(CBS News) Think infatuation with the Queen doesn't reach all the way to our shores? Let's check in with Contributor Lauren Daisley:
There's another woman to whom my husband is completely devoted.
They don't meet in person. In fact, it's very unlikely he's even attracted to her. But he's got pictures of her all over the house . . . on the walls . . . on the fridge. Her face is even on my coffee mug.
As you might have guessed, my husband's British. While there's a lot to love about his native culture - the bacon-flavored "crisps," for example - it's been hard for me to understand why he and so many other Brits idolize the Queen.
Isn't the royal institution just all around undemocratic?
Before choosing our leaders, we Americans make them go through debates, appear at Town Hall meetings, and release the occasional tax form or birth certificate. Sometimes they even sing Al Green.
It seems wrong to give someone an international leadership position because she was born to it. I mean, what if the royals started marrying their siblings instead of their cousins?
My husband, though, thinks the Queen's role is sacrosanct precisely because she didn't seek it out.
There might be something to it. Republican or Democrat, the most uniting characteristic of our politicians is their megalomania. There's altruism in the mix, but generally speaking, they're driven to rise to such power by who-knows-what demons. It's no accident so many actors run for office. The Presidency just might be the ultimate Oscar.
Add to this that there's a relationship between having money and winning. We pluck our leaders from a pool of people who have to bow down to rich donors, or who are themselves as over-the-top wealthy as any queen.
How democratic is that?
But the Royals don't choose their roles, which at least rules out the personality flaws that come with WANTING to run for office.
That's not to say there aren't some truly horrific kings and queens in England's history. Elizabeth, though, seems to be a beneficent and unwavering presence who's calmly led her people through the terms of 11 U.S. presidents and 12 British prime ministers.
So in the midst of her Diamond Jubilee - celebrating 60 years on the throne - I lift my coffee mug to her. Just this once, I've even filled it with tea!