The Displaced Nation

A home for international creatives

Dear Mary-Sue: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee — not the most sparkling of times

Mary-Sue Wallace, The Displaced Nation’s agony aunt, is back. Her thoughtful advice eases and soothes any cross-cultural quandary or travel-related confusion you may have. Submit your questions and comments here, or else by emailing her at

Another month passes us by, Mary-Suers. It seems only moments ago that I was penning my New Year post and yet here we are at the beginning of summer. Really, where does the time fly (and how many air miles does it have)?

Anyhoo, let’s get on with the show. We were running low on submissions this month, but this week’s jubilee celebration in Ye Olde Englande seems to have got The Displaced Nation readers all a-fluster.


Dear Mary-Sue,

I don’t understand all the palaver about Queen Elizabeth II and her 60 years on the throne. Why is it such a big deal when the Britain she presides over now is much reduced in prestige from the one she inherited? I mean, it’s not as though her reign has heralded a second Elizabethan Age!

Curious from California

p.s. Yes, I am an American, just like you, but that’s not the reason I hold these opinions. Most of our fellow Yanks worship the British monarchy (don’t ask me why).

Dear Curious,

Do you have any travel-related queries or are you in need of any relationship advice? That’s kind of the point of the column, honey!

Did you send this to Tina Brown first and get no response? She’s always good for some royal chit-chat.

Write back when you have some juicy sexual problem for me to pontificate on. If it involves Tina Brown all the better. Although in fairness, a lot of the relationship letters I receive seems to involve Tina “man-eater” Brown.



Dear Mary-Sue,

I’m an American expat in England, and the Diamond Jubilee celebrations that just took place were my first big exposure to how the Brits treat their royal family. Frankly, I think they could have done better. I mean, put most of the Royal Family on a boat in the middle of the river? It’s almost as though they were setting them up as a target for anyone who would like to dispose of them in one go. And I also kept thinking that the boat could easily capsize (what in heavens name were all those other boats doing there?).

Finally, I found it disrespectful of the Brits to expose their elderly monarch to the cold and wet river conditions. What if she contracts a nasty cold and chest infection?

Lorrie from Lancaster

Not only that Lorri, but they made her sit through a concert featuring (or however you spell it) and Grace Jones. What 83-year-old wants to sit through all that? They should have got her whoever the British equivalent of Lawrence Welk is. My dear departed mother loved Lawrence Welk – and who can blame her? The man was a natural entertainer. They didn’t call him the Elvis of North Dakota for nothing.



Dear Mary-Sue,

I’m a British expat in Dubai, and I am now suffering a case of acute homesickness owing to not being at home for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. It’s not the same to watch it on TV, and the parties held by British expats here — well, I attempted to join in but just couldn’t get into watching people dressed up like Mary Poppins or Knights of the Realm. Many of the latter were parading around in a drunken stupor bellowing out “God save the Queen!”

Do you think I’m crazy to feel this way? Wouldn’t you feel odd trying to celebrate 4th of July in Britain, for instance? I expect you’d be longing for a barbecue, just as I was for an old-fashioned street party.

Debbie from Dubai

Honey, July 4th is a holiday for the whole world.



Anyhoo, that’s all from me readers. I’m so keen to hear about your cultural issues and all your juicy problems (no doubt all about Tina Brown) then drop me a line.

Mary-Sue is a retired travel agent who lives in Tulsa with her husband Jake. She is the best-selling author of Traveling Made Easy, Low-Fat Chicken Soup for the Traveler’s Soul, The Art of War: The Authorized Biography of Samantha Brown, and William Shatner’s TekWar: An Unofficial Guide. If you have any questions that you would like Mary-Sue to answer, you can contact her at, or by adding to the comments below.

STAY TUNED for tomorrow’s post. Mary-Sue has heard it’s going to be great.

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