I love the Queen. She might be the greatest representative of most of our lifetimes in terms of dedication, consistency, and loyalty.
She has, whether you are a republican or a monarchist, shown a set of moral and professional credentials that are sadly too scarce these days.
Her life has been dedicated to service. She had no choice; she was born into it.
The celebrations this week to mark the 70th are an indication of a couple of things.
Firstly, we will not see her like again. 70 years is a trick of fate. You need to get to the throne awfully young and live awfully long to mark 70 years. Charles won't, William won't, and Lord knows what happens to the monarchy after that.
The celebrations also show the reality of the monarchy. Although she is Queen of the Commonwealth, the street parties, bunting, parades, pomp, and concerts are in the United Kingdom. She is essentially the Queen of the UK with branch offices elsewhere.
The fact a couple of million are at street parties this weekend is a direct testament to how people view her. She is loved and rightly so.
She remains one of the few global figures in an otherwise disparate, angry, and dysfunctional world that is almost universally, if not loved, liked. If not adored, she's certainly respected. There is virtually no one with a seriously bad word to say about her.
Here is the main reason for a monarchy, for a country like New Zealand, what is the alternative?
In theory, a republic sounds great. We chart our own course, we make our own decisions, and we're no longer tied to centuries old traditions on the other side of the world. But for a country of barely over five million, the talent pool for greatness is limited. In other words, who is President? And once that is sorted and their term is up, who is next in line?
The role of Governor-General gives it away. In my life, there have been 13. Two, possibly three, I actually rate. These are people who made a difference, added to the office, gave you a sense they were there for the better, and actively so.
The Queen's seen them, and more, come and go. That is the consistency of the monarchy. Get a good one, and you are set. The crap shoot element of change is sorted.
Say whatever you like about the monarchy. But in terms of doing the job, of rising to the occasion of delivering on what is expected, Queen Elizabeth is astonishing.
We are lucky to have been part of the club. As long as she reigns, we've not come within a million miles of being able to offer anything better.