Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain has reigned over her queendom for 65 years, surpassing her great-granny Victoria’s record reign of 63 years. That’s a long time, to state the blatantly obvious. Best wishes to her.

Her milestone coincides with the U.S. airing, on PBS, of Victoria, a glossy, well-done series that tells the story of the teenage queen whose name defined an era. With the adorable Jenna Coleman as Victoria, the hunky Tom Waites as her cousin-husband, and the dark, brooding Rufus Sewell as her prime minister….if that’s what he was, wink, wink….it’s well worth watching. Love the dresses, love the stiff uniforms on the princes, love the castles, the palaces, and peeking below stairs at the servants. And candles! Never thought about how many candles it would have taken to illuminate an 1840s ballroom! Hope they had fire insurance.

So the darling, sparkling Jenna/Victoria and the hot-hot-hot Tom/Albert have just married and with the other beautiful people, will now live more or less happily ever after, she beautiful, he dashing.

Well, Jenna, of course, doesn’t look much like Victoria, really. We’ve seen the photographs.

And I was reminded of an essay my wonderful son Mike wrote in middle school, starring Queen Victoria.

I always used to say Mike would have been a good Quaker: social barriers do not exist for him. And as for honesty? It was the only policy he knew.

Me: “Do I look okay in this dress?” Mike: “Yeh, except for the black circles under your eyes, but they’re always there.”

So I begin to give his essay my expert mom-editor eye. Here’s the topic sentence:

“Well, to begin with, she was a very ugly looking woman.”

Had to give him that. She was no Jenna Coleman, for sure.

image Mike told the truth, right?

Yes, I snickered. And I suggested he should focus the paper more on history and less on the physical limitations of this venerable woman. I don’t remember the outcome, except that it turned out fine.

Happy Jubilee, Elizabeth II. You’re better looking than your great-great granny.

But not as cute as Jenna, sorry.
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