The Queen’s Telegram is a relatively new tradition in a very traditional country, namely the United Kingdom. Here in the states, when a person reaches the ripe old age of 100, they get to received birthday greeting in the form of Willard Scott of NBC’s Today Show drooling over them on national television telling them how good they look and adding a few snippets of biographical information. It might go something like this: a picture comes up on the screen displaying (usually) some somnambulant individual with a very glazed look on their face

Willard Scott’s voice

“Ooh, there’s Rosa Mae Farquat, she’s 100 years old today, doesn’t she look good? Rosa likes to start each day with a bowl of mush and some lukewarm tea. She still gets around on her own and attributes her longevity to a strict diet of high fiber foods. Rosa’s lived in Boon Dock, Kentucky all her life. Happy birthday Rosa “

Now, I don’t know about you fine folks out there but this all goes on sometime between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM and my eyes and ears are just not ready for it. In fact, I’d rather be filled in on the details of the latest suicide bombing, earthquake, tornado, or whatever other disaster, manmade or natural, that has occurred. Having to look at anywhere between one and four centenarians at those hours of the morning just does not inspire me.

The more traditional and definitely more tasteful way our British cousins have chosen to honor this select group of people is more to my liking. When a person reaches the age of 100, they receive a telegram, that’s right, a telegram, not an E-mail, from none other than the Queen marking the auspicious occasion. While I don’t know what the specific wording is, (help me out here British noders), it certainly seems like a more dignified and fitting way to mark the occasion.

Inspiration from