NBC's Mitchell: Queen Had to 'Put Up With' the 'Indignity' of Celebrating U.S. Bicentennial

As part of NBC's wall-to-wall Today show coverage of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II celebrating her Diamond Jubilee on Tuesday, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell listed ways in which the United States has supposedly slighted the monarch over the years: "...she's put up with a lot from her former subjects. The indignity of going to where the revolution started, to celebrate the bicentennial of our independence from the monarchy."

How rude of us to do such a thing. Mitchell proceeded to detail further American "indignities" the Queen had to suffer through: "And then there was the Rose Garden podium that all but reduced Her Majesty to a talking hat....And the Orioles game where she suffered temperatures pushing 100 degrees while feigning interest in that most American of pastimes, baseball."

Mitchell brought in BBC's Katy Kay to lecture the former colonies: "It's always stroke me as slightly ironic that you basically kicked us out just over a couple centuries ago in order to get rid of dynastic monarchy, but you probably have just as much affection for the Queen as the people of Great Britain do."


Here is a full transcript of the June 5 report:

8:21AM ET

MATT LAUER: The Queen is not only loved here in London, Americans also watch her, and the royal family, with awe and fascination. NBC's Andrea Mitchell is in Washington with that part of the story. Andrea, good morning to you.

ANDREA MITCHELL: Good morning, Matt. Well, we Americans have admired this queen since she was just a princess volunteering as an auto mechanic in World War II. It's a relationship that has survived even as presidents and prime ministers come and go. We divorced ourselves from the monarchy in that little tempest in a Boston Tea Party more than two centuries ago. But we Yanks still can't seem to get enough of this queen.

QUEEN ELIZABETH II: We are here to celebrate the tried, tested, and yes, special relationship between our two countries.

MITCHELL: She won our hearts from her coronation and on through her troubles with her children. And in this case, it's a love affair that has lasted through 12 American presidents. Over the years she's put up with a lot from her former subjects. The indignity of going to where the revolution started, to celebrate the bicentennial of our independence from the monarchy.

ELIZABETH II: We learned to respect the right of others to govern themselves in their own ways.

MITCHELL: And while the Queen seemed to enjoy riding with President Reagan at Windsor, her reciprocal trip to ride at his California ranch was a total washout.

ELIZABETH II: I knew before we came that we had exported many of our traditions to the United States. But I had not realized before that weather was one of them.

MITCHELL: And then there was the Rose Garden podium that all but reduced Her Majesty to a talking hat.

ELIZABETH II: Thank you for your warm welcome to Washington.

MITCHELL: And the Orioles game where she suffered temperatures pushing 100 degrees while feigning interest in that most American of pastimes, baseball. At times the Queen almost seemed like one of us. Perhaps that's why George W. Bush felt comfortable enough to be, well, himself in 2007.

GEORGE W. BUSH: You helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 – in 1976.

MITCHELL: And then there was this touchy feely moment when Michelle Obama first met the Queen.

KATY KAY: I don't know. But I suspect that it's not the kind of thing that would bother her in the slightest.

MITCHELL: So what is it about this special relationship that Americans have with Britain's monarch?

KAY: It's always stroke me as slightly ironic that you basically kicked us out just over a couple centuries ago in order to get rid of dynastic monarchy, but you probably have just as much affection for the Queen as the people of Great Britain do.

MITCHELL: And as President Obama once told the Queen, her reign is the humbling reminder of the fleeting nature of presidencies and prime ministers. Matt.

LAUER: Alright, Andrea, thank you very much.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC