Comments: Hey Brits, Where's Your Person-Of-Color Head Of State?

Just a minor nit, but Queen Elizabeth II is the current head of state. The Prime Minister is the head of government.

Posted by Hal Duston at January 28, 2009 03:32 PM

Let's be honest, Hal. Queen Elizabeth (and the entire royal family for that matter) is an institutional joke. No other head of state contacts her in a time of international crisis.

Why the British haven't done away with that anachronistic waste of national resources is beyond me.

Posted by Gary at January 28, 2009 04:29 PM

Oh please leave the dear old Queen alone; she's not doing you any harm.
The reason that the Brits and the French et alia can be so nasty to us (do the Chermanss haff a Jewish
head-of-gov't, huh huh?)is that they are second raters now and they know it and this is the only way the poor things can vent their spleen. Alas, we will
soon know the withdrawal pains of ceasing to be Nunmero Uno and can then solace ourselves by hypocritical sniping at who ever takes our place. If they'll let us.

Posted by mama at January 28, 2009 06:31 PM

Yes, you are correct that no other head of state would contact her, as the head of state of most other countries would have little to do in a crisis. The head of state of Germany is Horst K÷hler, Italy is Giorgio Napolitano, Portugal AnÝbal Antˇnio Cavaco Silva, Spain is Juan Carlos I, Belgium is Albert II, Sweden Carl XVI Gustaf, Norway Harald V, Ireland Mary McAleese, Netherlands Beatrix, France Nicolas Sarkozy. Most of these positions are still held be monarchs, and have very little real power. With the exception of France, most European heads of state have very little actual power to exercise. All the real authority is held by the head of government. The US differs from all these nations in that the head of state and the head of government are combined in the same office.

Posted by Hal Duston at January 30, 2009 11:58 PM