In lighter news, the Queen of England has embarked upon an everyday commuter train in order to reach her northern Christmas destination.
While I appreciate the nod to thrift, I wonder if I am alone in mourning the degradation of regality and ... well, nobility which ought to accompany a royal head-of-state. "Nobility is a graceful ornament to the civil order," observed Edmund Burke. "It is the Corinthian capital of polished society." I believe Tocqueville noted that democracy, while unlikely to fall into such depths of depravity as might be detected in a decadent aristocracy, likewise was not hopeful of attaining such heights of beauty as exemplified in a virtuous aristocracy.
Surely the royals have at times failed to provide a dignified and elite model for the masses to adore - but has even the queen abrogated the duty to provide an earthly example of the extraordinary and exquisite? If it would be nearly unthinkable - even absent security considerations - for an American president to travel on public transport, is it not a clear denigration of the honor due to royal station to be accorded less decorum and circumstance than a mere tenured president?
At least Her Majesty sat in first class.