Tuesday, October 13, 2009
With four centuries of history to celebrate you’d think Queen Elizabeth would’ve paid England’s oldest existing colony a visit a little sooner, but hey, better late than never right? According to recent reports in the Royal Gazette and Bermuda Sun, the Queen will be commemorating the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Bermuda from November 24th through the 26th, a three-day trip right here on our very own mid-Atlantic archipelago. It’s a much-anticipated visit and one that was rumored to be cancelled altogether because of backroom dealings that sent four former Guantanamo Bay detainees to live here in Bermuda. I won’t get into the politics of it all, but let’s just say that island residents and British officials weren’t terribly pleased with the results. Details of the royal visit have yet to be unveiled but I’m guessing there’ll be lots of tea sipping and stately motorcade waving—in between likeness appreciation days, of course. You see, the Queen’s picture is just everywhere here in Bermuda. Arrive at L.F. Wade International Airport and you’ll be greeted by a nearly life-sized portrait of Her Majesty hanging above the immigration checkpoint. And there she is again, in the Gold Lounge of the wonderfully historic Fairmont Hamilton Princess, where my wife and I enjoyed fireside cocktails earlier this year (see above). She’s on all of Bermuda’s money too, or at least used to be until the monetary authority phased in newer cash with colorful pictures of long-tailed tropic birds, whistling frogs, and blue angel fish. And then of course there are Bermuda’s coins: Pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars all with her, albeit much younger, profile. All perks of the job I suppose, although considering she’s been the royal leader for nearly sixty years, I guess she can put her kisser on whatever she’d like. For her sake, I hope it finds a bowl of Bermuda fish chowder at the Hog Penny. Because Your Majesty, it's just that good.