1:30AM Saturday 26 May 2012 Nunhead Heights
The English Royal Family is like your wife’s best friends. You’d better be nice to them or they’ll lobby your wife to throw you out of the house. Next thing you know you’ll have trouble seeing your children.
I have to remember that I am a guest here in England. Okay, a hostage. My youngest son is only nine so I am not planning on going anywhere anytime soon.
June 3rd is the 60th anniversary of the Queen being Queen. There will be street parties and celebrations on the Heights. As an American, the whole business of inherited anything – except beauty and athleticism – is an anathema to me. And I’m not so sure about the inheritability of those qualities.
See Lewis Schaffer: American in London at the Leicester Square Theatre – Sundays. Click here.
Most English people actually feel England would be worse off without the Monarchy. I read this in yesterday’s Guardian.
The supposed reasons are: One, having a working monarchy in working palaces and working castles is good for tourism. For my money, this is analogous to keeping the gas chambers running to increase visitor numbers at Auschwitz. The second is that a new Head of State would be even more expensive than a King or Queen – elections being very expensive. The third is that the Monarchy is better because the Americans don’t have it – like the letter “u” in humour or the extra “i” in aluminium. Very Spinal Tap, innit?
The Royals are embedded in this country. Commoners killed King Charles the First in 1649 and eliminated the Monarchy – temporarily. 12-years later they brought his son back and restored the throne. That was 350 years ago.
Since then, the English have had 350 more years to grow attached to the Monarchy. Imagine if Gaddafi’s son’s had survived and the Gaddafi family had then ruled a thousand years. Or it’s like when Woolworth’s closed in the UK after 100 years in business. The English mourned as if they still shopped there.
The existence of the Royals stops even posher twats from acting too superior over the common schlubs. When someone acts a bit snotty in England the Average Middle English Joe sneers: “Why are you acting all lordy? You aint the Queen.”
That is the main, real, reason, as I can see, for the English for keeping a class of unelected rulers.
President Obama has to defer to Congress, the Supreme Court and to Michelle. He’s got to get re-elected so he has to be nice to the little people. And if he can’t run for office again he’s got to raise money for his Presidential Library. That stuff will keep you humble.
The Monarchy keeps the David Camerons and Tony Blairs in line. The Prime Minister has to bow to the Queen. The Queen is the last line of defense against upper class snobbery. And that makes everyone happy except for the Prime Minister and Charles the III, the guy waiting to be King.
The Queen is bred to be the leader and she is anointed by God. I read that she believes this.
If you were called “Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith”…
And if you were given castles and estates, people were bowing to you right, left and center, and your husband walked three steps behind you, you’d believe you were anointed by God, too. Damn, Americans swear that God helped them catch a football in the Super Bowl.
[Did you know Queen Elizabeth didn’t expect to be Queen? Wallis Simpson got her uncle, King Edward the Something, away from his crown and Elizabeth's stuttering dad became king.
Wallis got what she wanted but I can't imagine she was happy. Not that any woman is happy. Any woman would prefer to be the mistress of a king than married to a duke living in exile. God punished Wallis for her greed. And punished her in death by having Madonna make a movie about her.]
The second main real reason is that the Royals are the Number One role model in England.
In America, making oodles of money is important and then giving it all away if you’ve got too much. You want your children to make it on their own or at least have the appearance of making it on their own. No Tamara Ecclestones in America – the flush daughter of Formula One Bernie. Paris Hilton made it herself. I know: I saw the DVD
[Sure, that’s a lot of rubbish about America but we believe it. Or we used to believe it. Or we used to think we believed it.]
In England, the game is to hold on to the money you were left by ancestors. If you lose the country “pile” to the tax man, your life is considered a waste. No one has held on to as much stuff for as long as Queen of England and her family.
By that measure, I’m a success. My father died broke and so will I. Americans respect economic, social and emotional growth.
Okay, that is my post about the Queen’s Jubilee.
I don’t like the Monarchy but I am going to make nice with them and the people who love them – not that many English people would give a rat’s tail whether I liked their Royals or not. The English have no fear that the Royals are going to be removed anytime soon.
NB: Britain is to the old Soviet Union what England is to Russia and Scotland is to the Ukraine. Great Britain is the island and includes England, Scotland, and Wales. The United Kingdom is England, Scotland, Wales and part of Ireland.
I use the term “England” because I am not quite sure what is going on north of the border in Scotland or west in Wales. And the way things are going this country will be like the Soviet Union and disintegrate and the United Kingdom will be no more. That would be sad.
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