It’s like a board game, the monarchy. Since we don’t pay for it, we can watch the game with amusement. I’m astonished, though, that it’s still going. Something to believe in, I suppose, for Brits, who live in hell these days under the Tories and no longer have the E.U. to bail them out. The many Americans in hell these days only have the Kardashians (or the celebrity of your choice). Not the same thing.
And then there’s the late Queen, a pleasant-faced, crinkly woman who carried herself with grace and honor. She had a good death, as they say, her body shutting down without much pain at 96. Perhaps it was the need to give her blessing to the latest atrocity of a Tory PM that put the last nail in her coffin. She lived a full, blessed life, or as full a life as possible under the constant glare of spotlights.
Of course, a Queen with a lifetime sinecure is, no doubt, a Tory herself, or would be if the monarch wasn’t obligated to maintain neutrality. Maybe, though, she misspelled Tory, was a bit dyslexic and thought it was ‘Troy,’ and imagined a Trojan Horse, with herself inside it, hiding there in the dark, at long last freed from the obligation to show herself in all that finery.
The world feels it knows her, thanks to Hollywood, the BBC, and manifold scandals erupting inside the ‘Royal’ family and Tory brand. I really don’t know how much tax money from Brits goes to the monarchy; maybe royal investments pan out. I know she owned a house in Minnesota (but never came to visit). One of her grandsons is a Hollywood celebrity, married to an American actress and supplementing his fortune, if he has one, with a ‘megawatt Netflix deal.’
Still, the Queen on her throne — she had an actual throne — was like a cuppa hot tea for many Brits. Charles, unlike Elizabeth, doesn’t have 70 years of credibility, so the rest of the world, after the funeral and much sincere mourning, will go back to the travails of inflation and climate change, issues beyond the ken of any ceremonial Queen or King. Oh yes, and the war in Ukraine; that’s still underway, and there’s a nuclear power plant in the middle of it that might melt down.
It’s theater, all of it. I’d rather see royals make fools of themselves, or celebrate the death of a classy monarch who held her head high and offered us, often enough, a sweet smile that allowed us to think that all could be right with the world, than deal with a planet in trouble because governments, too often, don’t do the greatest good for the largest number, but instead sell out to the wealthy, or try to tell women what they can’t do with their own bodies, or allow zealots to ban books.
I’ll miss the Queen. Rest in peace, my lady.