Posts Tagged ‘Prince Charles’

Queen Elizabeth IILike most other Brits (originally, at least). and much of the rest of the world, we are full of admiration for Queen Elizabeth II as she approaches her 90th birthday, having recently become the longest-serving monarch in the country’s history.

We are not, in truth, overly in favour of the monarchy, as we are highly sceptical as to whether it really offers the economic boon that is always quoted whenever anyone questions its existence.

And though it is supposed to be non-political, it undoubtedly wields behind the scenes influence, and whether that influence is for good or ill it really should play no role in a truly democratic society.

One cannot help, by way of example, to wonder what might have occurred had avowed Nazi sympathiser Edward VIII remained on the throne to apply his influence in support of Halifax and the appeaser faction in the Conservative Party in 1939. No ascent of Churchill and an ignominious accommodation with the Nazis would have been much more likely than the stout defence of country and Empire – and subsequent defeat of fascism – that actually occurred. For a fuller discussion of the fight between Halifax and Churchill on the conduct of the war, one of the most seminal events in the whole of human history as it turned out, we recommend this Wikipedia article, which is fascinating.

And non-Brits sometimes forget we have chopped the head off a king on our way to a participatory democracy. We are by no means mindlessly adulatory to our monarchs. The approbrium heaped on future King Charles III’s head over the breakdown of his marriage with the adored Princess Diana shows how shallow the British public’s acquiescence really can be. Our monarchs really do rule at the public’s favour.

Nevertheless, one would be hard pushed to find anyone with a word of criticism of the Queen. Despite her advanced years, she maintains a punishing schedule of public engagements, (the equivalent of almost one a day), and despite having, by all accounts, something of a temper (an attribute she shares with most of her ancestors), she manages to seem to deal with almost everyone with impeccable courtesy and good humour.

She has never had a whiff of scandal anywhere in her personal life, and unquestionably is held in great affection by the vast majority of her own people, by people throughout the British Commonwealth (a push for a Republic in Australia, for example, is widely believed to be on hold while she still lives, out of respect for her personally), and ordinary folk in the world in general. He continued occupation of her throne (well, a total of eight thrones, actually) is undoubtedly the democratic will of her subjects, and that should be respected.

Which leaves us with one burning question.

If she is still on the throne ten years from now, as might well be the case, who will send her the official telegram that always goes from her to a centenarian subject on their birthday? After all, such an outcome is by no means unlikely. Her mother, it should be remembered, was mostly hale and hearty until her 102nd year.

She can hardly send one to herself, now can she?

We think the people should be told.

Looking forward to a little "Me" time, no doubt. Queen Beatrix steps down.

Looking forward to a little “Me” time, no doubt. Queen Beatrix steps down.

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands stepping down in April at age 75 so her 45-year-old son can become king is sparking some speculation in Britain about whether Elizabeth might follow suit so her eldest son, Prince Charles, can start his reign.

One European queen has announced her retirement. So any chance Europe’s most famous queen – Elizabeth II of Britain – might join her?

No, it’s not likely, experts say.

Elizabeth is 86. Charles, 64, has been heir to the throne since he was three.

The British press tweaked these concerns Tuesday, with the Daily Mirror featuring a photo of Beatrix with the headline: “Queen Gives Up Her Throne to Son.” Then, in smaller type, “Easy, Charles…It’s Queen Beatrix of Netherlands.”

Others said, “Sorry Charles…it’s in Holland, not here!”

But commentators quickly noted that Elizabeth – who seems to be in excellent health – has said in the past that she regards being queen as a “job for life.”

At her Diamond Jubilee last summer marking 60 years on the throne, former Prime Minister John Major said the idea that the queen would abdicate was “absolutely absurd.” He said she would serve her entire life unless a health crisis made it impossible.

And watching the Diamond Jubilee celebrations from over here in Australia, she certainly looked hale and hearty, not to say fearsomely determined.

Author Robert Lacey, who has written several books about the British monarchy, said Beatrix’s decision would likely firm up Elizabeth’s resolve not to abdicate.

“It would reinforce her feeling that the Dutch don’t know what monarchy is about, and that she should go on forever,” he said. “The crown is a job for life in the British system.”

He said the present queen’s mother, who of course lived to be 101, had made a “snarky” comment when Beatrix’s own mother stepped down as monarch decades ago.

Lacey said the idea of abdicating is particularly unpleasant for Elizabeth because her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936 so he could marry Wallis Simpson, a divorced American woman.

The resulting scandal, remembered as a low point for the monarchy, brought her father, King George VI, to the throne, and it is widely believed that the strain of his holding that position – having to conquer a dreadful stammer, and lead his country through World War II – led to his early demise.

No one in British history has been heir apparent as long as the now greying Charles, who is set to become a grandfather when his daughter-in-law, the former Kate Middleton, gives birth this (northern) summer.

Wellthisiswhatithink considers that there is one factor in the coverage of this oft-ventilated matter that may have been ignored.

Prince Philip: could his health hold the key to the Queen's ultimate decision?

Prince Philip: could his health hold the key to the Queen’s ultimate decision?

The Queen’s husband, Prince Philip, is clearly suffering from the natural ailments of being in his 90s, including being hospitalised twice in the last year. Whether the Queen would wish to continue on the throne if he died is problematical.

The relationship between the two is shrouded in royal mystery, but those who know say that she relies very much on his unstinting support for her, and his instinctive defensiveness of her position and rank.

Queen Victoria, of course, whose record on the throne the Queen is well aware of as she closes in on it, famously went on after the death of her beloved Albert.

But that was when she was still a relatively young woman.

Whether or not Elizabeth would want to continue on the throne if something happened to Philip is another matter.

Still, she is steely and has a strong sense of duty, bequeathed from her parents. Anything is possible.

At least, in the meantime, Charles appears to be shedding some of the stigma of the Diana years, and recovering some measure of the popularity of his youth.

Even Camilla seems to have become grudgingly popular. And by the way, how similar she looks to Princess Beatrix? Curious, huh?

(Yahoo, Daily Mail and others)