5:30 PM, Jun 15, 2015 • By ERIN MUNDAHL
On June 15, 1215, a band of frustrated and rebellious nobles forced King John to sign a “Great Charter” at Runnymede, a swampy field twenty miles west of London. At the time, few would have suspected the importance of the document, which was annulled by the Pope a mere nine days later.
On Monday, another British monarch visited Runnymede, this time to honor the historic significance of the document signed there.
“Runnymede is an ancient and resonant meeting place and it is fitting that we should assemble again here where the Great Charter was sealed 800 years ago,” Queen Elizabeth said in a written statement.
“The story of the British monarchy is intertwined with that of Runnymede and Magna Carta. The values of Magna Carta are not just important to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, but across the world. Its principles are significant and enduring.”
The document itself, some 3,500 words written in Latin by the Archbishop of Canterbury, lacks the resonant eloquence of, say, the Declaration of Independence. Yet, it lays out the foundations of the system of English common law, due process, and natural rights, which form the foundation of both the American and British legal systems.
Here’s wishing it a happy birthday and continued relevance.
3:00 PM, Jun 4, 2015 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Obama family, minus the president of the United States, will head to Europe later this month, according to the White House. They'll be visiting the United Kingdom and Italy.
It won't be all fun and games, however. There will be a couple official stops in the week-long trip.
"First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to London, Milan, and Vicenza from June 15-21, 2015. Accompanying Mrs. Obama on this trip will be her mother, Mrs. Marian Robinson, and daughters, Malia and Sasha Obama," the White House announced today.
Britain’s unstable consensus. Mar 30, 2015, Vol. 20, No. 28 • By TED R. BROMUND
"The problem with politics today,” Gisela Stuart complained over coffee in the House of Commons cafeteria, “is that there’s no passion, no big ideas. No wonder the public’s not inspired.” An iconoclastic Labour MP for Birmingham, Stuart herself is inspiringly intense, but her diagnosis is a common one: Locked together in a mutual embrace of managerialism, Britain’s political parties stand for nothing more than the quest for a triangulated victory.
8:56 PM, Dec 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama will meet with Prince William, the duke of Cambridge, tomorrow in the Oval Office, according to the White House.
8:44 AM, Nov 28, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
You won't find the British royals in the holy land. Elliott Abrams calls it, "The bizarre story of the refusal of British royals to visit Israel, while they are constantly in the Arab world, continues."
9:21 AM, Oct 21, 2014 • By RICHARD M. LANGWORTH
Eighteen months ago Britain’s Nigel Farage was a political curiosity, head of a fringe party, gadfly member of the European Parliament, an ex-commodities broker who never went to college—dismissed as a nutcase by ruling elites in London and Brussels. Today he’s being touted as a future prime minister.
10:12 AM, Sep 19, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Barack Obama has released a statement praising Scotland's vote to remain with the United Kingdom.
"We welcome the result of yesterday’s referendum on Scottish independence and congratulate the people of Scotland for their full and energetic exercise of democracy," says Obama in a prepared statement.
9:16 AM, Sep 18, 2014 • By THOMAS DONNELLY
In the late 17th century, times were tough in Scotland. The Stuarts, the Scots’ royal family, had been tossed off the throne of England for a second time, and the country had been excluded from the burgeoning English system of international trade regulated by the Navigation Acts. Even the climate was more miserable than usual: these were the worst years of northern Europe’s “little ice age.”
6:15 AM, Sep 18, 2014 • By JONATHAN FOREMAN
This week’s referendum on Scottish independence may seem like an obscure, perhaps even Ruritanian quarrel to many Americans, but it has profound implications not just for the U.K. and Europe but also for the United States.
4:17 PM, Sep 17, 2014 • By JERYL BIER
Though he didn't say it in so many words, President Obama came out today personally opposed to Scottish independence, which is set to go to a vote tomorrow.
11:36 AM, Aug 21, 2014 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The killing of James Foley was done, it seems, by someone who spoke with a British accent. This is disturbing, of course, but not surprising. The first of these ritual executions, that of Daniel Pearl, shortly after the 9/11 attacks, was organized by a man named Omar Sheikh who was born in London and educated at the London School of Economics.
6:31 PM, Apr 17, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
The British Labour party announced David Axelrod will be working to help Ed Miliband become the next prime minister.
10:18 AM, Aug 27, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a statement, the Pentagon says, "the United States military is prepared for any contingency involving Syria." The statement comes from this announcement of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's phone call with his British and French counterparts:
7:01 AM, Jul 23, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
For Anglophiles and royalists inclined to celebrate the birth of the youngest pretender (was the removal of James II really justifiable on monarchical principles?) to the British throne, here's a link to a performance of Handel's fantastic coronation anthem, Zadok the Priest, with its stirring proclamation of "God Save the King! Long Live the King!" Composed in 1727, the text is based on the account in 1 Kings of the anointing of Solomon. The music's only five minutes long, but it will add a spring to your step for hours if not days. Even if you're an American and a republican.
5:39 PM, Jul 22, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
In a statement to the press, President Barack Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, marked the birth of the "young prince" in the UK.