The Queen is dead. Long live the King. Whilst inhabitants of the USA are somewhat cushioned from the disruption of a new era emerging out of the now defunct second Elizabethan era, we are not immune to the upheaval caused by the second Elizabethan era ending and the start of a new Carolean age, with an old, somewhat charmless King and the mistress that he shoehorned into position after his ex wife’s untimely and tragic death.
I am no royalist. I harbor no kind thoughts about the Queen who no doubt would have found me displeasing and not worthy of her time or attention; nor do I fawn over a regime that is built not on merit, but on accident of birth. It is an unavoidable truth that the Queen was the head of a colonialist and oppressive regime that caused immense suffering and injustice. She slid into a role she was born for and lived a life of utter luxury. Yes, she was dutiful, yes she has been a constant thread running through the history of most people currently living on this planet. There are very few who remember a reign under any other monarch in the UK. From Truman to her final act of welcoming a new British PM the day before she died, she was thrust into a role she did not earn, was not prepared for, but nevertheless discharged steadfastly, through war and peace, through out her 70 years and 214 days on the throne.
This outpouring of grief and royal ass-kissing is sickening. The Royals do not care about the people, they are about making sure ‘The Firm’ continues and the commonwealth that remains sticks to the UK. They are living tourism draws, and wheeled out for diplomatic occasions. Trump showed his lack of class by being the only leader every to be late and to walk in front of her. I’ll give him this much, he deferred to no one, not even the Queen.
There is a lack of decency about wishing pain and suffering on the dying monarch, as one professor saw fit to on social media. There are few human beings that deserve such callousness, however the caution and the outrage should be heard fully and acknowledged if the royal gravy train is not going to run out of juicy adulation.
There is a personal reckoning – an era has passed, and all that success and failure has to be added up as one era fades into history and a new blank page is started. Especially for the poor embattled United Kingdom, suffering from outrageous energy prices, extreme and widespread poverty and an uncertain future now that they defied geography and left ‘Europe’ in a blind turning away from the reality that doing so would lead to suffering, even if it did feel good to stick a finger up to Johnny Foreigner and tell Europe to ‘fuck off, we are not like you’. In that respect the UK reminds me a lot of Texas – a hugely inflated sense of geographical self worth and the unshakable belief that they are better off alone. It is a kind of egotistical fantasy, in the UK’s case, a hangover from the glory days that straddled Elizabeth’s early reign and the fight and success of world war 2. These are British days of colonial pride that have long since disappeared off into the rear view mirror.
This colonial racism has also been central to the bullying and racial abuse of Megan Windsor, the black American wife of Harry, the Queen’s grandson. Say what you will, Harry has been protective and loyal over his wife and mixed race children, and did not tolerate the racism that the Royal family subjected her and their relationship to. The Queen was no Angel. Megan and Harry were hounded to to seek refuge in Los Angeles, and to be frank that says a lot about the state of colonialist thinking that pervades British society.
I know some outstanding Brits. Not one of them has an ounce of love for the Royal family. They are also aware of the plight that colonialism has caused. It seems to me that the problem lies in the upper and lowest echelons of British society: the toffs and the cap-doffing underclass who all they have to be proud of is their nationality (and dare I say, whiteness) cling onto the glory of the British Empire like people who know it is the source of their current power, and also the only claim to that desired superiority that they can’t get from drawing the dole and drinking white cider in shitty little pubs watching their lives slide out of view. The educated and middle classes are all somewhat more pragmatic about the whole business. I can only hope that this will be the trigger for Australia, NZ and the other remaining commonwealth countries to say ‘thank you…but no thank you..’ and move to a more equitable system.
I never met the Queen. Obviously our circles would hardly collide. She seemed like a stoic sort, who loved her horses, dogs and children, probably in that order. She failed to properly distance from her disgusting son, Andrew and his dastardly business with Epstein, and for that I lost what little regard I had for her. I respected her dedication to the job, even if I disagree intensely that the position she held should exist. Personally, I have no idea of the woman she was. She behaved pretty coldly after Diana’s death, but that was probably in the job description too. In short, I have no reason to mourn her, and in the final reckoning, she presided over and took great advantage of an unfair, unequal, racist, colonialist and oppressive system, which she did nothing to modernize.
Of course, it feel somewhat churlish to point this out before she is even put underground and the new world order installed. I don’t hold out much hope for Charlie. To be frank I think he comes across as a perfect fool of the most self indulgent and privileged kind, and his horse faced mistress is not much better. I can only hope that the Queen’s death is going to lead to an international reckoning of the horrors of colonialism. Her husband was well known for racist comments, and still she remained silent. It is all well and good to love one’s country, but to put a woman on a pedestal when she presided over suffering, when she did so little to confront or heal it, and to refuse to hear the voices of those that her reign and that of her father and those that came before him, impacted so horrifically, is unacceptable. The Windrush generation in the UK, have had terrible trouble in recent years being removed from the UK and sent to a Jamaica that they do not remember, have family in, or have means to survive in. Where was the Queen’s voice then? Apolitical only when it suits the toffs to be so.
So, forgive me if I am looking out in bemused horror at the little people shedding tears for a Queen that never gave a fuck about them, their suffering, about right and wrong, race and the evils of colonialism. She certainly would not have shed a tear for them. Perhaps what they are crying for is all those family Christmases broken up by the Queen’s speech. Perhaps they are crying for all those that they lost and the constant that was the Queen throughout it all. Perhaps the tears are for the passed years and the happiness and memories that lay in them, years that now have to be calculated and reckoned, added up and the final toll be settled. Perhaps they are crying for the post war dream, that lays shattered around the globe. Perhaps, in the end, the tears are for that which has gone, and that which is to come, because it doesn’t take a genius to see the writing on the wall: when it is all added up, the Royal family doesn’t make sense at all.
This new age does not look too hopeful. There is not the pep, nor the resilience, there is not the hope or any kind of buzz. These are days of tolerating and withstanding, of surviving and no thriving. There is no middle ground left to occupy, and as much as I want to be polite, to be classy, to be respectful at the passing of an important historical figure, I can’t do it and sleep well at night. The Queen as a position, as a historical fact, as the figurehead of a racist and colonial institution needs to be treated not with kid gloves, but with a laser sight, and an unwaveringly honest hand. There is something rotten in the state of the UK. There is something rotten within the elites that fail us little people time and time again. There is something that stinks about all these attempts to manipulate emotion and to use the outpouring of patriotism that is inevitable after her death, to secure the status quo and continue a regime of unfairness and suffering, and great inequality, and we need those academics willing to ‘do the electric slide’ on her grave in order to bring all that rotten stench of hypocrisy and failure, racism and oppression up to the surface, like a boil to be lanced. The absolute monarch, the figurehead of oppression is dead. A new one is waiting in the wings, but I will not apologize for not shedding a tear for Queenie and the end of her long and privileged life. Nor will I apologize for saying wholeheartedly that the mechanics of oppression need to be dismantled.
Long live freedom from the Oppressors! The Queen is dead. Beware…a King is waiting in the wings….