Cicero is visiting the Baltic States again this week.
It is a good week to be going- as H.M. The Queen has been showing. Her speech to the Lithuanian Seimas had just the right balance- and reminded both Lithuanians and Brits how much we have in common.
Like many people in Britain I have slightly mixed feelings about the idea of monarchy. However when I see the wonderful response of the peoples of the Baltic to Queen Elizabeth I find it hard not to be moved.
The Queen represents a bloodline traceable to Kenneth MacAlpin of Scotland and Cerdic the West Saxon- who first arrived on these shores just after the fall of the Roman Empire. The fact that the Lithuanians have also discovered that the Queen is a direct descendent of the mediaeval ruler of Lithuania, Mindaugas, has reminded me that sometimes the Queen has a truly personal relationship with History.
I am moved too, because the visit of Queen Elizabeth would have seemed like a fantasy only a few years ago. After everything- the brutal occupation, the murder, the oppression- after the refusal of Britain to recognise the legitimacy of the Soviet claim on the free peoples of the Baltic, at last there is a truly tangible symbol of all that was steadfast, but above all of all that has changed.
I write this, to my surprise, with tears in my eyes.