Queen Elizabeth II, the only UK monarch everybody under 75 years of age has ever known, was matriarch of both a country and the most famous family in the world. She was Head of:
The UK state;
The Anglican Church;
The armed forces;
People mourn the queen as an individual in The ( 5 mile long) Queue. . . .
The death of any human being is sad and should be respected, as should the bereaved family at this time.
. . . but
There is a difference between being respectful of the family and getting caught in the trap of the pageantry and ceremony that supports an institution that’s an affront to democratic values.
The QIIE Legend
- She and the royal family have provided ‘stability’, ‘held this country together – held countries together’
- She was ‘the rock on which modern Britain was built’ ,
- She displayed ‘unwavering dedication and devotion’
- She embodied “the epitome of steady grace and resolve”
- She ‘served’ her country diligently in doing her ‘duty’ for 70 years.
Comment: The Royal Family take pride in their lives of “sacrifice” and “selflessness”
Queries: How do selfless members of the public who sacrifice time, energy and maybe even money, compare?
How does the “sacrifice” of volunteers who aid the homeless or toil in soup kitchens and food banks, compare with the “sacrifice” of the Royal Family?
Do these volunteers live out their lives in greater or lesser luxury?
Which sacrifice should we celebrate more?
Which is more useful to the nation?
The QIIE Reality
She liked dogs and horses and rarely betrayed strong emotions
She seemed to accept that her role was to be shown things – so many factories,ships, tanks, hospitals, local customs and types of cheese
She waved, cut ribbons and unveiled plaques
She received so many bouquets of flowers from small curtsying girls
She never appeared bored or irritated
She “consented” to laws that suited her and her family and property
QIIE Legend vs Reality
Queen Elizabeth II was born out of Empire and colonisation
Yet she is re-imagined as liberator
Comment:The Monarchy can have no responsibility for the Empire and the Commonwealth which they lead, because they are mere humble servants
Queen Elizabeth II was a “humble servant of the nation”,
Yet one of the wealthiest people in the world
She was a quiet, un-ostentatious woman
Yet wore diamond and emerald tiaras, rode in gold carriages and spent her life in enormous multi-room palaces with acres of gardens and grounds
Her Royal Family is held up as the symbol of the perfect, ideal family
Yet it was dysfunctional and covered up sexual depravity (Prince Andrew and Epstein, King Charles’s friendship with Jimmy Saville)
Her Royal Family is a modern institution
Yet for the 2nd time in its history couldn’t cope with one of its members marrying an American divorcée
Queen Elizabeth II reigned when public services were sold to private companies
Yet the Royal Family enjoys unique tax advantages and King Charles III will not pay inheritance tax on any of his mother’s assets
Comments: The notion of the royal family as symbols of duty or sacrifice to the nation is a lie.
This falsehood is at the centre of a deeply unequal UK
Blurred is the distinction between the virtues of the late Queen as a person and the virtues of the monarchy as institution
Blurred is distinction between the virtues of the late Queen and the virtues of the “united UK” she supposedly stood for
Elizabeth II was Queen when British officers tortured, maimed and killed Kenyans during the Mau Mau uprising.
She was Queen when her troops killed civilians, her very own British subjects, in Northern Ireland
She was Queen when her government let one of its MPs die on hunger-strike in Long Kesh
Remember: “Her” Governments sanctioned and committed all these atrocities
Comment: She incarnated and ably helped sell her nation and its system while never criticizing or apologizing for its past
6) Elizabeth II was an enigma, a blank screen
that people can project their own fantasies on to
She meant so much to so many
She was the “adored mother, grandmother.
She understood me as one of her people.
I “knew” her
Comment: Elizabeth II’s greatest asset as queen was her blankness. She was good at being what people needed at the time they needed.
Maybe she had great personal qualities and maybe she didn’t – it didn’t matter
7) Elizabeth II was an expert saleswoman
Over 70 years Queen Elizabeth II got many people in Britain and around the world to buy into a Ruritanian pantomime. She managed to convince them that a small family should rule the UK, Realms and Commonwealth. That it was right they were chosen simply by virtue of their birth.
Comment: Upon her death, members of the Royal Family all rotate upwards in a self-perpetuating process of obscene unearned wealth, massive privilege, special tax breaks, nauseating deference, silly titles and even sillier uniforms.
The mourning period
is tied in with the message ‘Here is your new Monarch and you have no say in it’
Britain’s media speak with a single, respectful voice about the Queen and her unimpeachable legacy.
Every single newspaper and broadcaster in the country is united in supporting the accession of an unelected head of state.
The media lauds every Royal family action, sings their praises as a venerable institution at the core of British society, dutifully acts as the royal PR mouthpiece in reporting on their charity work, and marginalizes any talk of doing away with the royal family altogether as “republican rabble-rousing.”
Their implicit justification is that to air any other viewpoint would be disrespectful towards what Queen Elizabeth II was all about.
The arrest of anti-monarchy protesters and the condemnation of others who dissented showed that the royal succession “is as much about coercion as consent”
Comment: Silence is not a politically neutral act. It is a demand that we collude in a corrupt system of establishment rule and hierarchical privilege.
The British establishment expects every man, woman and child to do their duty by lowering their head, showing respect for the Queen and her family.
By emphasizing that the nation is “united in respect for the Queen and in respect for monarchy”, an idea of community is constructed.
Everybody is doing this or at least should be.
Making people understand that “now is not the time” to criticise the late Queen, the monarchy or British society in general is a very powerful way of asserting a sense of national identity and reinforcing a particular meaning to national identity.
Comment: It’s callled “bullying” in any other context. If you don’t conform, you’re outside the community. And indeed, you’re even worse, you’re inhumane. You’re not showing grief at the death of another person and you’re daring to criticise those of us that do.
Queries: Isn’t this about much more than an eccentric pageantry of death?
Isn’t it, like King Charles III’s whistle-stop tour of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, about reinforcing the Union?
Isn’t it about strengthening the idea that unearned privilege and wealth is normal?
Isn’t it about cementing Charles III’s succession without any dissent?
The Britain left in her wake is a Britain of economic decline, a Britain of massive wealth inequality and poverty, epitomised by the hereditary wealth and privilege of the British Royalty
She was one of the richest women in the world with children in her domain living in poverty
Queen Elizabeth II did nothing to fight racism during her reign
Queen Elizabeth II was the head of a criminal imperial organisation and was widely considered the last link to the Empire. The Royal family and UK museums count amongst its ‘private property’ the loot of ages, cultures and continents.
Comments: South Africa wants the Cullinan Diamonds back, together with all the gold, diamonds stolen by Britain.India wants its Koh-i-noor diamond. Greece wants the Elgin marbles. Easter islanders want one of their statues.Ethiopia wants its tabots.
Former colonies, except Ireland and Malta, are known as 3rd world countries. Nobody likes to be called a “third world country.” Of course the difference is, those poor nations didn’t do it to themselves
It’s clear that the British Monarchy was/is not universally adored
“Neither in science, nor in art, nor in literature, nor in exploration, nor in mechanical invention, nor in humanising of laws, nor in any sphere of human activity has a representative of British royalty helped forward the moral, intellectual or material improvement of mankind.’- James Connolly
Words written over 100 years ago about Royalty and the Monarchy apply equally well today
Once the emotions of the Queen’s passing subside, the unifying effect she provided as part of the glue of British identity will not be so easily replicable by her successor
QIIE acted as a retardant on the slow deconstruction of the British identity, and without her processes that have already been unleashed will accelerate to reach their natural conclusion
Deference and blind loyalty belong to the past