Today we say a final goodbye to our long reigning Queen. Elizabeth II (Elizabeth Alexandra Mary, 1926-04-21 ~ 2022-09-08) was Queen of the United Kingdom and fourteen other Commonwealth realms from 1952-02-06 until her death 2022-09-08 16:30 UTC. Her reign of 70 years and 214 days was the longest of any British monarch and the second longest recorded of any monarch of a sovereign country.
I’m no fan of any system whose unelected head of state attains his or her position purely due to an accident of birth. But the old Queen effectively held the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland together. She was well respected by left and right, monarchists and republicans, leavers and remainers alike. In her time she had worked with fifteen different British Prime Ministers. That alone takes some staying power.
Now she’s gone, I fear things will fall apart pretty quickly here. Charles seems not to command the respect that his mother did – particularly after the Princess Diana business. His kids simply lack the gravitas. So now the UK has no EU membership, no Queen and Liz Truss for prime Minister. It seems as if we are cut adrift from Europe with no rudder and no engine.
Largely thanks to Brexit, the breakup of the UK seems almost inevitable now. Northern Ireland will likely reunite with the Irish republic and get its EU membership back automatically. Scotland will have another referendum and apply for reaccession to the EU shortly after. That will leave the Disunited Banana Monarchy of England and Wales, pointlessly thumbing its nose at its neighbours whilst plummeting ever deeper into recession and poverty.
BBC website has suddenly decided to force its users to register and sign in if you actually want to watch anything. So there’s not much point going there. So much for “public service broadcasting“. But The Guardian seems to have quite good coverage, if you ignore all its own pleading and begging for registration…
Granted, we’re not all dressed in black, wailing in the streets. But we do feel a sharp sense of loss. Even those of us who dislike the concept of monarchy, still feel that sense of loss. This piece by Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian 2022-09-08 probably explains it rather better than I can.
Ma’amalade sandwich Your Majesty?
It is indeed a strange and sad day for almost all Brits. So I’d like to wrap this article up with strangely touching and quirky skit in which the Queen partook herself, as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations, June 2022…
Header image by Queensland State Archives – http://www.archivessearch.qld.gov.au/Image/DigitalImageDetails.aspx?ImageId=9759, CC BY 3.0 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=75977871