The death of Queen Elizabeth II is not a tragedy. Her life was long and noble, in every sense of the word. That Britain mourns her passing itself signals something special about the relationship between the Brits and their Royal Family. For it is in fact
I'm an American Socialist Democrat, but I greatly admired and even, in a way, loved, Queen Elizabeth II, who served her nation and the world with intelligence, sympathy, honor, dignity, and an unwavering, uncompromised sense of her responsibilities and duties.
In addition to the Kennedys, our other ‘royal family’ was the gracious Obamas and their two beautiful daughters.
I am a Brit, although a US citizen also, and I have admired HM The Queen all my life and my parents before me. I feel that she was the glue that held us together in hard times and how many other women ride a horse at the age of 96? I know people who knew her and not one of them has ever said she was boring, her dutiful facade hid a great wit and intelligence as well as a sense of humour (watch the video of her with Paddington Bear released during her Jubilee). She will be sorely missed...
Why Americans Loved the Queen
America’s love and fascination with the British monarchy can be compared to the dynamic of a family. Britain is America’s mother. America, the child, grew up and moved out. There was an estrangement (that little dustup in 1776) and the child was disinherited, but eventually mother and child reconciled. That didn’t mean the child wanted to move back home with mom or that she wanted it back. The child was a bit unruly and belligerent, but they have had a good relationship for centuries. And the child still loves the mother and keeps tabs on everything she does.
King Charles III will be another good example to the world. For many years he has been a strong environmental advocate and more recently has been a participant in international climate change conferences.
As Head of State, The UK monarch has constitutional and representational duties. The monarch is head of the British armed forces. The queen or king can appoint and dismiss ministers, regulate the civil service, issue passports, declare war, make peace, direct the actions of the military, and negotiate and ratify treaties, alliances, and international agreements. (May Charles III dismiss that Tory piece of rag Liz Truss.)
Elizabeth was a focus for national identity, unity and pride. She gave everyone a sense of stability and continuity. She officially recognized success and excellence, even when the excellence was in dirty rock and roll. She made the Rolling Stones OBEs, for example. Throughout her life, she lived the ideal of voluntary service.
She lived through World War II, drove trucks, changed their tires, never said it was beneath her. She stayed at Windsor Castle throughout the war, her parents refusing to evacuate (while the US Ambassador to Great Britain, Joseph P. Kennedy, fled London.) She lived through every Prime Minister from Winston Churchill to the current mean-spirited wench. The day before she died, she accepted Truss as her prime minister.
She lived through decolonization, further diminution of the British Empire, an assassination attempt, economic, environmental, and political changes unimaginable to anyone. She went around the world, raised children, watched her children grow, marry, divorce, break traditions, become laughing stocks and public jackasses. She rode horses, loved dogs, and loved above all things meeting the common people, children, elders, workers, city people, rural people.
She was a class act. I salute her.
I agree and grew up in the British Commonwealth. It serves a useful purpose to keep the pomp and circumstance separate from the politics. Combining both in the presidency causes contradictions.
I was privileged to see King George VI and his wife Elizabeth as they waved from a balcony in Niagara Falls Canada. I think it was 1939. All I remember was Queen Elizabeth wore a pretty powder blue outfit and hat and the King wore a uniform. I was a Canadian then. My parents were very excited seeing the King and Queen. The Monarchy was good for England during WW2, it helped keep up their courage during the terrible bombings. Queen Elizabeth II is a symbol of the history of Britain. For we, Americans, we lack the symbolism of that type. What we do have, and should cherish above all else is a body of laws which until 2016 [240 years] governed us. Because, at the end of the 18th century, the British Monarchist semi-Democracy, treated us as though we were a penal colony (or a defeated group of slaves) our Founding Fathers did everything possible in written law, to prevent an autocracy, monarchy or any other form of authoritarianism from taking us into the abyss. We, as a people, need to read and understand the Constitution. Especially the checks and balances built in to prevent any branch of government or any person from taking control of the Nation. I don't know why the Constitution isn't taught in every school in the Nation, it should be. Ben Franklin's reply to what kind of government did you give us "A Republic, if we can keep it. It is our obligation to keep it." Authoritarianism is very appealing to the wealthy. It gives them all the power and right to sit at the top, enjoying their goods and privileges. The "little people" have only one function - to serve their needs, whatever they may be. If they keep us, "the little people" insufficiently fed, clothed, housed, and cared for, we will be too busy trying to find sustenance to revolt. Authoritarianism in one form or another has lasted longer than any other form of government on Earth. BECAUSE WE LET IT. A representative democracy is better for most of us, but we have to work to keep it. We have to take time to find out what a particular candidate will provide for the good of the nation, not just what he/she says they will do in ads. We also need to recognize that we are part of a Nation, not the center of it. If we prosper, all should prosper. There is no reason or rationale why the wealthiest 3/100,000% of the Nation should control most of the wealth. What great good have they done to deserve it? Even the British Monarchy doesn't have that much wealth and they at least make an attempt to do some good.
As a Brit, I can tell you I feel a resounding "meh".
The Queen made sure to see off Boris Johnson, then said "My work here is done."
We will not see the likes of her again. Well done good and faithful servant.
I might agree it was a "harmless fiction" if the British government didn't spend millions in public money on sustaining the royal family, or if these figureheads didn't serve as a reminder of the colonial era - the spoils of which they still hold onto: stolen items from the nations they plundered.
The royal family are parasites. The money spent on them would better be spent on the people of the United Kingdom. The royal family should be self supporting.
Believe me, I come from Australia. You do not need kings.
Also, I personally would not mourn someone like QEII who repeatedly shielded Prince Andrew, certified creep and very likely pedophile, from any consequences of his actions. I know it must have been a difficult situation for her as a mother, but she did real harm to his victims in protecting him.
In 1993 QE2 assented to paying personal income tax at the top bracket, which certainly must have added social utility to her reign. And regardless what one thinks of the idea of the monarchy in these times, we've had plenty of examples here in the US of the power of symbols, good and bad.
You know the history, George the VI was not supposed to ascend the throne. He did, oh, so reluctantly and made it his own. At his death, Elizabeth, herself, had no choice. Admire them both for doing their very best. Admire her more for carrying the weight of that office for seventy years without a whimper. She made the archaic relevant. That's some stones baby!