September 9, 2022

A Royal Unlike Those of Today

The death of a dignified British monarch marks the official end of a bygone royal era.

At the risk of reaffirming Yankee boorishness, we’ll note that the last time we Americans paid much attention to the British crown was when we threw it off back on July 4, 1776. Having said that, Queen Elizabeth II passed away yesterday, and in so doing ended the British Royal Age.

No, not officially. Her eldest son, the former Prince Charles, is now King Charles III. But Charles III is no Elizabeth II — not even close. And the class and quiet dignity with which the queen conducted herself during seven decades on the throne — an era that spanned 14 U.S. presidents, from Harry Truman through Joe Biden — stand in stark contrast to the drama, the narcissism, and the scandal that have marked the lives of many of her progeny. As our Mark Alexander wondered this morning, “Any chance they could skip a generation and go straight to Prince William?”

No such luck, we’re afraid. In a tweet, of all things, Charles broke the news to the world:

The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much-loved Mother. I know her loss will be deeply felt throughout the country, the Realms and the Commonwealth, and by countless people around the world.

Queen Elizabeth II lived 35,204 days, but even on the penultimate one she was there at her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland, meeting with the incoming Conservative prime minister, Liz Truss, who became the 15th prime minister of a remarkable reign that began with PM Winston Churchill.

Elizabeth had greatness thrust upon her at 25, when, on February 6, 1952, during a trip to Kenya, she learned of the death of her father, King George VI, and of her immediate succession to the British throne. During her youth, she had no doubt learned a thing or two about British pluck and resolve from her dad. How so? During the Nazi Blitz of London from September 1940 till June 1941, she and her younger sister, Margaret, were sent 23 miles away to the hinterlands of Windsor. But the king stuck around, knowing how important it was for him to be seen. In doing so, he endured along with his fellow Londoners some 28,000 high explosive bombs and more than 400 parachute mines that rained down on and around the city. Keep calm and carry on, as they say.

As The New York Times writes:

At her coronation on June 2, 1953, a year after she acceded to the throne, she surveyed a realm emerging from an empire of such geographical reach that it was said the sun never set on it. But by the new century, as she navigated her advancing years with increasing frailty, the frontiers had shrunk back. As Britain prepared to leave the European Union in 2020, a clamor for independence in Scotland was rekindled, potentially threatening to narrow her horizons yet further.

The Times continued: “In 1992, Prince Charles and his immensely popular wife, Diana, agreed to separate, as did Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah Ferguson. Elizabeth’s second child, Princess Anne, divorced her husband, Mark Phillips, the same year. Coupled with a series of other upheavals, the queen labeled 1992 her ‘annus horribilis.’ But worse was to come.”

And it did come, with the awful death of Diana in 1997 and, more recently, the connection of Elizabeth’s son, Prince Andrew, to a sickening sexual abuse scandal involving underage girls and the pedophiliac predator named Jeffrey Epstein (who didn’t kill himself). Yesterday, the Queen took free from that mortal coil.

“Conscientious, hardworking, and self-disciplined,” write the editors at National Review, “and with a life apparently free from scandal, Elizabeth rarely put a foot wrong. She did her best to ensure (with occasional, discreetly phrased exceptions, such as over Scottish independence) that she kept clear from revealing anything about her political views, exercising a discretion that, like so many of her other qualities, has not been so apparent in her successor, King Charles III.”

If we Americans, we rebellious colonists, can remember Queen Elizabeth II for one thing, let it not be the vile, vicious parting shots from hate-filled leftists such as Carnegie Mellon professor Uju Anya. “I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying,” said Anya. “May her pain be excruciating.”

These people are sick indeed.

Instead, let us remember the moment during which Elizabeth broke with 600 years of British tradition to help soothe us during a moment of unspeakable grief. As The Guardian reported on September 14, 2001:

More than 3,000 people including hundreds of Americans gathered outside Buckingham Palace yesterday to hear the Star Spangled Banner performed in an unprecedented alteration to the changing of the guard ceremony.

The Queen ordered the change to the daily ceremonial parade to show solidarity with the United States in the wake of Tuesday’s terrorist strikes. Prince Andrew, representing his mother, was joined by the US ambassador to Britain, William Farish, for the 45-minute ceremony.

As the band of the Coldstream Guards began the US national anthem hundreds in the crowd sang along while others wept, before observing a two-minute silence.

May Her Majesty rest in peace.


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