First published in September 2022.
‘Hushed crowds line route’, ‘WATCH: Kate Middleton holds Charlotte’s hand at the Queen’s funeral’, ‘Prince George heads to granny’s funeral in ‘boot’ of Range Rover’. These are just some of the headlines from the funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth II. It is one of the most appalling things I have ever witnessed. Queen Elizabeth II, a global monarch with a global reach, is condemned to an afterlife of nationalistic pageantry, with no expense being left and no flag being left unveiled. We like to think we are honouring Her Majesty’s memory, but we are not. We are making a hubristic display of sadness which amounts to nothing. Grieving is not something that is done by publicly waiving a flag about or taking a bank holiday from the essential work needed to continue the legacy of Elizabeth II. Grieving is done in quiet solitude, in work, and in commitment to the cause at hand. It is not done in hypocritical displays of sadness, but in honest commitment to sober work. If we do talk of the Queen’s memory, have we nothing more positive to say than this? Is all we can do hold hands and watch as the Elizabethan age dies out — not with a bang, but with a whimper?
These funeral celebrations are an insult to the Queen’s memory. The only way this could have been avoided is if we didn’t celebrate the death of the monarch, but actually continued living, working, and planning for a millennium which looks set to be the darkest of all. Alternatively we could have thought of a more interesting way of showing our remembrance than juxtaposing Puritan procession with Catholic extravagance. The world is both wider and richer than this impoverished and over-the-top funeral. The Elizabethan age was one of relative stability, but the coming Carolingian and Wilhelmine ages of the world are set to be plagued by increasing chaos. And none of this is discussed. We are not honouring the Queen’s memory or planning for the future. We are looking at this tragic event and making an at once boring and appalling display of pageantry in the face of tragedy. Our descendants will not forgive us for this vulgarity. I hope some day we will. Perhaps the Queen is looking down, praying, as Jesus of Nazareth once did: Father forgive them — for they know not what they do.
This is my country, and my queen. How the mighty have fallen. May God save us all.
Disclaimer: Any similarity between names mentioned and actual individuals is purely accidental and largely theoretical. These are fun ideas to entertain but, as always, I may be mistaken. After all, what do I know?