Queen Elizabeth II’s visit yesterday was (unlike her visits in 1957 and 1976) brief and to the point; moreover, despite the oppressive heat but in respect to royalty, the Queen maintained a sweat-free countenance.

After arriving here from Canada, the Queen addressed the UN’s General Assembly. Later, after being greeted by NY Governor David Paterson and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, she and Prince Philip laid a wreath at Ground Zero. Then it was on to the British Memorial Garden at Hanover Square which the Queen officially opened, even though it was opened (perhaps unofficially) two years ago.

Her Majesty swept into town in the baking hours of the early afternoon and was gone by early evening, a tantalizingly concise blip of a royal visit. It was not even queen for a day, but five active hours of her presence nonetheless managed to infuse a drowsy, blisteringly hot summer afternoon with a jolt of magic.

There was some uncertainty bordering on frustration borne of security, from people looking to catch a glimpse of the Queen, as to when she would arrive at certain stops on her itinerary. A harried pedestrian traffic guard’s response: “I heard 2:30 and 5:30. Sorry, buddy, Scotland Yard has been out of touch.”

NY Times

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