Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Buckingham Palace on a Distinctly American Day

Teriann and I visited the staterooms of Buckingham Palace, and the date happened to be September 11. Seeing such a symbol of the political and social structure of England on a day so obviously pregnant with meaning for my homeland was an odd thing: up until then, it had been too easy to criticize America (and let's face it, there's a lot about which to criticize America), but I somehow considered the countries more objectively.

Buckingham Palace is the symbol of an extremely outmoded way of thinking. Power flows from God, and he (it?) gives divine power, wisdom, and most importantly justification to the sovereign. Well, two hundred and some years ago, some churlish bunch of colonists turned that model on its head, saying that power flows not from above, but from the people below, and lo, the country of my birth was created. Now, I don't know how much of a difference the Constitution and the Bill of Rights actually make in times such as these (after all, Congress has repeatedly affirmed that Dubya need not abide by either), but somehow I still think their presence is at least symbolically — and probably practically — important both to me and to America's identity. They form the fine line between 'citizen' and 'subject'.

On a lighter note, here are some photos from within the grounds of Buckingham Palace (which are strictly out-of-bounds for subjects 10 months of the year).

Here, Teriann adds a royal touch to the 'Photographing Wildlife' series.

The remainder of the day we spent at Westminster Abbey. It's a shame they do not allow photography inside — it is absolutely breathtaking. It is my favorite place in the world.


Anna said...

There couple of photos of the palace do not do the extrememly beautiful and lavish interior justice. It really was amazing!

Anna said...

opps! Excuse the type please!

Anna said...

LOL. Dear Lord! I don't think I've been drinking! Sheesh!