She’s here in America, the Queen of England, and all I can think is, “Didn’t we kick her ilk out of our country a long time ago?"
By cannon and musket round, no less.
Why have her back? She hasn’t come to apologize. There’s no talk of her renouncing the crown.
Instead, she’s here to wave and wear silly hats . . . and pretend she’s better than other people. Because of her bloodline.
But, some will say, doesn’t she seem so sweet, waving and shaking hands and cutting ribbons and such?
All that’s nice and good gets overshadowed by one relevant fact: the House of Windsor is built on the belief that her bloodline is of royal stock. And that yours is not. That’s why she’s the queen. Maybe she doesn’t really believe it; maybe she’s just taking advantage, just playing along at public ceremonies. But there it is.
And even though that concept stands as the very antithesis of what our country stands for, some Americans eat it up. For weeks, I’ve read the newspaper stories proclaiming that “Many Are Dizzy With Protocol Anxiety" and informing us “commoners" on such weighty matters as how to speak to the “reigning monarch.” The folks at Buckingham Palace were even nice enough to send 15 protocol consultants to our shores to help calm and prepare us for greeting the queen.
Just FYI: One doesn’t have to curtsy or bow before the queen any longer. Robert Lacey, the queen’s biographer, suggests that “Americans shouldn’t feel unduly flummoxed by this,” reminding us, “You’re not going to end up in the Tower of London.”
Of course the royal family does still cost British taxpayers 37.4 million pounds each year. Gee, thanks for not killing us on a whim anymore. Though, by all means, please feel free to keep living high on our lowly backs. Here’s some more of our hard-earned dough, Your Majesty.
On the other hand, maybe the Brits have got off cheap. Perhaps the royal fixation amounts to nothing worse than a useful delusion. It allows those with a hankering for monarchy to fret over an atavism, a power now so powerless that it no longer rapes, pillages and murders, doing nothing more dangerous than spending a few hours now and then talking to Tony Blair.
Maybe. But generally delusions are better not fed.
Contrary to the monarchy pushers in the media, many Americans remain . . . well, if not fed up with this froufrou, at least uncharmed by Her Unjust Privilegeness. On Thursday in Richmond, 30,000 people were expected to come see the queen. Barely 7,000 showed.
Curse progress if you must, but the divine right of royalty doesn’t really resonate much any longer.
Face it: Queens are bad. And kings are as bad or worse. In concept as well as reality.
Oh, sure, Elizabeth II cannot summarily execute folks anymore, I do actually realize that. Pass the popcorn. But is there some reason to celebrate that her kin used to have such power and indeed exercised it?
Even more revolting are the attempts to marshal the queen as some sort of moral exemplar. Elizabeth II visited Jamestown, where African slaves were first brought into the colonies in 1619, and she had a few words to say about racial reconciliation and the “melting pot” America has become.
Great, as far as her words went. But are we really not supposed to notice the connection between the concept of slavery and England’s sad history of glorifying the idea that people from certain bloodlines should rule over other people, with different (perceived to be lesser) blood running through their veins?
Nothing personal against Liz Windsor, the woman. She seems like a decent human being, as far as one can tell from video of someone smiling and waving while being fawned over. But, then again, if her conscience weren’t held in hock to a thousand years of sick tradition, wouldn’t she quit and get a real job?
The best excuse for maintaining a monarchy is as part of a tourist trap. We Americans can readily appreciate the desire to make a buck. But do it like Disney World, for goodness sake. Hire the best Mary Poppins or Donald Duck or Queen Elizabeth you can find at the right price.
Or pay some leery young kid minimum wage to don a queen suit.