Queen Elizabeth began her reign a couple years before I was born. This year marks her Diamond Jubilee, and a June 1-4 “long weekend” of official celebrations are taking place all across Britain.

These events will be well-documented in the news, and if you want to read about the public history of her time on the throne, please see one of the news pages currently brimming with Royal Overload, or log on to www.thediamondjubilee.org .

On a more personal level, I’ve been thinking a lot about my Grandmother and the Queen. To hear Grandma tell it, she and the Queen were just like this! (Insert mental picture of someone holding up her hand with the index and second finger crossed.)

My Grandmother immigrated to the United States from England in 1913, when just barely a teen. She arrived at Ellis Island with her father and sister; her mother had already passed on.

All her life Grandma followed the code of conduct befitting English nobility—she enjoyed tea in mid-afternoon and she never, ever, raised her voice.

Despite barely being able to make ends meet on a dairy farm, she paid for piano lessons for all three of her daughters. She loved music, and one of her prized possessions was the Victrola now sitting in my rec room. I have some of her one-sided vinyl records, but the hand crank hasn’t turned in many decades, and I have no intention of ever fixing it. To my way of thinking, it’s not broken, its time has simply passed.

Some say the time has passed for The Royals too, but I’m sure Grandmother would never agree. Queen Elizabeth will always epitomize integrity and respect, and the world is a better place for having this constant in all our lives.