid *cough* for their efforts today.

  • katherinewtx

    I find the Leibovitz portrait interesting. Not only does The Queen look as if she is already gone and memorialized in marble, but she is also gazing out the window at the Great Beyond. In other words, Leibovitz seems to be saying, “She’s outta here. The Queen has left the building.”

  • ummabdulla

    LONDON (AFP) – Queen Elizabeth II had a row with celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, who suggested she remove her crown for a portrait earlier this year, according to a BBC documentary pre-released Wednesday…

  • Kak Dela

    queen elizardbreath wore a rendition of an old o.t.o. hat that resembles the male genitalia during 2007 maybe on her world tour. if anyone knows how I can obtain a picture of it on the internet please e-mail me. kak dela
    p.s. O.T.O. is Ordo Templi Orientis

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