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Death of Queen Elizabeth II

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The day that man of us expected but never thought would come, has finally come. Queen Elizabeth II has passed (which we observe here). Although it is soon after her death, people have wasted no time in airing their opinions, and I think it is important to have some balance.

The Queen and Prince Phillip

Note: The images are from the BBC article and are used respectfully.

Announcement Of Passing

I remember hearing words to the extent of “the Queen is ill”.

The gravity of these words may not be immediately obvious to all. People get ill all the time, I doubt this is the first time the Queen has ever been ill. For all intents and purposes, the Queen does not get ill. The Queen represents this all-knowing, infallible person who doesn’t simple ‘get ill’. This is the first time we the public have heard of the Queen’s illness. It was announced publicly, essentially everywhere. This was meaningful.

From memory, the first thing I heard was at 12:30. At 15:00, I was told via private sources that she had in fact passed, and at 18:00 it would be announced. At this point the family were all making their way up to Scotland, where she was. I believe people started seeing all of her family, minus Harry and his wife arrive. (It’s quite likely that his wife was told not to come, as she caused the Royal Family nothing but trouble.)

Many of the news outlets joined together in wishing the Queen “good health”, but as they switched to their black ties, it was clear that she has in fact already passed. The black ties were required as they had to be prepared to break the news at any moment, encase it leaked early. Queue Joe Biden, who was clearly briefed earlier, broadcasting his condolences to her family, despite her death not formerly being announced.

I remember one of the presenters referred to her in past tense, something like “what wasis the Queen like?”. A few Twitter reporters failed at basic reporting etiquette and broke the news early, later retracting their Tweets (I wouldn’t be telling them any secrets).

Then a phone pings with a notification, I believe through Sky News, and the Queen was announced dead. We rushed to the TV and switched over to the BBC. We wouldn’t normally watch the BBC, but that day it felt right. A reporter then stared into the camera, whilst holding back tears, told the British public that Queen Elizabeth II had died.

We watched for a while, but ultimately, the news broadcast was simple and repeating. The Queen was dead.

The Queen From My Perspective

Throughout my entire life, the Queen has always been there. A figure that had always been guiding British politics quietly, but effectively from the sidelines. Occasionally there would be some event and she would make the news headlines, or there would be some large celebration, otherwise her presence went mostly unknown to me.

The Queen’s portrait

I remember when I was younger, my Great Grandmother was very much a Royalist, and had tea towels decorated with Royal symbols. She would sometimes talk about the Royal family, and would not hear a bad thing said about them. Every year, the whole family would enjoy food and company at my Grandmother’s house, which was always somewhat chaotic. One stable routine, though, was as children were made to be quite so as to allow my Great Grandmother to listen to the Queen’s speech.

My Great Grandmother and the Queen were of similar age, and growing up, my Great Grandmother also had to take up leadership within her family from a young age, on the back of WWII. I believe that seeing this young role model take up such an important position in the Royal Family, gracefully and strongly as she did, formed a permanent standard for her.

It was only in the last 10 years that I went from being mostly indifferent, to having large respect for the Queen. When I was younger and more ignorant of the world, it seemed like the easiest job in the world. I was somewhat jealous. As I grew older and learned more of responsibility, I learned of the extreme burden of such a position.

Reply To Those Celebrating

To the Irish celebrating her death, we will remember this. We have gone to great lengths throughout Brexit to ensure your economy and freedom of movement is not affected, to great cost to the UK.

A lot of the Colonies have some that blame the Royal Family for colonialism.

Firstly, you were not alive to live out colonialism, neither was I, and neither was she. To blame her for historic events is to believe in inherited guilt, because you happen to share blood or likeness of those who committed bad actions.

Secondly, she has done more to stop slavery than you, or any other has ever done. There is a very good reason as to why Harry’s wife’s claims of racism were so insanely disrespectful to her and the British public. Do not apply your American politics on England - we never kept slaves here.

I leave you with a quote from Lord James Mansfield:

“The air of England has long been too pure for a slave, and every man is free who breathes it.”

Thirdly, to those who suggest the Queen was a racist because she only recently allowed black people to tend to her needs, this is simply incorrect. British-born black persons are relatively new (only British-born persons can serve the Royal Family). You may also imagine that not long after slavery in the US, the optics of having black staff was counter-productive to the anti-slavery message.

I could keep going, but please consider that most of your negative points regarding the Queen are simply wrong.

Reply To Those Meme-ing

Everybody deals with grief differently, and some people may do this through comedy. The Queen herself was one to make jokes, even ones at her own expense. Try to keep it respectful within reason. Be mindful that whilst you are making jokes, others take this news with a heavy heart.

Imagine for example your very close loved one, family member or friend has recently died - and then imagine somebody making memes about it straighter after their death. A little empathy please.

Reply To Calls For Abolishing Monarchy

Many have used this as an opportunity to call to abolish monarchy following the Queen’s passing. Many of these people struggled to make a strong case, especially as the Queen acted so admirably throughout her life.

One such call comes from Craig Murray, a Scottish independence advocate and former ambassador. I wrote about one of his other articles not so long ago.

To address some of his points:

Still more absurd is the millions in feudal income that goes with that title, all real money paid by actual ordinary people as feudal dues.

It’s the only tax I actually seen get spent. The majority of it is squandered on things that are hard to describe and even harder to justify - for example, free higher-education for the Scottish only. At least with the Monarchy they genuinely do raise more money than they get.

The plans for the Queen’s demise were organised decades ago, and it shows. The BBC, ITV and Channels 4 and even 5 stop all entertainment in favour of pre-prepared sycophancy, as though we still lived in a world where people could not switch over and watch Gordon Ramsay on Blaze instead – and that’s ignoring Netflix, Amazon and the entire internet.

More is expected of older establishments and companies, and it is done as a sign of respect. Ignoring broadcasting, you could equally put a VHS on. It’s a sign of respect that will likely die with Queen Elizabeth II, and we should all mourn it. The younger generations have already forgotten the sacrifices of the past, and we are unfortunately doomed to repeat them.

She was very dutiful and serious, genuinely anxious to get everything right, and worried by it. She struck me as personally pleasant and kindly. She was not, to be frank, particularly bright and sharp.

This is your opinion and you are welcome to it. I would like to argue that some of her wisdom is from an age and vast experience we will never have. Being the smartest person in the room is not the same as being the most useful.

We are all shaped by our environment; I would have turned into a much more horrible monarch than she had I been born into it, certainly a great deal more sybaritic (as the rest of her family appear to be).

I very much agree. These are genuinely hard shoes to fill.

29% of the people of the UK want to abolish the monarchy, excluding Don’t Knows; in Scotland that is 43%. In the UK as a whole 18 to 24 year olds are 62% in favour of abolition of the monarchy, excluding Don’t Knows.

There were always those against the Monarchy. Young people are unlikely to appreciate concepts such as tradition or responsibility, these are values that come with time. I suspect after King Charles we will see the younger Prince William be much more of a personal role model to the majority of the public.

I found myself yesterday on Twitter urging people to be a bit kinder as the Queen lay dying.

The majority of people in the UK don’t use Twitter, and of those, they are more left-wing. Lay in the bed you made.

One final thought; I do not expect this will amount to much, but it is fun to speculate. King Charles III has let it be known he intends to attempt to wield more influence on government than his mother. He comes to power at the same moment as a new government under Liz Truss, which is utterly anathema to Charles’ political beliefs.

Yes, this is indeed a problem. Liz Truss though is actually not a Royalist, and will likely ignore King Charles if his influence becomes overbearing. Remember also that multiple Prime Ministers that consoled with Queen Elizabeth are alive and well, and could provide their experience of leadership with Liz Truss over that of King Charles.

Charles is a woolly liberal environmentalist with a genuine if superficial attachment to multi-culturalism. He has let it be known he deplores deportations to Rwanda. He is now going to be fitting into his role while government in his name is carried out by crazed right-wing ideologues, who want a massive push to produce more fossil fuels. Could be worth getting in the popcorn.

More interestingly still, it will be a government acting in his name, possibly the Queen’s last laugh.

Thoughts On The King

So, we now have King Charles III.

King Charles performing official duties

We don’t have much to go on so far, but his opening speech worries me. Watch the following:

Some notes:

  1. The renewed vowel to life-long service is promising. This is following in his mother’s footsteps, and is the basic requirement for the role.
  2. He suggested that he would no longer be able to give his time or energy to charities and issues he cares for deeply, hopefully meaning that he will be moving away from his personal politics. Again, this is a requirement for the role.
  3. He then brings up people that won’t be particularly popular with the public. His wife Camilla, who becomes Queen consort. William is popular, and gets a promotion. He then brings up Harry and his wife, who are ousted and not much liked, but of course Harry is still his child. I hope he does not try to bring Harry back into the family, he turned his back on the British public after all.

He was also wise to say nothing of his brother, Prince Andrew, who couldn’t be less popular, after riding the Lolita-express to Epstein island.

All this said, we will give the King a chance. The future of the Monarch rides directly on his shoulders. Wrong moves now could result in the demise of the entire Royal Family.

The Queen is dead. Long live the King.