The Queen has died at age 96.
You probably have heard my anecdote about her before, but here goes again: In 1983, I’m on a business trip to San Francisco and have just checked in to the inside-out ziggurat Hyatt Regency. I turn on the TV and the newscasters are talking about spectators lining up to see the Queen’s motorcade pass by on her way to a state dinner with President Reagan in Golden Gate Park.
Not having anything else to do, I go down and get in a taxi cab and say grandly, “Take me to see the Queen!”
The Archie Bunker-like cabbie (it was 1983) replies, “Which one? This town’s full of them.”
I tell him to drive me to Golden Gate Park and let me out wherever people are standing around. So I get out on a street corner with a few hundred people waiting for the royal motorcade. I’m standing next to two Irish Republican Army protesters with anti-English posters. Finally, the motorcade comes, the Queen does that little wave where she holds her hand up vertically and rotates it back and forth, and the spectators get all excited and jump up and down.
Including the IRA demonstrators. Afterwards, they look shame-faced about it.