Queen Elizabeth II has died
September 8, 2022 7:08 AM   Subscribe

Doctors have expressed concern for the health of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and recommended she remain under medical supervision, Buckingham Palace has said. The queen is comfortable at Balmoral and family members are travelling to be with her. BBC1 has suspended normal programming to focus on coverage of the Queen's health.

***MOD UPDATE***
The longest reigning monarch of the UK has died, aged 96.

Operation Unicorn is in effect: as of a couple of hours ago the UK has a new Monarch, a King of questionable popularity, formerly Prince Charles, aged 73.
posted by roolya_boolya (809 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
This day was coming but somehow it's still a shock and very sad.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:12 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Do you think she hung on long enough to see the back of Boris?

Jokes aside, I feel strangely sad about this, even considering ... everything. I suppose it must be pretty dire if they aren't downplaying it the way they have in the past year.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:13 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


I am by no means a royalist but this is sad and worrying. Queen Liz is kind of a symbolic granny for me.

The presence of Truss as PM during this time is even more concerning.
posted by pipstar at 7:13 AM on September 8 [10 favorites]


I’m no great fan of royalty, but it feels like the end of an era.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:20 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Is there any chance the current and previous PMs will be buried with her, to serve their monarch in the afterlife?
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:21 AM on September 8 [121 favorites]


BRING ON THE CRABS!

She has an excellent public image, but she is a power-hoarding billionaire who has pursued a life of luxury and entitlement for her family over the rights and dignity of a third of the world.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:22 AM on September 8 [122 favorites]


I'm very keen to find out how the Commonwealth responds to King Chuck.
posted by Evstar at 7:23 AM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Wishing Liz all the best*, but if you haven't read about Operation LONDON BRIDGE, it's pretty amazing.

* we mean it MAAAANNN
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:23 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Good time to (re)read this amazing article about the logistics of her death.
posted by Mavri at 7:23 AM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Queen Liz is kind of a symbolic granny for me.

Or, as someone else put it, “our Queen and pleasant nan”.

Having been on the throne for longer than most people have been alive and seen numerous changes come and go, it's hard to overstate how much of a symbol of stability her presence would have been, even to people who didn't think much about the monarchy one way or another. Once her death has been announced, it will be a profound shock for a lot of people.

On paper, her large adult son seems spectacularly unsuited to taking her place. Where she was mostly politically neutral (or at least worked to give that appearance), Charles appears to be a textbook case of the Dunning-Kruger effect, convinced of his own superior wisdom and determined to give his subjects its benefit by intervening copiously. Some have been speculating that momentum for the abolition (or at least drastic downsizing) of the monarchy will accelerate upon his coronation. Though I'm now wondering whether the torrent of uncertainty (Brexit, Covid, soaring energy prices, geopolitical conflict, collapsing living standards, disaster-capitalist looting, and so on) won't have the effect of shoring up the monarchy, as a frightened population desperately cling to any symbols of stability, and collectively imagine Charles III (or whatever name he chooses) to be what they need, because the alternative is unthinkable,
posted by acb at 7:23 AM on September 8 [22 favorites]


It would be cheering all round to see Nicholas Witchell throw himself on the funeral pyre. One of the few people who can unite twitter opinion. Today's opinions from Witchell apparently raise the following as possible contributors to her possible demise: gout, cancer, a fall, Meghan Markle.
posted by biffa at 7:28 AM on September 8 [13 favorites]


I think losing her husband and possibly COVID. Isn't it common for spouses who have been married decades to go shortly after one passes?
posted by VyanSelei at 7:31 AM on September 8 [12 favorites]


It would be cheering all round to see Nicholas Witchell throw himself on the funeral pyre.

Sarah Dempster (@Dempster2000), Twitter:

“A solemn reminder that when the Queen finally dies Nicholas Witchell will curl up by her slippers and allow the falling leaves to cover his tiny, purposeless body, like a grieving Dickensian lapdog.”
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 7:31 AM on September 8 [41 favorites]


Seeing some fuss being made on Twitter that all the BBC male anchors are in black ties, so I’m guessing the announcement is likely to be soon?
posted by nubs at 7:37 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Sorry for the person & her family, not sorry AT ALL for the office of "queen", monarchy in general, or the flag-shaggers.

Mark my words.

When she croaks, truss and cons will pass fash shit in parliament because no criticism of BRITUN and media distracted.
posted by lalochezia at 7:37 AM on September 8 [28 favorites]


From the Grauniad article linked above, a bit of poetry: For a time, she will be gone without our knowing it.
posted by chavenet at 7:41 AM on September 8 [13 favorites]


I was at a concert last night and the band (Idles, amazing live band) more than a few times had us all shouting "Fuck the Queen". So I felt a bit bad reading about her health this morning.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:43 AM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Seeing some fuss being made on Twitter that all the BBC male anchors are in black ties, so I’m guessing the announcement is likely to be soon?

You've got all 4 of her children and several of the grandchildren (and spouses) all now at Balmoral or heading there - including the black sheep. It's only been said that doctors are 'concerned', but it definitely feels like she's not got long left.

Maybe she just hung on to see the back of Boris...
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 7:44 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I am not British and no fan of monarchy, but it seems that if you're going to have a monarch at all, you could do a lot worse than her. I will admit I have, from time to time, wished that she would bend on her apolitical stance a bit to give the government the benefit of her many years of experience.
posted by adamrice at 7:44 AM on September 8 [17 favorites]


Perhaps cynically, I assume the Queen is dead already and they are just delaying the official announcement while they get the country prepared for the news.

Bless the old lady, she waited till Boris Johnson was gone and then promptly expired from relief. A life of service to the last. You just know that if this had happened a week ago, Boris would be pontificating 'this is not the time for a change of PM' and using it as an excuse to stay in No 10 forever. Thank god we've been spared that.
posted by verstegan at 7:48 AM on September 8 [47 favorites]


On paper, her large adult son seems spectacularly unsuited to taking her place. Where she was mostly politically neutral (or at least worked to give that appearance), Charles appears to be a textbook case of the Dunning-Kruger effect, convinced of his own superior wisdom and determined to give his subjects its benefit by intervening copiously.

Well, given that he has had to devote almost his entire life to doing something other than being king, it's understandable. That said, he does seem to have developed a certain sense that, while he's definitely very comfortable with his status, the royals have a duty of sorts to give something back to the nation. Or, at the very least, to serve in some capacity, rather than to sit on their well-attended-to bottoms and play their assigned roles.

I can easily see Charles as being an occasional minor burr in the butt of a far-right government ala Truss. Not that Charles is anything close to a liberal in any sense, mind you.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:48 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


My boss is on a sort of European-tour vacation, and is currently in the UK (yesterday he was in London, today he's somewhere in Scotland). We were just emailing about something business-related - but I thought to ask him what the word is there at the moment.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 AM on September 8


Well shit, maybe Andrew will finally catch some of the legal hell/retribution he's earned repeatedly throughout his (unjustly) sheltered life once she's gone.

Sad about UK's nan dying because well, she is and was and always will be a remarkable woman. Regardless of what I or anyone else thinks of her, she's lived longer than most people in public service, for sure. I'm not British, but she still seems like an incredible person from my limited perspective.

Ick at the idea of King Charles. Also, ick at the idea of King Wills. Just, generally ick at the idea of King ____ anywhere in the world, to be honest.

May her passing be easy and her memory be a comfort to those who loved her when the hour finally arrives.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 7:50 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


The BBC interrupted the lunchtime broadcast of Bargain Hunt to bring an update, which it wouldn't do unless there was something significant, or the population are being softened up for bad news.

Meanwhile, one former anti-royalist met the Queen and shook hands only two days ago, which is a bit of a coincidence...
posted by Wordshore at 7:52 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


Right after she kissed Liz Truss.

Now that’s an ominous start for a new PM.
posted by jamjam at 7:53 AM on September 8 [17 favorites]


I assume the Queen is dead already and they are just delaying the official announcement while they get the country prepared for the news.

I agree. Imagine if she's not dead and hung on for a few more days. Pulling the trigger on this deathwatch too early would be so awkward.
posted by Mavri at 7:53 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


BBC1 has switched to rolling news, and yes, they're wearing black ties. I believe that means she's now dead per London Bridge, but it's going out to all the commonwealth heads etc before the announcement.
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 7:54 AM on September 8 [7 favorites]


What adamrice said. Inherited leadership and wealth is toxic; the monarchy should be, at most decorative. But of course I feel enormous respect for a woman who became queen with little preparation and has generally done an exceptional job. Like most, I have little regard for Charles; he always seems gobsmacked that the monarchy is no longer thought of as divine.

I am crass enough to note that the pageantry following the death of an English queen and a subsequent coronation will be exactly what the English royals do best.
posted by theora55 at 7:54 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Not even dead yet and people are already lining up to piss on the grave...
posted by CyberSlug Labs at 7:56 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


I assume the Queen is dead already and they are just delaying the official announcement while they get the country prepared for the news.

That's the most likely scenario; the articles linked upthread about the whole "London Bridge has fallen" process certainly indicate that there are a flurry of things that happen after her death but before the public know; but, of course, the preparations that start happening ahead of the public announcement are their own kind of announcement.

Anyways, no fan of the monarchy, but this moment - if it is indeed the moment - feels weird; shes been the Queen my whole life, and it just is going to feel off I think, afterwards. The craziness that goes on after the announcement is going to be wild, I suspect - the official ceremonial stuff that is centuries old; the level of craziness in the press/social media; King Chuck starting to show up on money, and so forth.
posted by nubs at 7:57 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


On the up-side, we won't have to send Trump to her funeral.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:59 AM on September 8 [99 favorites]


FYI a hoax account announced her death, in case you see that around. It's free and easy on Twitter to make a fake BBC account, so.

I do remember the last time I was at a deathbed; it took a couple of days longer than expected, and we were all in the position of not wanting them to go, but ... in any case, it could be awkward in the media if that happens. I do expect she was alive as of the announcement. I feel like it's too hard for even the Firm to keep a secret like her death in 2022. Too many moving parts.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:02 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


The bestie in DC texting me: omg do we think the queen is gonna die

My return text: one can only hope
posted by Kitteh at 8:03 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Owen Jones: "If there's one thing that unites a deeply fractured nation in uncertain times, it's surely that Nicholas Witchell is a massive idiot."
posted by paduasoy at 8:03 AM on September 8 [12 favorites]


If they are just waiting for more family members to arrive before announcing, a jet has just landed in Aberdeen with William, Andrew, Edward and Sophie aboard.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 8:03 AM on September 8


Where she was mostly politically neutral

We're talking about a woman who literally sat on a gilded throne with a crown full of jewels on her head and instructed the representatives of the government she supposedly is not controlling that the country needs to "live within its means". To claim she has been politically neutral is laughable.
posted by a faithful sock at 8:05 AM on September 8 [62 favorites]


She also repeatedly used her position to lobby for amendments to laws or for them to outright not affect her or her estates. Guardian investigation into the monarch's secret influence over legislation
posted by aihal at 8:09 AM on September 8 [33 favorites]


Pulling the trigger on this deathwatch too early would be so awkward.

This just in: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
posted by TedW at 8:10 AM on September 8 [34 favorites]


Many people feel a strong affection for Queen Elizabeth, but she is also a monarch, head of state, and I think that makes criticism extremely fair game. Sniping at critical, even mean, posts is kind of derail-y and pointless.
posted by theora55 at 8:10 AM on September 8 [23 favorites]


Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaang.

Okay - when I emailed my boss to say "what are you hearing over there," it was mainly just tongue-in-cheek. But he just called and opened with, "So, you said you wanted to know about the Queen...."

He and his family were actually touring a royal residence and suddenly got kicked out because that's when Prince Charles got whisked away to the Queen's bedside. And he's also going to have to change his return flight because his original flight home just got cancelled because of the tumult. So....sounds like some shit's going down.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:11 AM on September 8 [28 favorites]


I know all the reasons why I ought to not care (or even think it's a good thing in terms of ending the monarchy for political reasons) but I lived in England as a teen and I'm sad. It really is the end of an era. I love my medieval pageantry but UK royal-watching since the 80s has really been a lesson in the human and political costs of keeping the UK monarchy around.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 8:14 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


So here's a technical question - could the Accession council, like..../not/ choose Charles?
posted by corb at 8:15 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


You guys know that you don't have to pick Prince Charles right? Franz, Duke of Bavaria is ready to step back in and drive out the Hanoverian usurpers.

Also: obit threads are the worst of Metafilter, the ghouls always come out to explain why we should be gleeful over someone dying.
posted by fortitude25 at 8:15 AM on September 8 [51 favorites]


We're talking about a woman who literally sat on a gilded throne with a crown full of jewels on her head and instructed the representatives of the government she supposedly is not controlling that the country needs to "live within its means". To claim she has been politically neutral is laughable.

She has in fact been politically neutral. Her personal views are almost entirely unknown, except that she is in favour of the monarchy and almost certainly the Union and Commonwealth. It's just that being studiously neutral is still a political position because you do not condemn things that should be condemned, nor condone things that should be condoned.
posted by plonkee at 8:15 AM on September 8 [12 favorites]


> He and his family were actually touring a royal residence

Hope he got his money back. It's £30 for Buckingham Palace which is a bit steep.
posted by paduasoy at 8:19 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


So here's a technical question - could the Accession council, like..../not/ choose Charles?

Probably. Nearly anything can be amended by an Act of Parliament. Timing might be tricky.
posted by plonkee at 8:19 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


I enjoy watching the Royal Family as a reality TV show, even if at this point we don't have too many "good" characters remaining on "The Dull and the Dazzling." But I can't say I'm looking forward to this episode.

Regardless of how I feel about the Queen (conflicted--sometimes she's had good moments, sometimes shitty), this is the end of an era. We'll never see a female queen in the line again in our lifetimes, which bums me out (so mad Prince George was a boy when finally we could have had a girl inherit, dammit). And Prince Charles is such a damn unpleasant turd and unfortunately WIlliam has also come out turd-y in recent years, it makes me think George isn't going to inherit anyway. Seriously, even though I don't know if the royal family does much beyond charity and publicity when it comes to government, things are going to suuuuuuuuuuck when Charles finally gets to rule. Blech. Not looking forward to this.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:23 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Also: obit threads are the worst of Metafilter, the ghouls always come out to explain why we should be gleeful over someone dying.

Declining to participate in someone's hagiography is not the same thing as being gleeful at the prospect of their death.
posted by aihal at 8:24 AM on September 8 [95 favorites]


Apparently even the careful planning of the media world can go awry if some reporter gets a little overzealous:
But even the best-laid plans sometimes encounter hiccups. A tweet from BBC journalist Yalda Hakim on Thursday afternoon saying that the queen had died, attributing the news to a Buckingham Palace announcement, sparked panic in newsrooms across the world. She quickly deleted the tweet.

“I tweeted that there had been an announcement about the death of the Queen,” Hakim wrote in a subsequent tweet. “This was incorrect, there has been no announcement, and so I have deleted the tweet. I apologise.”
An image of the deleted tweet here.
posted by martin q blank at 8:25 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Declining to participate in someone's hagiography is not the same thing as being gleeful at the prospect of their death.

fortunately we have examples of both in the thread to help us tell the difference!
posted by inire at 8:27 AM on September 8 [18 favorites]


And we also have a lot of people who'll excuse anything because they're dead now so you can't call a spade a spade. Makes you think!
posted by Carillon at 8:31 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Although I am no royalist and support moving away from monarchy across the Commonwealth, I have an elderly parent and aging relatives who are royalists back in NZ. My father in law played the bagpipes at her coronation in 1953. Just spoke with my mum who is in tears about this and is up watching the TV coverage at 3am NZ time.

Think of the Monarchy what you will, it is a monumental moment in world history and her passing will be a great sadness for many, coming so shortly after such hard years and the impact of Covid, especially to the elderly, and ongoing difficult times for many.

TL;DR Go call your mum, and be kind if they are a royalist.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 8:32 AM on September 8 [39 favorites]


A friend on FB described the oncoming succession as "a time of great downheaval" which seems to sum it up no matter how you feel about the Queen.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 8:35 AM on September 8 [24 favorites]


Does Camilla want to be queen? For Charles could surely abdicate in favor of William. He's 73!
posted by praemunire at 8:36 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I just feel bad for those Corgis -- the ones she said she didn't want to outlive her.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:38 AM on September 8 [14 favorites]


I'm kind of emotional as an anti-monarchist, and this is why: my FIL died a month ago. He was born three days before the Queen, in the same year. He was a 96 yo salt-of-the-earth Norwegian American who fought in the last days of WWII, and worked on the railroad and in the steel mills all his working life. Became a gardener and wise old man, but in his final years, he was very debilitated by pain and unable to get around. Couldn't hear, and hated that he lost his ability to concentrate on reading. Just generally, he hated the indignities of dying. This past May, his wife and caretaker dropped dead by stroke quite suddenly, and he truly lost his will to live.

He often talked about the fact that he and the Queen were almost the exact same age. It feels so strange that they've experienced this parallel decline (though of course, being in your nineties kind of means death is around the corner all the time).

I don't believe in heaven, but if there were one, I think he'd be getting ready to give her one of those northern Minnesota half waves and a nod.
posted by RedEmma at 8:40 AM on September 8 [34 favorites]


“I tweeted that there had been an announcement about the death of the Queen,” Hakim wrote in a subsequent tweet. “This was incorrect, there has been no announcement, and so I have deleted the tweet. I apologise.”

Yes, there has been no announcement. That doesn’t mean she wasn’t told by someone (whom she couldn’t identify for fear of repercussion) on the inside that the queen was, in fact, dead. Then, she was told to take down the post by higher-ups.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:42 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


deep fake the Queen
posted by joeyh at 8:42 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


I just feel bad for those Corgis -- the ones she said she didn't want to outlive her.

No need. All that meant was that she wasn't going to have any more of them bred for the family and was just letting them die and not replacing them. The more recently acquired dogs are corgi mixes (dachshund/corgi crosses I believe) and she had/has a cocker spaniel.

According to my friend who used to work at Sandringham they're all terrors and horribly trained as well, basically had the run of the place as a pack.

Apparently someone asked a BBC reporter earlier today if the dogs had been informed and he had to answer with a totally straight face that he believed they "weren't aware of her status". We live in surreal times.
posted by fight or flight at 8:44 AM on September 8 [21 favorites]


If you're in the UK and don't remember the faff and wailing over Princess Di 25 years ago, get some emergency supplies in now. Everything will be fucked up for 3-7 days, and by that I mean closed.
posted by scruss at 8:45 AM on September 8 [56 favorites]


good point, Thorzdad. and also a glitch in the London Bridge machine.
posted by martin q blank at 8:45 AM on September 8


“our Queen and pleasant nan”

That's just brilliant!
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:48 AM on September 8 [10 favorites]


And we also have a lot of people who'll excuse anything because they're dead now so you can't call a spade a spade. Makes you think!

you can’t say anything nowadays, it’s pc gone mad

after suffering through truss’s speech the other day, it’s hard to imagine anyone less suited to the moment (although she has a good line in platitudes and, unlike johnson, will probably be able to resist the urge to crack a joke at the funeral, so maybe it could be worse)
posted by inire at 8:48 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


> > He and his family were actually touring a royal residence

Hope he got his money back. It's £30 for Buckingham Palace which is a bit steep.


No, he was somewhere in Scotland. It was hard to hear him (we didn't have the best connection) but it sounded like he was somewhere where Prince Charles was going to speak, but then that whatever that was very suddenly got cancelled and Prince Charles got whisked away.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:49 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Wasn't Truss vocally anti-monarchy at some point? Maybe she was playing the long game to get into the same room as Her Maj and finally do her off.
posted by fight or flight at 8:49 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


According to my friend who used to work at Sandringham they're all terrors and horribly trained as well, basically had the run of the place as a pack.

I read the book "Not In Front Of The Corgis" and yup, somehow the royals can't be arsed to train dogs. Go figure.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:49 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


I'm sure everyone here can agree that the Queen has excellent taste in movies.

There is a small part of me hoping for word that she is still with us if only so we can react in the appropriate way.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 8:52 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Declining to participate in someone's hagiography is not the same thing as being gleeful at the prospect of their death.

I feel like this is happening on Twitter at the moment. A lot of Americans who truly do not care about the British monarchy are sort of rubbernecking in hopes of seeing drama, and there's just not much to be had yet. And the few critical tweets -- there's one about the horrific violence unleashed by the British empire on the Mau Mau rebellion -- are so plainly awful that the panting royalists don't want to engage with them. I think the last time Americans really paid attention to a royal it was Princess Diana, and of course her death was so shocking that people reacted in really strange ways. No one is surprised by the Queen's death at this point, and with the open knowledge of Operation London Bridge, it feels like we're waiting for a play to start.
posted by grandiloquiet at 9:03 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Some concern on a few cricket forums that this may further disrupt the deciding Test Match between England and South Africa. Day one has already been lost to rain, and with both sides batting deep it'll probably need all four remaining days to force a result. That'll be deeply annoying, if any more match time is lost but this time due to the passing of the Queen.

Other stuff e.g. tv programs cancelled, theatre and cinemas closing, will also probably happen. It'll be interesting to see if the BBC postpones or cancels Eastenders (which I loathe) as that'll be a red line of acceptable mourning for a lot of people.
posted by Wordshore at 9:05 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


At this point the best notification of someone notable dying/being near death is when "Kissinger" starts trending again.
posted by CrystalDave at 9:07 AM on September 8 [24 favorites]


If you're in the UK and don't remember the faff and wailing over Princess Di 25 years ago, get some emergency supplies in now. Everything will be fucked up for 3-7 days, and by that I mean closed.

Cheers for the heads up, scruff.
posted by Optamystic at 9:08 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


We're talking about a woman who literally sat on a gilded throne with a crown full of jewels on her head and instructed the representatives of the government she supposedly is not controlling that the country needs to "live within its means".

Is this a reference to her Queen's Speech from 2016?:

My ministers will continue to bring the public finances under control so that Britain lives within its means

If so, isn't this speech written by the (elected) government? She's not controlling the government in this case, the government is literally writing the words and telling her what to say.

I think (in whatever my opinion as a non-British, non-Commonwealth realm person merits) that there's plenty to criticize this institution about, but it seems odd to criticize this particular case in which she's basically a bejeweled speakerphone.
posted by andrewesque at 9:10 AM on September 8 [19 favorites]


Some concern on a few cricket forums that this may further disrupt the deciding Test Match between England and South Africa.

Thoughts and prayers for those who braved the rain at The Oval. I heard the ECB Board will meet to make a decision should the Queen pass. Given a number of OBE/CBE's etc on the board it would be very uncomfortable for them to continue I would think. But I am glad England are finding such test success with your NZ test captain and NZ test coach.....
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:18 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Declining to participate in someone's hagiography is not the same thing as being gleeful at the prospect of their death.

“I have never killed any one, but I have read some obituary notices with great satisfaction.” — Clarence Darrow
posted by kirkaracha at 9:19 AM on September 8 [18 favorites]


If so, isn't this speech written by the (elected) government? She's not controlling the government in this case, the government is literally writing the words and telling her what to say.

Yep. It works the same in Canada's constitutional monarchy where the Speech from the Throne is delivered not by a member of the sitting government but the Governor General (i.e., the Queen's representative), even though it's a statement of the elected government's priorities, policies, etc.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:19 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Is there an actual YouTube livestream of BBC? I can easily find SkyNews livestream, but everything BBC seems to have are just clips.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:21 AM on September 8


Not even dead yet and people are already lining up to piss on the grave...

She was head of a monarchy responsible for untold pain to millions around the world on her watch. It's hard to imagine, for example, any Canadian indigenous person being anything but neutral at best about her passing.
posted by Mitheral at 9:21 AM on September 8 [40 favorites]


This was incorrect, there has been no announcement, and so I have deleted the tweet.

Those responsible have been sacked.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:22 AM on September 8 [17 favorites]


BBC Livestream
posted by jquinby at 9:22 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


oh rats, it's not on YT though
posted by jquinby at 9:22 AM on September 8


Thanks, though, jquinby.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:26 AM on September 8


We're talking about a woman who literally sat on a gilded throne with a crown full of jewels on her head and instructed the representatives of the government she supposedly is not controlling that the country needs to "live within its means".

I actually don't have an opinion on the monarchy, but I think its interesting that its almost always the people who shout most loudly about how awful it is also seem to have the least knowledge about what the actual laws are about the UK monarchy can and cannot do, and are or are not responsible for.

If you want to oppose the monarchy, that's cool, but I feel like you should understand how something fits in the existing structure before you shout that it should be torn down. Maybe that's just me, though.
posted by anastasiav at 9:26 AM on September 8 [36 favorites]


Isn't this speech written by the (elected) government? She's not controlling the government in this case, the government is literally writing the words and telling her what to say.

Yes. From the official Parliament explanation: "Although the Queen reads the Speech, it is written by the government."

In that speech, she also said, "Legislation will be introduced to establish a soft drinks industry levy to help tackle childhood obesity." I doubt she has strong held views on the appropriate beverage tax.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 9:27 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


I'll admit my ignorance. What would it take to get rid of the UK's monarchy? Not only this one queen, but the institution as a whole.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:29 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


SkyNews just showed photos of QE meeting Truss. She definitely looked feeble. The pics are of the queen extending her hand to shake Truss’ hand, and her hand looked like a giant bruise, which is pretty typical of someone who has been getting multiple IVs inserted recently.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:30 AM on September 8


Not even dead yet and people are already lining up to piss on the grave...

The line is a shame, I agree, but I'm happy to wait my turn.
posted by codacorolla at 9:31 AM on September 8 [31 favorites]


What would it take to get rid of the UK's monarchy?

A revolution.
posted by mhoye at 9:32 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


What would it take to get rid of the UK’s monarchy?

An Act of Parliament. There has been one already although it only lasted 11 years.
posted by greycap at 9:38 AM on September 8 [7 favorites]


I'm watching this (Washington Post livestream) on YouTube. Though frankly it's all just a bunch of killing time and yakking while they wait. I feel sorry for the BBC if that's all they can do.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:38 AM on September 8


What would it take to get rid of the UK's monarchy? Not only this one queen, but the institution as a whole.

It's all right down in our unwritten constitution. The Crown-In-Parliament is sovereign. So the monarch is the absolute ruler, but the monarch's actual decisions are made by Parliament, not by the human being who happens to be monarch. So a simple vote in Parliament could abolish the monarchy. But their power to do that comes from the monarchy. So if they voted to do that it would be a violation of causality and the entire Universe would cease to exist and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:39 AM on September 8 [56 favorites]


What would it take to get rid of the UK's monarchy?

Part of the issue is the Monarch is the Head of State for 15 countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom.). It would be incredibly complex to adjust all of that in anything other than a gradual fashion (which may happen as individual countries peel off like Jamaica is trying to do), and there are many important constitutional issues with doing so in all these countries (for things like indigenous people's rights where they are based on agreements with "the Crown" like in NZ.)

But yeah I guess a revolution (by Act of UK Parliament or otherwise) if you want to do quickly, or at least some meeting of minds across all of these countries to adjust?
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:41 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


It would take a one-seat majority of the House of Commons to abolish the monarchy of the UK.

Would actually be much harder to abolish the (jointly held) monarchies of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc., which is established by written constitutional provisions intentionally designed to entrench the monarchy against anti-monarchical / anti-British sentiments.
posted by MattD at 9:41 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


The BSL chap on the BBC at the moment is both very easy on the eyes and apparently enjoying himself, though wearing the requisite black jacket and tie.
posted by chavenet at 9:45 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


The BBC coverage is a marvel of finding different ways of saying, "This is very sad, except maybe nothing has happened, and in fact we have had no news at all, and can say absolutely nothing."
posted by mittens at 9:46 AM on September 8 [13 favorites]


(Takes the Queen out of the cage and thumps its head on the counter. Throws it up in the air and watches it plummet to the floor.)

Mr. Praline: Now that's what I call a dead Queen.

Owner: No, no.....No, she's stunned!

Mr. Praline: STUNNED?!?

Owner: Yeah! You stunned her, just as she was wakin' up! Norwegian Blues stun easily, major.

Mr. Praline: Um...now look...now look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this. That Queen is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.

Owner: Well, she's...she's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.

Mr. Praline: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why did she fall flat on 'er back the moment I got 'er home?

Owner: The Norwegian Blue prefers keepin' on it's back! Remarkable bird, id'nit, squire? Lovely plumage!

Mr. Praline: Look, I took the liberty of examining that Queen when I got it home, and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in the first place was that it had been NAILED there.

(pause)

Owner: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that Queen down, she would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with 'er beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!

Mr. Praline: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this Queen wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts through 'er! She's bleedin' demised!

Owner: No no! she's pining!

Mr. Praline: She's not pinin'! She's passed on! This queen is no more! She has ceased to be! She's expired and gone to meet 'er maker! She's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'er to the perch she'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Er metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, she's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-QUEEN!!

Owner: Well, I'd better replace it, then. (he takes a quick peek behind the counter) Sorry squire, I've had a look 'round the back of the shop, and uh, we're right out of Queens.

Mr. Praline: I see. I see, I get the picture.

Owner: (pause) I got a slug.
posted by loquacious at 9:47 AM on September 8 [18 favorites]


What would it take to get rid of the UK's monarchy?

Can't speak for the UK, but for Canada, an amendment to break away from the monarchy falls under section 41 of the Constitution, or the "unanimity formula" - a resolution that passes both Houses of Parliament, and all ten of the provincial legislatures. Getting that level of agreement would have to involve such an incredible level of bargaining on other changes to the Constitution that I'm not sure the country would really exist by the end of it.
posted by nubs at 9:47 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


She's a good Sheila, Bruce, and not at all stuck up.
posted by whuppy at 9:48 AM on September 8 [11 favorites]


Part of the issue is the Monarch is the Head of State for 15 countries (Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom.). It would be incredibly complex to adjust all of that in anything other than a gradual fashion (which may happen as individual countries peel off like Jamaica is trying to do), and there are many important constitutional issues with doing so in all these countries (for things like indigenous people's rights where they are based on agreements with "the Crown" like in NZ.)

Speaking solely as a Canadian, our monarch is a completely different legal entity than the monarch of the UK and Acts by their Parliament wouldn't actually change anything over here, structurally speaking (politically speaking is a different matter). We'd still have a Queen or King.
posted by The Notorious SRD at 9:48 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


I've always thought that the monarchy is a really cruel institution and as a result don't feel much of the generalized radical dislike of the Queen.

Someone like Boris Johnson chose his fate - he could have given his wealth away and joined a monastery, he could have overseen a nonprofit dedicated to hillwalking, he could have been an inferior book critic...he chose to be a monster. The royal family de facto have very little choice and are punished for the choices they do exercise. We have decided to assume that the money makes up for it, but that in itself shows too much of a reverence for money.

If you offered to make me, like, a baronet with a modest fortune and a home farm to run, I would be pretty tempted. If you offered to make me a prince, I'd run a mile.
posted by Frowner at 9:49 AM on September 8 [68 favorites]


Aside: we named our rooster Bruce, and it's a requirement to greet him whenever you meet him wandering the yard with G'DAY BRUCE though none of us are Australian.
posted by jquinby at 9:49 AM on September 8 [13 favorites]


What would it take to get rid of the UK's monarchy? Not only this one queen, but the institution as a whole.

Technically (absent an actual revolution), just an act of Parliament, but that act would need to have the support of a majority of the citizens in order to gain enough support to pass. That act would need to define some new procedures for how the government functions ... do you stay with the PM system? Go with another structure? Who would hold the power "to consent" that the Crown currently holds? What structure would work best for this new UK? So, its not just "the Crown must go" but an entire decision making process about what would replace it, as the current structure holds that Parliament and the PM derive their authority from the Crown.

Some properties would continue to belong to the UK government (Buckingham Palace would be one) and they'd need to decide what to do with those buildings and their contents. A bunch of other properties are the personal property of the current Royal Family, and so they'd just continue to own those buildings and things. Also, probably, the current agreements by which the Crown hands over specific sources of income (rents, mostly) to the Government in exchange for Buck House and their annual allowances would be ended/voided, which (at least a few years ago) would be an actual net income loss for the Government, particularly given that they'd have to continue to do upkeep on properties like Buckingham Palace (assuming they don't sell it for condos or something).

Plus, as noted above, the Crown would still be the head of government for the rest of the countries in its purview, which would create a situation whereby either the Crown lives in the UK but is "just a citizen" there, or the Crown packs up and moves to another country that they are actually the head of.
posted by anastasiav at 9:50 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]




The royal family de facto have very little choice and are punished for the choices they do exercise.

Well, except that multiple royals have made the choice to step back from their duties and the institution, Harry being the most recent example.
posted by fight or flight at 9:51 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


revolutions and grave-pissing bring to mind james baldwin on shakespeare (pdf, previously):

Just so, indeed, is the heedless State overthrown by men, who, in order to overthrow it, have had to achieve a desperate single-mindedness. And this single- mindedness, which we think of (why?) as ennobling, also operates, and much more surely, to distort and diminish a man — to distort and diminish us all, even, or perhaps especially, those whose needs and whose energy made the overthrow of the State inevitable, necessary, and just.

in reality, what would be needed to abolish the monarchy is sustained disillusionment, not revolution. parliament won’t touch the issue with a barge pole without enormous and sustained public support, which (unless charles does something very silly) isn’t going to appear en masse from nowhere. i’d assume we see a bump in support for abolishment (is that a word?) after he’s crowned and then a slow increase over time. but i doubt it’d be a serious prospect for a couple of decades at least.
posted by inire at 9:54 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Buckingham Palace could be a good site for a Memorial to the Victims of the British Empire, if the site of the (emptied and redundant) British Museum were unavailable.
posted by acb at 9:54 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Most of the political support from the monarchy doesn't emanate for an affection for the Mountbatten-Windsors, by the way, or pomp and circumstance, but because the Westminster system requires a passive executive. This is easily done when it's the monarch and (in the realms) his or her governor general, but when it's elected Presidents it's a lot harder
posted by MattD at 9:54 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Getting that level of agreement would have to involve such an incredible level of bargaining on other changes to the Constitution that I'm not sure the country would really exist by the end of it.

Yeah, that's the thing. It gets bandied about, but Canadian constitutional reform of any kind tends to be the sort of ball ache that elected governments in this country are keen to avoid (no governing party would pine to replicate the experience of the Charlottetown Accord, for example).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:55 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


The royal family de facto have very little choice and are punished for the choices they do exercise.

Actually, they have vast choice, a constellation of possibilities almost unimaginable to people of modest means. Do I have empathy for the situation of being saddled with wealth and power and feeling like you can't divest yourself? Sure, to a limited and critical extent. But that's not the same as a fact of reality. Seeing these royals as victims is a vaguely interesting thought experiment, but it's socially pointless-- in the same way, bosses, factory owners, billionaires are all victims. Which, again, is kind of true in a philosophical way. But not in a useful way.
posted by dusty potato at 10:04 AM on September 8 [27 favorites]


> The royal family de facto have very little choice and are punished for the choices they do exercise.

Well, except that multiple royals have made the choice to step back from their duties and the institution, Harry being the most recent example.


And 1. he is definitely being punished for it in the public commons, and 2. individuals stepping away from an institution just means someone else steps into fill their shoes and does nothing to bring the institution itself down.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:05 AM on September 8 [10 favorites]


It occurred to me that she could be on life support pending arrival of her children, but turning off life support for the Queen would be, fraught, to say the least.

Watching GMA3, OMG, the breathless, silly reporting indicates what the next several days will hold.
posted by theora55 at 10:07 AM on September 8


In the 1980s and 90s (pre internet and before we had satellite TV) just before Christmas my ex-husband and I always made sure we had lots of shows recorded on video, as well as a few films we'd not seen on video, just in case a Royal died over Christmas and there'd be nothing on TV but that. We were caught out by bloody Diana though! All I can say is RIP Queen Elizabeth, and thank God for the internet.
posted by essexjan at 10:07 AM on September 8 [12 favorites]


Well, except that multiple royals have made the choice to step back from their duties and the institution, Harry being the most recent example.

It's not as though anyone said to him, "oh, you don't feel like being a prince, that's fine, we support your self-development" - it was a huge shitstorm which must have been very unpleasant for someone raised in such a wretched closed system. And if the older son had wanted to leave, it would have been even worse.

It's the same as any abusive family where you're raised from birth to think that you're supposed to do and be X and if you don't then you're letting down everyone you care about - except that far more people than your family are really emotionally invested in your compliance. Have you considered what an incredibly fucked-up childhood you'd have if you were an isolated celebrity child with a unique status, constantly told that you were going to follow in your family's century-long tradition, everyone you met closely vetted and following strict protocol, never able to step away and just be a person? Add racism to that - you would either overtly or subtly be informed that you could not date or marry (or probably even socialize much with, lest you date or marry) non-white people. It was severely punished when the second son did it and would have been absolutely stopped if the older son tried.

We all think that it would be easy to walk away if you were just a Very Determined Person and we all think that money makes up for it, but frankly it sounds like a deranged way to live and bring up children. Abusive upbringings mark people for life even when they really can just leave and blend into the crowd, never mind when they actually have a unique status.
posted by Frowner at 10:08 AM on September 8 [56 favorites]


An Act of Parliament. There has been one already although it only lasted 11 years.

No, there was a revolution for that one, too. And a show trial held in a Parliament where religious fanatic soldiers kept MPs who might have voted wrong out.
posted by praemunire at 10:08 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


> On the up-side, we won't have to send Trump to her funeral.
Hang on now, let's not be too hasty. I'm sure if they dug the hole a little deeper, Orange Julius Caeser could go into the grave first before they lowered in her covfefe coffin. I mean it's no golf course, but I'm not particularly interested in the Teflon Traitor's preferences about anything right now. Probably fit this Witchell fellow and Prince Andrew in there too.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 10:10 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


A weird little cult that is the folded up magazine under the shaky old piece of shit table that is the British government which stole my ancestors land & oppressed them for centuries is about to lose its head puppet. I have no emotions about this.
posted by bleep at 10:11 AM on September 8 [13 favorites]


It occurred to me that she could be on life support pending arrival of her children, but turning off life support for the Queen would be, fraught, to say the least.

Could be worse.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:11 AM on September 8 [12 favorites]


I wish Christopher Eccleston a very pleasant evening.
posted by Bottlecap at 10:12 AM on September 8 [19 favorites]


I always made sure we had lots of shows recorded on video, as well as a few films we'd not seen on video, just in case a Royal died over Christmas and there'd be nothing on TV but that

I think this is the most alarmingly and acutely British sentence I've ever heard or read in my life.
posted by loquacious at 10:12 AM on September 8 [31 favorites]


Well, except that multiple royals have made the choice to step back from their duties and the institution, Harry being the most recent example.

Or got more-or-less fired, a la Andrew. And H&M basically said "hey, why can't we go part time?" and got straight up fired for asking.

Apparently wives (Meghan-I guess she was falsely reported as coming but isn't--and Kate) are not rushing to the bedside. Supposedly Kate isn't because it's the kids' first day of school, but really, if your famous granny was dying, I think people would get it if you don't send 'em to school that day. People are positing that William won't let her go, which seems...likely/par for the course these days. (Edited to add that the info about Celebitchy closing comments is no longer accurate--looks like they just reopened.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:14 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


saturday_morning, that's fascinating, thanks.
posted by theora55 at 10:18 AM on September 8


I wish Christopher Eccleston a very pleasant evening.

....Sorry, can someone explain this?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:21 AM on September 8


Actually, they have vast choice, a constellation of possibilities almost unimaginable to people of modest means

“she has savings, why doesn’t she just leave?”

It's the same as any abusive family where you're raised from birth to think that you're supposed to do and be X and if you don't then you're letting down everyone you care about - except that far more people than your family are really emotionally invested in your compliance.

i imagine it’s rather different if you’re a minor royal who can gad about and become a world-class dressage rider or whatever, but being within a couple of deaths of the throne basically guarantees that you’ll be all kinds of fucked up by the time you’re an adult
posted by inire at 10:23 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


It is done.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:31 AM on September 8 [10 favorites]


aaaand, ABC reports it's official, Queen Elizabeth has died. Not on BBC.com, but surely they're being cautious.
posted by theora55 at 10:32 AM on September 8


The palace just issued a statement. She has died.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:32 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


She’s dead
posted by rongorongo at 10:33 AM on September 8


Front of BBC News: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news
posted by merlynkline at 10:34 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


London Bridge has fallen down.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:34 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


As a US citizen, I have no particular opinions about the Queen, nor the Monarchy. But, as a Buddhist? May the merits of my practice today be dedicated to all of those who mourn her loss.

.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:35 AM on September 8 [34 favorites]


BBC - Queen Elizabeth II has died, Buckingham Palace announces
Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch, has died at Balmoral aged 96, after reigning for 70 years.

Her family gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.

The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.

With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.

This story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:35 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Just announced on CBC. She is dead.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:35 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


There we go. Well done Huw Edwards for talking about nothing for 6 hours. Someone get the man a drink.
posted by fight or flight at 10:35 AM on September 8 [18 favorites]


Official Twitter:
https://twitter.com/RoyalFamily/status/1567928275913121792

"The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow."
posted by needled at 10:36 AM on September 8


end of an era

.
posted by inire at 10:36 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


.
posted by jquinby at 10:37 AM on September 8


.
posted by niicholas at 10:37 AM on September 8


Interesting that they're already referring to Charles (George?) as the King, I thought that had to wait until it was officially done.
posted by fight or flight at 10:37 AM on September 8


"Balmoral Castle, how may I help you?"
"Hi, it's me again. Any word?"
"Sir, as I said...IF you are needed, we will call you."
"OK, because I..."
"THANK YOU."
"OK but I have this great version of Crocodile Rock..."
"THANK YOU, SIR ELTON!"
posted by PlusDistance at 10:37 AM on September 8 [68 favorites]


.
posted by Bee'sWing at 10:38 AM on September 8


.
posted by eclectist at 10:38 AM on September 8


Deserved better than leaving things in the hands of Liz bloody Truss. Well, we all do, but still.

.
posted by aesop at 10:38 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:39 AM on September 8


Truly, the end of an epoch.
posted by zenon at 10:40 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


.
posted by anastasiav at 10:42 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


.
posted by obloquy at 10:43 AM on September 8


.
posted by Gelatin at 10:43 AM on September 8


The mixture of respectful and disrespectful messages on social media, for Elizabeth II, seems entirely appropriate to me - and much healthier than the diet of compulsory mourning we are to be fed by the BBC for the next aeon. My favourite disrespectful message has been from the SNP supporter who suggested “we should hang on to her body to trade it for IndyRef 2”. My favourite respectful message was this memory of the queen from trauma surgeon David Nott - who met her after returning from Aleppo

Am watching the news of “Isabel II’s” death as reported live on TV in Bilbao.
posted by rongorongo at 10:43 AM on September 8 [22 favorites]


Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Victoria
Queen Elizabeth II

Britain's greatest epochs have been under female monarchs.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:44 AM on September 8 [24 favorites]


Do you think she hung on long enough to see the back of Boris?

Liz Truss was the fifteenth UK PM she appointed. That’s enough for anyone.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:44 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


.
posted by Captain_Science at 10:45 AM on September 8


I'd like to know how much they do the formality in private. The London Bridge article says Charles's siblings have to kiss his hands when their mother dies, as he's now king. Would you really do that to your brother or would you say "nah, I'm good thanks, we all know I'm loyal (ish)" or something?
posted by paduasoy at 10:45 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 10:45 AM on September 8


I'm sad for her and her family... I'm not sad for the institution. The monarchy can die in a fire.
posted by Pendragon at 10:45 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Interesting that they're already referring to Charles (George?) as the King, I thought that had to wait until it was officially done.


Succession is automatic -- the Accession Council merely confirms it publicly.
posted by Galvanic at 10:47 AM on September 8 [12 favorites]


There's a new thread titled Queen Elizabeth II has died.
posted by theora55 at 10:49 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


.
posted by sharp pointy objects at 10:50 AM on September 8


Britain's greatest epochs

big oof for everyone else though. bit like how all our female prime ministers have been tories - tends to end up being not great for others.
posted by inire at 10:50 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


I'd like to know how much they do the formality in private. The London Bridge article says Charles's siblings have to kiss his hands when their mother dies, as he's now king. Would you really do that to your brother or would you say "nah, I'm good thanks, we all know I'm loyal (ish)" or something?

I suppose if one is a royal one is quite likely to follow such protocols. Otherwise the whole house of cards might fall apart.
posted by roolya_boolya at 10:51 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Watching the BBC - it is somewhat charming that they have to post a piece of paper on the fence of Buckingham Palace to announce it, as if it was about guitar lessons or microchips in your drinking water.
posted by saturday_morning at 10:51 AM on September 8 [13 favorites]


Succession is automatic

Hence, "The Queen is dead. Long live the King".
posted by biffa at 10:52 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]




Unconfirmed reports that the Queen had just worked out what her heating bill would be this winter.
posted by srboisvert at 10:55 AM on September 8 [15 favorites]


There's a new thread titled Queen Elizabeth II has died.

That thread has been deleted as a duplicate.
posted by cooker girl at 10:56 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


There's a new thread titled Queen Elizabeth II has died.

Not no more there isn't.

Loup - 1, Charles Stross - 0
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 10:56 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


"We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."

.
posted by cupcakeninja at 10:57 AM on September 8 [18 favorites]


.
I was the grandson of people who fought for Irish Independence. I was reared to hate all things English, especially the queen. As I matured my hatred became indifference. But in 2011 she visited Ireland and spoke a few words of Irish and said words to the effect, "Sorry about all the oppression". It felt like a seven hundred year old chapter of our history had ended. Ever since, despite my socialist tendencies, I have felt some affection for her.
posted by night_train at 10:57 AM on September 8 [38 favorites]


Yeah, I don't think deleting that thread was a good call. This is a pretty major event for good percentage of the world, no matter what your opinion of the monarchy is.
posted by fimbulvetr at 10:58 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Well, of all the British Monarchs she was the one who reigned for my entire life up until now.

I'm... kind of indifferent.

The British empire was awful and harmful, but she was a figurehead and not responsible for any of it. Sure, she could have done better and been a very public figure speaking out against it, but her worst sin when it comes to the Empire was apathy. I'm not saddened by her death, but I'm not gonna piss on her grave.

I do find myself mildy irked by the prospect of months of British Royal Family Fandom that is coming. We're going to be subject to (see what I did there) every "news" channel on Earth burning a lot of airtime on retrospectives, speculation, Lady Diana, etc etc etc.

But for Liz herself? Like the Neutral person from Futurama I have no strong feelings one way or the other.
posted by sotonohito at 10:59 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


Yeah, I don't think deleting that thread was a good call. This is a pretty major event for good percentage of the world, no matter what your opinion of the monarchy is.

Yes but this is a perfectly good thread for discussing it...
posted by saturday_morning at 10:59 AM on September 8 [20 favorites]


I really hope for better things from the British monarchy in the future than I expect given the current players and positions.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 11:03 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Smart Dalek at 11:03 AM on September 8


Charles will finally get his face on the currency just as almost nobody will have any of it.
posted by srboisvert at 11:03 AM on September 8 [11 favorites]


.
posted by The Bellman at 11:04 AM on September 8


There seems to be a glitch in Operation London Bridge; the Buckingham Palace website was down and is now back up, but just the regular site, not the announcement that I was expecting.
posted by TedW at 11:05 AM on September 8


Charles on the fucking money. Hopefully Australia will reignite the republic debate. I’ll head back home to put myself back on the electoral roll to get that dipshit off the back of the coins.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:05 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


Charles will finally get his face on the currency just as almost nobody will have any of it.

When has anyone, anywhere been having any of his face?
posted by loquacious at 11:08 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


.
posted by riruro at 11:09 AM on September 8


When has anyone, anywhere been having any of his face?

Overstrike the coins with a horse’s ass and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:10 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


The Queen by the numbers.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:12 AM on September 8


I wish Christopher Eccleston a very pleasant evening.

....Sorry, can someone explain this?


a few years ago he referred to her as ”the parasite in chief in her idiot hat”.

- ma’am, christopher eccleston has referred to you as a parasite.
- who?
- yes, ma’am.

posted by inire at 11:13 AM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Liz Truss the new PM has just referred to Charles as King Charles III, which lays to rest the question of whether he will be known as such or by some other name of his choosing.
posted by beagle at 11:14 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


hansmollman: People don’t know this but actually after the death of the monarch, the swans of this country become “fair game” for 24 hours, a swan purge type situation if you will.

Useful information. Off out with a big net; swan it is for this Sunday's roast.
posted by Wordshore at 11:14 AM on September 8 [23 favorites]


I'm wondering what the regnal name will be. Charles III? George VII? William or Edward something? And, will he abdicate in favor of his son (I doubt it).
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:15 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


.

I do wonder if the reaction to a new King Charles will be sour enough for him to abdicate in favor of William to keep the monarchy marketable.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:15 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Do we really trust Liz Truss to get that one right, though? Not saying it didn't happen, but she's not even as smart as the outgoing PM.
posted by tclark at 11:16 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


The Globe and Mail says George VII.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:16 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


I do wonder if the reaction to a new King Charles will be sour enough for him to abdicate in favor of William to keep the monarchy marketable.

He's been waiting a *long* time for this chance -- I seriously doubt he'd give it up.

(cough*Biden second term*cough)
posted by Galvanic at 11:17 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


From what I have heard by way of gossip, Charles has wanted to be king so badly that it's defined his whole life. One gossip collector relayed that apparently he used to joke about his mother's passing away in the '80s, until he got a talking-to. I don't think he'll be leaving it except in a box.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:17 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


It took Liz Truss about four sentences to make her statement about "me". She truly is an awful shit. As she will no doubt underline with the list of bullshit policies she announces/buries while the media are focussed on national mourning.
posted by biffa at 11:18 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


.
posted by fredosan at 11:18 AM on September 8


And then things got worse.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:18 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Charles III seems like it'd be tempting fate, especially with IndyRef 2 on the horizon. So one can only hope.
posted by jedicus at 11:19 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Vox's Ian Millhiser tweeted this hours ago, so it's not exactly tasteless but certainly a U.S.-centric take:

By law, if the British monarchy becomes vacant, Mitch McConnell will hold the seat open until Donald Trump can fill it.
posted by martin q blank at 11:20 AM on September 8 [15 favorites]


I do wonder if the reaction to a new King Charles will be sour enough for him to abdicate in favor of William to keep the monarchy marketable.

I hope he grips on as tight as possible while the remaining countries with him as head of state dissolve their ties to the crown. If he’s forced to watch the remaining vestiges of the British Empire crumble it might be worth it.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:20 AM on September 8 [6 favorites]


soundtrack suggestion
posted by chavenet at 11:20 AM on September 8


I love that she got the double rainbow portal to the other side. God has style, and knows how to show it.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 11:21 AM on September 8 [11 favorites]


I guess he ran out of saving her juice
posted by chavenet at 11:22 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Beeb was showing the Windsor Castle flag at half mast, also with rainbow.

They also confirmed it will be King Charles III.

.
posted by Ilira at 11:23 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Now we’ll see the patriarchy reassert itself and the monarchy will suddenly become a bit more involved in the affairs of state.
posted by interogative mood at 11:24 AM on September 8


.
posted by Gray Duck at 11:27 AM on September 8


From Twitter:
sadly, it is common for the queen to die after colony collapse sets in.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 11:28 AM on September 8 [61 favorites]


I can't speak for every one of us, but this is a complicated moment for this particular member of the Commonwealth. The end of an era.

I'm not sad, but this feels weird as hell. She's been Queen for my entire life and nearly all of my father's life (he was born shortly after India became independent from the Empire). Her life directly impacted his (and my late mother's), and indirectly impacted mine.

I don't like her or what she represents, but it definitely feels weird. She casts a long shadow.
posted by nayantara at 11:28 AM on September 8 [19 favorites]


This morning, I was listening to a great interview on the CBC with Indigenous singer Buffy Sainte-Marie who was talking about her and her people’s experiences with racism and colonization. Suddenly, it was interrupted with the announcement that Queen Elizabeth had died.

Obviously CBC Radio is going to have to report on the breaking news of the death of Canada’s monarch. But still, I felt there was something symbolic about an Indigenous person’s heartfelt and important discussion of racism and colonization being bumped to make way for a tribute to the literal representative of the colonizer.

Queen Elizabeth is the only monarch I’ve ever known, and I am nearly half a century old. Her image has been everywhere in my country, for my whole life: on our money, on our stamps, in our government buildings. Her influence on my country has been profound (and on the birth country of my mother, which was at the time a British colony). The legacy of colonization, racism and white supremacy is everywhere. Still, I kind of feel like an elderly, influential distant relative has died.

For the person, a dot. But for the office, none.

.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:28 AM on September 8 [50 favorites]


The Canadian government was supposed to be announcing a bunch of big social spending today, including a temporary dental care payment to bridge the gap until a national dental care plan can be put in place, but I suspect all of that is going to by the wayside now.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:28 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 11:29 AM on September 8


BBC says he's going to be Charles III
posted by crocomancer at 11:31 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


.

A conflicted dot.

Moments like this remind me of some basic inner conflicts: I see no need for a monarchy, but have enjoyed the certainty of knowing who my head of state was for over 40 years. I loathe with a passion the gap between the rich, parasitic upper class in this country and the people trying to decide between food and fuel this winter. I realise that Queen represented both the best and the worst of Britain at the same time.

I feel lesser, somehow. A less good person than I'd like to be, because I feel sad — for reasons I can't put my finger on. I feel like I shouldn't feel sad, because of all the terrible things that our monarchy represents and has represented, and the morally questionable things that the Queen herself was involved in. I feel bad for the people who are in tears tonight, though I don't weep with them.

I see my friends from Ireland and assorted countries around the world cheering and laughing and celebrating the death of the head of a racist, colonial institution, which has done — or has had done in its name — untold damage down the centuries.

I can't deny them any of their celebrations; I can't fault them for their feelings, and I certainly have no cause to demand their respect tonight.

But I shall miss that certainty that I've had all my life. And I feel a lot of guilt for that.
posted by gmb at 11:31 AM on September 8 [13 favorites]


She could have turned out much worse than she did, and in a job like that, that may be as much as we could have hoped.

.
posted by Etrigan at 11:34 AM on September 8 [34 favorites]



posted by carmicha at 11:34 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Britain's greatest epochs have been under female monarchs.

Hate to tell you this, but in Scotland, the late queen was Queen Elizabeth I. The 1558-1603 one was before Britain was invented.
posted by scruss at 11:37 AM on September 8 [18 favorites]


BBC says he's going to be Charles III

Weird, I was seeing George VII around just a bit ago.
posted by jquinby at 11:38 AM on September 8


You have to kinda think support for the monarchy is going to crumble now that the little old lady who has ruled as long as anyone can remember is going to be replaced by her charmless son who is most famous for being a bad husband to possibly the most beloved woman on Earth.

I mean at a certain point, wobbly, elitist, expensive traditions stop surviving change, right?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:38 AM on September 8 [27 favorites]


I hope Morrissey's not too upset about this.
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:38 AM on September 8 [11 favorites]


For the Yanks in the thread, I offer a reminder of the words of Sergeant Frank Drebin, Lieutenant Detective Police Squad: "No matter how silly the idea of having a queen might be to us as Americans, we must be gracious and considerate hosts."

For that type of Briton who is having an emotional moment, I offer a bit of the old Spirit of the Blitz, and the promise of Anglican Heaven. Have a proper cry.
For the Anti-Monarchists in the audience, I give you Netflix Princess Anne.
posted by bartleby at 11:40 AM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Not a full roll-call but this is a summary of Commonwealth twitter
posted by cendawanita at 11:41 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]


When I'm in my rightest mind I remember that it's okay, it's natural, to feel more than one feeling at a time. I am large, I contain multitudes.
posted by Western Infidels at 11:44 AM on September 8 [10 favorites]


I was kind of hoping that he'd really tempt fate and go with John II.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:44 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


I guess this, via Twitter wouldn't have been a protocol issue since...1952:

I am sitting with my friend who is at his Canadian citizenship ceremony via Zoom. There is a long delay. He was supposed to swear his allegiance to the Queen. I'm guessing they're trying to sort out what to do now.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 11:44 AM on September 8 [31 favorites]


Monarchy is always a bad idea. With Elizabeth's passing, it's only going to get worse.
posted by rikschell at 11:44 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


I'm watching Umbrella Academy and I can't help wondering if this is some sort of plot to reassemble the Royal Family so they can save the world.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 11:44 AM on September 8 [1 favorite]




BBC says he's going to be Charles III

That's an unpleasant surprise. Can't help feeling he's sending a message there.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 11:45 AM on September 8


He could have gone with any of his four names, Charles Philip Arthur George.

So he could have been King Arthur.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:45 AM on September 8 [11 favorites]


When I said that Britain's greatest epochs were under women, I wasn't using greatness as equaling wonderfulness. Queen Victoria's reign, in part because it was so long, covered a sizable chunk of when Columbia ruled the waves, both literally and in the sense of Gilbert and Sullivan, Dickens, Stevenson, Kipling, Sherlock Holmes, etc. Victorian England defined a large part of what England is. Elizabeth the First for Shakespeare, the defeat of the Armada, etc. These last 70 years have defined what Britain has become.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 11:46 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Ooh, Charles III would be an interesting choice.

If, by any chance the Monarchy is abolished during his reign, will the abolitionists be able to refrain from '2 out of 3 ain’t bad' and many other far more clever aphorisms to the same effect? I think not.
posted by jamjam at 11:46 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


The question is, who is going to be Oliver Cromwell II?
posted by Bee'sWing at 11:47 AM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Remember how Ghanaian TV announced Prince Phillip's death? How are they going to top this for Lizzie?: video on twt
posted by cendawanita at 11:49 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


[Brittania ruled the waves. Columbia was gem of the ocean. -ed.]
posted by bartleby at 11:50 AM on September 8 [4 favorites]


I'm wondering what the regnal name will be. Charles III?

He has said that because of Charles I and II and their... reputations. Of course, that was before anyone knew that the MP for South West Norfolk is legally the arbiter of regnal names.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:51 AM on September 8


Will the corgis now be replaced by spaniels?
posted by mittens at 11:53 AM on September 8 [2 favorites]


It's much odder than I thought it'd be. I was just driving home from work through Edinburgh in the rain and had the weird moment of flicking through all the BBC Radio channels and finding them all being the same, like the apocalypse had arrived or something. At least on the radio it was Evan Davis sounding like a normal, 21st century human being, and not that grovelling gift to obsequiousness, Nicholas Witchell.

They just read an incredibly poetic and florid statement from Boris Johnson on BBC News and you just know that the desperate Churchill wannabe is gutted that he didn't get to be PM at a moment of great statehood and history like the death of the Queen. He'd clearly had a speech in the desk drawer ready to go and couldn't quite bear to not let it out into the world.

As an aside... one of my pals was the photographer who on Tuesday took the photo of the Queen in front of the fireplace at Balmoral that's been everywhere the past couple of days. They were waiting for one or other of the PMs to arrive and it was just her, the Queen and the Queen's press secretary in the room. The Queen chatted about the weather (heavy rain then, too). Now, that's the job of a lifetime.
posted by penguin pie at 11:53 AM on September 8 [40 favorites]


Charles III
That's an unpleasant surprise. Can't help feeling he's sending a message there.


Yeah, maybe Parliament should ask him to clarify his stance on the issue of Parliamentary sovereignty.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 11:55 AM on September 8


I was going to post this on the deleted thread, but supposedly he may not want to go by Charles III/has been floating the idea of George VII for years because the previous Charleses have been cursed. Then again, so has this one, so I don't think changing his name after 73 years is going to solve that problem. He might as well keep it. Then again, I wouldn't be surprised if they announce later on he's going to be George. (Then again, he's had 73 years to think out this name thing, so...)
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:55 AM on September 8 [3 favorites]


.
posted by May Kasahara at 11:57 AM on September 8


They've already announced he's going to be Charles.
posted by penguin pie at 11:57 AM on September 8


It's much odder than I thought it'd be.

There will be a point later this year or early next when my change from a purchase contains a coin with the King's face on it, which will be damned peculiar. And I suppose on those rare occasions when the song is sung, it will be God Save The King for the first time in my life.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:59 AM on September 8 [8 favorites]


Almost everything I know about the monarchy is from The Crown, and it made me emphasize with the royals in general as people and the Queen in particular, despite their many personal faults and failings. The Firm damages the people in it and the people around it.

.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:00 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


.

I have no strong feelings re: British monarchy, but I'll always have a soft spot for Liz after she made a special televised broadcast during the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. My husband and I were wrung out and terrified and just trying to get through each day. Daycare had shut down for our two small children (then ages 1 and 5) and we were working from home while also parenting and unable to take them anywhere aside from our half-frozen backyard and, like...open fields, because our city had closed parks and playgrounds, too. My son had his 5th birthday party with just the 4 of us in our dining room, with grandparents watching via FaceTime as he blew out his candles. We were incredibly lonely and struggling and everything felt grim; I was waking up in the middle of the night in a sudden panic, heart pounding, or having nightmares about my parents in the ICU on a vent. Knowing that Trump of all people was at the helm was causing us even more stress, and every word out of his mouth only made things worse and desperate. It was painfully clear that no one was in charge or knew what they were doing, at the very highest levels of our government.

After the kids were in bed, we watched the Queen's BBC address on YouTube. “We should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again."

My spouse and I both started to cry, not out of any particular love for her or for Britain but because it was just so damn reassuring to hear a familiar, experienced leader offering calm encouragement. Unlike Trump, her words had dignity and gravitas because she'd lived through so many uncertain times. It was the first time I thought things might be okay, eventually.

While acknowledging her legacy is at best a mixed bag, I'll always be grateful to her for giving me a bit of hope during some very dark days.
posted by castlebravo at 12:00 PM on September 8 [128 favorites]


When Huw Edwards first said "the King and Queen Consort" it was very, very strange. I've only ever really seen "King Charles" in the context of dystopian near-future scifi.
posted by sarahdal at 12:01 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


This is definitely one of those fascinating moments of stark divide on my social feeds, where pretty much unanimously it's only non-Irish white people posting about mourning, while all the POC are posting critiques and/or jokes.
posted by TwoStride at 12:01 PM on September 8 [21 favorites]


My first thought on hearing the news: It's amazing how far '50s self-repression can take you in public opinion, even if the actual family produced by that approach to life is a complete shambles.
posted by clawsoon at 12:02 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


I couldn't help but notice that Liz Truss' new Downing Street lectern seems to have a design based on the spaceship of Ronan the Accuser.
posted by biffa at 12:03 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


It's weird to wrap my head around this. I have no love for the Queen, and the monarchy is just dumb, and the things that were done in her name to human beings living in a "Canada" that was imposed on them are unforgivable.
But she's been everywhere for all of my 54 years of living here so it's weird, it's like Loblaws died or something.
Or maybe Sandy McTire is a better comparison, since he was on money.
My mom will be talking all about this on our phonecall tonight, she loved her.
posted by chococat at 12:03 PM on September 8 [8 favorites]


If, by any chance the Monarchy is abolished during his reign, will the abolitionists be able to refrain from '2 out of 3 ain’t bad' and many other far more clever aphorisms to the same effect?

Meat Loaf could do a special version a la Elton John.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:04 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


.

She was the one constant public figure that I remember for my entire life, and I am nearly 50. Technically my sovereign, as I am Canadian - but, frankly I don't want anyone else but her, or the one who left the monarchy entirely, definately not Charles.
posted by rozcakj at 12:05 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Overstrike the coins with a horse’s ass and you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference.

What is particularly funny to me is that Canada switched over to damn near indestructible plastic bills a few years back. Charles will probably be long dead before his bills are even close to 20% of the circulating Canadian bills.
posted by srboisvert at 12:05 PM on September 8 [8 favorites]


Meat Loaf could do a special version a la Elton John.

I may have some bad news.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:05 PM on September 8 [84 favorites]


What is particularly funny to me is that Canada switched over to damn near indestructible plastic bills a few years back. Charles will probably be long dead before his bills are even close to 20% of the circulating Canadian bills.
Even then, the monarch is only on the twenty. And the coins.
posted by TORunner at 12:09 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


.

While not one of her subjects, nor a fan of monarchy, she has for the last 20 years or so, just been a nice older woman. Rich, but, mostly powerless. It is sad that she has passed.

And Charles is a garbage fire.
posted by Windopaene at 12:09 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


This is definitely one of those fascinating moments of stark divide on my social feeds, where pretty much unanimously it's only non-Irish white people posting about mourning, while all the POC are posting critiques and/or jokes.

I got the third and fourth, or maybe subsets:

3. The white British journalists who are a little put out that their measured takes for being understanding is getting dunked on; and

4. The ex-colonial POCs who truly remembered nothing about their history but maybe The Crown or whatever
posted by cendawanita at 12:10 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


I wonder how Romana Didulo is taking the news?
posted by scruss at 12:17 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Fun fact from BBC Radio which I haven't bothered to check the maths of: She was Head of State for a quarter of the entire time the USA has existed.
posted by penguin pie at 12:17 PM on September 8 [15 favorites]


I wonder how Romana Didulo is taking the news?

"You see -- they are now admitting it!"
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:20 PM on September 8


Fun fact from BBC Radio which I haven't bothered to check the maths of: She was Head of State for a quarter of the entire time the USA has existed.

Closer to 30%. Between her and Victoria, over 50% total.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:22 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


After making snarky commentary with a royalist friend that we need a "Wit and Wisdom of Queen Elizabeth II" book because we were always told that she was funny but I don't recall hearing stuff out of her the way we did every time Phillip stuck his foot in his mouth, apparently such does exist on Amazon and I grabbed one of the last copies.

Lists of her jokes. (And photos.)
Princess Margaret was talking to her cousin's husband Denys, a thriller writer, and asked him how his latest book was coming along. Elizabeth entered the room as he responded, "I desperately need a title." She quipped, "I cannot think of a reason for giving you one."
After hearing the Everly Brothers perform "Cathy's Clown" in the '60s, the queen turned to her lady-in-waiting: "They sound like two cats being strangled."
On why she wears bright colors on royal appearances: "If I wore beige, nobody would know who I am."
When opening an exhibition of artist Lucian Freud's nude paintings, the queen told her aide she had been very careful to make sure she "was not photographed between a pair of those great thighs."
During that same trip, a curator asked the queen if she had ever been painted by Lucian Freud. She smiled and said, "Yes, but not like that."
Elizabeth was going incognito during a walk in Scotland when a local resident commented that she "looked just like the queen." "How reassuring," she replied.
James Bond actor Roger Moore's then-wife once asked the queen why she carried her purse around with her at Buckingham Palace. She replied, "This house is very big, you know."
(Finally, that's explained!)
When the controversial Princess Michael of Kent said in an interview that the queen's Corgis "should be shot," Elizabeth reportedly said, "They're better behaved than she is!"
LOLOLOLOLOLOL considering the corgi remarks above AND how awful Princess Michael is.
At the 2016 Chelsea Flower Show, a gardener told her how lilies of the valley have poisonous traits. The queen replied, darkly, “I’ve been given two bunches this week. Perhaps they want me dead.”
In 2007, Queen Elizabeth made an official visit to the White House. During the welcome ceremony, President George W. Bush mistakenly said the queen helped Americans celebrate their bicentennial in 1776, not 1996. He quickly corrected the error, but the queen wouldn’t let him live it down: At a formal dinner two days later, she began her speech by saying, “I wondered whether I should start this toast by saying, ‘When I was here in 1776...’ ”
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:22 PM on September 8 [28 favorites]


I'm very strongly of the opinion that cstross's thread should be reinstated and this thread directed to continue on a separate thread. I think it's unfortunate that the passing of someone of the literal global stature of Queen Elizabeth II has an obit thread deleted and people directed, substantially, to "please add comments to the Queen is Ill thread kthx."

I know the mods don't like chasing after news developments, but seriously, this was a poor call.
posted by tclark at 12:23 PM on September 8 [20 favorites]


Like, any number of mefites alone, either personally went thru the journey of being a colonial subject and then not, with it the overnight disappearance of an entire system of life where they'd be lucky if they can get to primary school what more one taught in English, which makes or breaks your chances of actually getting a good job like maybe a clerk in an office with a white boss or not, or is barely one generation removed from people who lived through that.

She's not my harmless nan.
posted by cendawanita at 12:24 PM on September 8 [32 favorites]


Does Camilla want to be queen? For Charles could surely abdicate in favor of William. He's 73!
posted by praemunire at 8:36 AM on September 8 [+] [!]

Camilla and Charles were deeply deeply in love and best friends when they were young. She refused to marry him so that she would not have to be queen.

It is in fact quite likely that she only agreed to marry him many years later on the condition that she would not be required to take on that position and title when/if he inherited and that every effort would be made to ensure she got a private life.

And since many people loathe her I think it possible that we may never see Charles crowned, or some other arrangement be made where things pass wholly or partially to William and Kate. While the late Queen and Charles are both very much about duty, I do not think either of them would consider abdicating in favour of William to be an abridgement of that duty. And there is the precedent for it. But we shall see, as all things are possible.
posted by Jane the Brown at 12:27 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]




Why can't this be the obit thread, which is the purpose it's currently serving? I don't understand the objection.
posted by Mavri at 12:29 PM on September 8 [13 favorites]


When I was probably 11 or 12 my older brother and I got heavily into Sex Pistols and The Young Ones and would often affect snotty accents and speak in (our best American approximation of) British punk slang. On one occasion, my dad happened to overhear a conversation in which one of us referred to "that old bag, the Queen" and he immediately interjected "That's not the Queen, you idiots—that's the Queen Mother!"

I was confused by his reaction at the time (not knowing the Queen Mother was even a thing) but realize now that he was probably just annoyed that his dumb kids would refer to someone who was only a few years older than him as an "old bag." And doing some quick math just now, it turns out she was only 59 or 60 at the time, so he was right!

Anyway. RIP dad.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:30 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]


I wonder how Romana Didulo is taking the news?

I'm waiting for Trump to declare himself the real king.

RIGGED SUCCESSSION!
posted by PlusDistance at 12:31 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


I think it possible that we may never see Charles crowned

Ha, nope. He's waited so long for it. Clarence House has already announced he's to be known as King Charles III. He's not stepping aside.
posted by penguin pie at 12:31 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


The queen referred to the street in Boston where my fraternity house is found as the "most beautiful street in the world."

I will hear no ill spoken of her.

.
posted by ocschwar at 12:31 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Why can't this be the obit thread, which is the purpose it's currently serving? I don't understand the objection.

My opinion is that the illness of the Queen and her death are substantially different events. Had she hung on ill for another day, I virtually guarantee a separate obit thread would have been allowed to stand. Whatever your opinion on the Queen herself, I think that her stature in modern world events is sufficient that, even just a few hours later, a distinct obit thread should have been kept instead of deleted.
posted by tclark at 12:32 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


I wish Americans wouldn't tell us how to respect our queen.
posted by adept256 at 12:32 PM on September 8 [14 favorites]


Paul Cook: People are gonna confuse our song with the other one!
Johnny Rotten: Just you wait.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:32 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Why can't this be the obit thread, which is the purpose it's currently serving? I don't understand the objection.

My opinion is that the illness of the Queen and her death are substantially different events.


Take it to Metatalk.
posted by biffa at 12:35 PM on September 8 [17 favorites]


quoting myself from a few month's back ...

my mom died last year, almost ninety. She was what many would call progressive in a lot of ways but she still had a great fondness for the Queen. Which when I asked her about it very near the end of her life, she said, "She was my hero when I was a little girl. Five years older than me and taking on the burdens of her position with grace and poise. And she's never really let me down." Or words to that effect.

so sad, her eyes ...
posted by philip-random at 12:36 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


I still catch myself thinking people are referring to John Paul II when they say "the Pope." You know people aren't going to live forever, but it still can take you aback when they don't.

I think my most enduring mental image of her is of her coronation, her tiny little body looking like it could be crushed under the weight of the crown and mantle, the nation around her still rebuilding itself from the ravages of the war.

Also, she was the same age my Grandma would have been.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:38 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


For some reason I'm thinking about various Graham Norton interviews with people who've said they've met Queen Elizabeth; like this one with Dawn French and Jackie Chan. Dawn French talks about how obsequious people got when meeting her; and Jackie Chan discusses how he really couldn't speak English yet, and so when she lingered to speak to him a bit, he was just standing there with a smile, quietly panicking and wishing she would go away.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:38 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Elizabeth knew how to maintain and repair a number of military vehicles from her time in the army. She was particularly fond of her Land Rover, which she insisted upon working on herself.

Once she was hosting some arab dignitary, a sheik I suppose, when she offered them a tour of the castle grounds. He was shocked when she got behind the wheel, and said 'we don't allow women to drive in my country'. So she put her foot down, and went Balmoral drifting at 100mph around her castle in the car she knew so well. Half-way through the joyride she turned to her white-knuckled passenger and said 'I don't even have a license!'

Which is true - you don't need a license if you're the Queen.

-

I didn't know I was to cry. I dug a coin from my pocket, that did it.
posted by adept256 at 12:39 PM on September 8 [48 favorites]


Anyone check in on Christine Sullivan? She must be taking this hard.
posted by Don.Kinsayder at 12:42 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


While you're at it, check in on Paul McCartney too. Poor guy waiting in the wings all this time.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 12:44 PM on September 8 [8 favorites]


waiting in the wings all this time.

I see what you did there.
posted by jquinby at 12:45 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


There will be a point later this year or early next when my change from a purchase contains a coin with the King's face on it, which will be damned peculiar.

I'm waving to you from the Netherlands, where we've had queens for a long time (during my lifetime first Queen Juliana, then Queen Beatrix) and now of course we have King Willem-Alexander.
Yes, it's damned peculiar.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:46 PM on September 8 [8 favorites]


She came to Seattle in 1983. This was before the Westlake Center Mall tower was built and the monorail terminal was a free standing structure next to the triangular Bartells with the great hot dog restaurant on the second floor at the NW corner of 4th Avenue and Westlake. There was a plywood ramp built from the sidewalk out to the middle of Westlake so she need not step from a curb. I saw her step down to the pavement from across the street. I was struck by how small a person she was. Which puts me, I guess, in the select company of the few millions of other people who beheld Her Majesty in person.
posted by y2karl at 12:47 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


If you're in the UK and don't remember the faff and wailing over Princess Di 25 years ago, get some emergency supplies in now. Everything will be fucked up for 3-7 days, and by that I mean closed.

There will also be an Elton John song and sold-out world tour to help us through this sad time. Strap in tight.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:47 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


.
posted by Stephanie Duy at 12:47 PM on September 8


adept256: This'll be the story you're thinking of.
posted by rhamphorhynchus at 12:48 PM on September 8 [8 favorites]


adept256: Once she was hosting some arab dignitary, a sheik I suppose, when she offered them a tour of the castle grounds.

He was the (then) crown prince of Saudi Arabia. I love that story.
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:49 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Once she was hosting some arab dignitary, a sheik I suppose

It's then-crown prince abdallah of ksa*

*funny story about that: even to this day you can find locals who'd prefer calling the place "hijaz" rather than acknowledge that it's now the land of the Sauds, a land grab facilitated by the British.
posted by cendawanita at 12:49 PM on September 8 [13 favorites]


.
The devil works fast but Time magazine works faster, even before her death I got an email solicitation for the upcoming commemorative special edition, first thing this morning.
posted by drinkyclown at 12:50 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Condolences to her family and to those who loved her.

Anyone in Northern Ireland who can confirm the mood there?
posted by longdaysjourney at 12:51 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


I recall hearing about a memoir by a former personal aide or bodyguard to Her Majesty where she, perhaps ninety at the time, was out for as stroll in the woods near Balmoral with a single assistant to accompany here. They encountered a pair of American tourists who clearly thought this was just some random elderly English woman out for a walk with... her grandson? The visitors struck up a conversation:

"So, do you live near here, ma'am?"

"Yes, I have a house nearby."

"I see. We read in our guidebook that the Queen lives close to here as well. Is that true?"

"Yes, that is what I have heard as well."

"Wow. Have you ever met the Queen?"

"No," she gestured to her aide, "but he has."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:52 PM on September 8 [64 favorites]


The Canadian mint better not have any plans to start putting Charles on our coins.
posted by brachiopod at 12:52 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


There will also be an Elton John song and sold-out world tour to help us through this sad time. Strap in tight.

Heh. He played Toronto last night on his farewell tour. Of course, forty years ago in December, The Who played Toronto on their farewell tour.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:57 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Friend of mine: "Twitter is like a street fight right now."
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:00 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


> There's a new thread titled Queen Elizabeth II has died.

> Not no more there isn't.

Loup - 1, Charles Stross - 0


To be fair, he has more timelines to keep track of than the rest of us.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:00 PM on September 8 [22 favorites]


Just breaking: PBS has just interrupted its regular coverage of an auction in Massachusetts to broadcast back-to-back episodes of Are You Being Served?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:01 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


I have a yarn-related mailing list that goes out Fridays. I just spent lunch hour compiling links of QEII dolls and corgis for it. Not too many of Prince-now-King Charles on there, I don't think he's going to get that yarn love, somehow.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:03 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


The Canadian mint better not have any plans to start putting Charles on our coins.

Somebody on my Facebook is saying, "Don't panic but I'm pretty sure any currency picturing the Queen is now valueless. But rest assured, the Royal Canadian Mint is hard at work cranking out Charles stuff to replace it all."

it's a joke (obviously) but I wonder how long before it gets taken seriously.
posted by philip-random at 1:03 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


The Canadian mint better not have any plans to start putting Charles on our coins.

@anylaurie16: My heart is with 🇨🇦 right now, your money is about to get so ugly.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:03 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


There will be a point later this year or early next when my change from a purchase contains a coin with the King's face on it, which will be damned peculiar.

Just wait until the new Royal Mail postboxes get installed with C III R on them, or something to that effect.
posted by stannate at 1:04 PM on September 8




Just wait until the new Royal Mail postboxes get installed with C III R on them, or something to that effect.

That surely won't happen for a while, since the existing ones are quite sturdy. I still post my letters into one marked V R.
posted by altolinguistic at 1:08 PM on September 8 [27 favorites]


"Don't panic but I'm pretty sure any currency picturing the Queen is now valueless."

To be fair, the pound was heading that way already.
posted by biffa at 1:14 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


Someone on Welsh Twitter just pointed out that there's currently no such person as "the Prince of Wales". And, potentially, all being well, with godspeed and a following wind, there never will be again.
posted by ceiriog at 1:17 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


When I was studying abroad in 1992, the queen visited Reading University to dedicate a new building. Here's a picture from that day, and here's another. I remember that hat!

So having the seen the Security Circus that preceded Ted Kennedy visiting my neighbors' house a dozen years earlier, I figured they would lock us all in our dorm rooms or something.

But no, we all thronged the sidewalks, and she strolled along with a few healthy men in suits who glowered at us while HRH waved and smiled and said hello and touched hands. My friend Lisa even talked to her -- and as a resident of New Jersey, she wasn't even a subject.

Anyway, the queen seemed like just this nice lady who'd shown up for some campus event and decided to come see what we were all waiting for. I suppose that was a Simpler Time, but it always impressed me that she just went out and said hi to people and everyone was so glad to see her.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:17 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Oh, ricochet biscuit, it's even funnier than you remembered. There are photos.

Twitter link
posted by TWinbrook8 at 1:18 PM on September 8 [30 favorites]


Just wait until the new Royal Mail postboxes get installed with C III R on them, or something to that effect.

That surely won't happen for a while, since the existing ones are quite sturdy. I still post my letters into one marked V R.

There is a former post office in Toronto that has one of the few E VIII R crests in existence. Its rare you can look at a building facade and say "1936" with that much confidence
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:24 PM on September 8 [16 favorites]


I still post my letters into one marked V R.

When I visited the Tower of London, a fellow Yank tourist asked our guide what the ER on his uniform stood for. With a deadpan worthy of Buster Keaton he replied, "Extremely Romantic."
posted by The Underpants Monster at 1:26 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


I was quite prepared not to mourn Elizabeth, but if this is what turns my parents into GBNews viewers I will absolutely mourn that.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 1:27 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Shameful day for Metafilter when I wish I didn't read the comments.
posted by adept256 at 1:27 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]




She was Queen for nearly 30 percent of U.S. history. We's the young 'uns.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 1:31 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


"No," she gestured to her aide, "but he has."

That's no Dutch-king-secretly-moonlighting-as-a-commercial-airline-pilot-for-twenty-years, but still great nonetheless!
posted by RonButNotStupid at 1:33 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


She was a year older than my mother, who passed in 2008. This is bringing up all those memories - my mother was fond of the British royal family in the way a lot of Americans of her age and background were and we were sort of steeped in British culture via PBS when I was a child - and it's also stirring up that feeling that a whole generation and indeed a whole world has passed. That, I have found, is an odd and not so great feeling that I never anticipated but that comes, I guess, to all of us who end up old much to our surprise. Everyone who was old when I was young is dead now and for somebody, I'm the old one. So weird. And now I have The Queen is Dead stuck in my head, too. Time to go for a walk where it's quiet and dry.
posted by mygothlaundry at 1:34 PM on September 8 [18 favorites]



God save the king.
posted by clavdivs at 1:35 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I quite enjoyed the occasional stories about how Queen Elizabeth would use her wardrobe, and its conventions, to cast subtle shade... which would later be denied by palace functionaries. For example, she wore a hat reminiscent of the E.U. flag to address Parliament, a move widely interpreted as anti-Brexit. And she famously wore a broach given to her by Barack and Michelle Obama when she first met Trump who, of course, dissed the Queen by showing up late and walking in front of her.
posted by carmicha at 1:39 PM on September 8 [13 favorites]


I am actually worried for Monty Don. I'm not joking, I hope he'll be OK. Best wishes to those who are feeling feels today.
posted by drowsy at 1:40 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]




There will also be an Elton John song and sold-out world tour to help us through this sad time. Strap in tight.

Not to forget the gigantic pile of bouquets left outside Buckingham Palace that over the next few weeks will rot into a mountain of stinking slime that will have to be cleaned up by minimum wage cleaners.
posted by essexjan at 1:49 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


I was kind of hoping that he'd really tempt fate and go with John II.

Really *REALLY* tempt fate with Harold III.

Or just go with Aethelred III the Unreadier
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:49 PM on September 8 [14 favorites]


Kenyans are suing Britain for up to $200B in reparations for land theft and violent colonial abuses. With multinational corporations still occupying the land, former Chief Justice of Kenya Willy Mutunga explains how it's like "the British never left."

For more insight on the British occupation of Kenya and the violent crushing of the Mau Mau uprising, as well as the horrific treatment of the Kikuyu people, check out the book Britain's Gulag by Caroline Elkins.

Longform article about the book and its context in the Guardian (cw for detailed descriptions of torture and rape) (archive.ph link).
posted by fight or flight at 1:51 PM on September 8 [23 favorites]


Not to forget the gigantic pile of bouquets left outside Buckingham Palace

I well remember George Sq in Glasgow after her sister Margaret died.

There was one (1) bouquet.
posted by scruss at 1:52 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


For the record and putting my politics snark aside for a moment, I have appreciated who she was as a human being, the willingness to flaunt and tell gender conventions to fuck right off in many ways like being a mechanic or taking the blatantly sexist Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, the self-deprecating sense of humor I've seen and heard about in so many examples and anecdotes, and how subtle and skilled she was at throwing shade through sartorial choices and messages.

I still temper that with the extreme amount of leeway and privilege she could afford to do and be this way that many others could not and the inexcusably horrible politics and truly terrible things that a monarchy entails, but if I studiously ignore all of that I bet she would be a lot of fun to hang out with.
posted by loquacious at 1:52 PM on September 8 [15 favorites]


Earlier today, I had a lot to say, but it's just taken me too long to get through this thread. Sorry.

.

She did her best, under the circumstances. She represented a dying empire, and various horrible governments. She was under-educated and married to a jerk. And still managed to do her duty as a queen. She obviously did not manage to raise a healthy family.

A lot of posters have assumptions about the monarchy that are not anchored in current reality. The British monarch has no (or at least very little) political power, and it has been this way for at least 100 years. IMO that does not mean that monarchs have no role in society. This is what I had opinions about. But it is bedtime for me...
posted by mumimor at 1:52 PM on September 8 [16 favorites]


Not to forget the gigantic pile of bouquets left outside Buckingham Palace that over the next few weeks will rot into a mountain of stinking slime that will have to be cleaned up by minimum wage cleaners.

Well, this is now the second most alarming and acutely British sentence I've ever read or heard, and I've lustfully consumed every word that Wordshore has every written here about cheese.
posted by loquacious at 1:53 PM on September 8 [13 favorites]


MetaFilter: not anchored in current reality.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:54 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


She obviously did not manage to raise a healthy family.

At least she was there to bail them out when they got caught sex trafficking a 17 year old, though.
posted by fight or flight at 1:57 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


I don't think she did raise her family. I think she farmed that out to nannies and boarding schools, as was the style at the time.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:00 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


"No," she gestured to her aide, "but he has."

The full story is in this video (Twitter, 90 seconds), which is the best thing I've seen about her today (or ever).
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 2:01 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Somewhere at the back of my brain, it really did seem like the Queen would live forever. I will say that my grandmother, born within a few days of Her Maj in Co. Cork, is probably thoroughly gratified to have outlived her.

I'll give her this, though: faced with a role for which it sounds like she was not adequately prepared beforehand, which she was expected to perform tirelessly during a shitshow century, she never cracked.
posted by TinyChicken at 2:03 PM on September 8 [12 favorites]


Do any of the Commonwealth countries other than Canada currently have a pretender to the throne?
posted by clawsoon at 2:03 PM on September 8


you just know that the desperate Churchill wannabe is gutted that he didn't get to be PM at a moment of great statehood

If nothing else, I will grant the late Queen this: she hung on just long enough to make Boris Johnson just a little bit sadder, and for that I'm grateful.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:06 PM on September 8 [27 favorites]


Queen Elizabeth I
Queen Victoria
Queen Elizabeth II


In the future, history textbooks will quip matter-of-factly that England's half-millennium of glory was bookended by the two Elizabethan eras.
posted by acb at 2:07 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]




God save the meme
posted by chavenet at 2:09 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Half millennium of glory sure is a way to elide genocide and empire.
posted by Ferreous at 2:10 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


Tarry no longer! Toward thine heritage
Haste on thy way, and be of right good cheer;
Go each day onward on thy pilgrimage;
Think how short time thou shalt abide thee here.
Thy place is built above the starre's clear;
None earthly palace wrought in so stately wise...

With thanks to the Rev Richard Cole.

.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 2:10 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Like most Canadians, I’ve been indifferent to the monarchy of Queen Elizabeth. For King Charles I’m a republican, though.

Honestly, we could just say the corpse of Elizabeth is still our queen and it would make no difference. Bonus, we wouldn’t even have to change our money.
posted by rodlymight at 2:11 PM on September 8 [12 favorites]


I'm curious to know what Canadian schools will say about it to the schoolchildren.
posted by clawsoon at 2:13 PM on September 8


I rather like Otto English': The short unhappy life of Elizaberth Windsor.
One of my earliest befuddled memories is something to do with a Coronation Mug and a Bonfire in a field in deepest Axe Vale country.
posted by adamvasco at 2:14 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


Half-millennium of being something other than a damp backwater on the outer periphery of Europe.

It was by no means inevitable that anyone born outside of England would have a reason to know a word of English.
posted by acb at 2:16 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


For more insight on the British occupation of Kenya and the violent crushing of the Mau Mau uprising, as well as the horrific treatment of the Kikuyu people, check out the book Britain's Gulag by Caroline Elkins.

previously on Mefi
posted by praemunire at 2:17 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


I'm curious to know what Canadian schools will say about it to the schoolchildren.

My youngest son is in elementary school, and the teachers told the kids, no announcement or anything. My eldest is in high school and the school said nothing.
posted by fimbulvetr at 2:19 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


My youngest said his teacher said "Just so you know, the Queen died today." then moved on.
posted by fimbulvetr at 2:20 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


The British monarch has no (or at least very little) political power

The monarch's power is all behind closed doors:
Under the procedure, government ministers privately notify the Queen of clauses in draft parliamentary bills and ask for her consent to debate them.
As part of a series investigating the use of the consent procedure, the Guardian has published documents from the National Archives that reveal the Queen has on occasions used the procedure to privately lobby the government.

posted by Lanark at 2:20 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


She has in fact been politically neutral. Her personal views are almost entirely unknown, except that she is in favour of the monarchy and almost certainly the Union and Commonwealth. It's just that being studiously neutral is still a political position because you do not condemn things that should be condemned, nor condone things that should be condoned.

Elizabeth was, no doubt, the absolute epitome of neutral when it came to letting the government get on with running the country, as is perfectly correct for someone who knows they hold no actual power in any real sense and are no more than a traditional figurehead. I think Charles will be far less inclined to hold his tongue if the government acts in a way that he considers unacceptable. He is far from being any sort of liberal in a way that's viewed here, but he clearly has views that he hasn't been able to express so far. Maybe, freed from the shackles of only being second fiddle, he'll find the courage to speak out and be the critical friend any modern government could benefit from.
posted by dg at 2:21 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Not to forget the gigantic pile of bouquets left outside Buckingham Palace...

I am thinking that every florist in London has sold every bouquet in stock today.
posted by y2karl at 2:33 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


As a former NZ public servant, I have signed contracts on behalf of the Queen.

In this case, it was "the Queen in right of New Zealand" or "the Queen in right of the realm of New Zealand". (The two are different. Don't get them mixed up or complications ensue.)

A few years back, we switched to signing on behalf of "the Sovereign", just coz.
posted by happyinmotion at 2:35 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


At least she never inserted herself into The Space Race, I suppose.

.
posted by NoThisIsPatrick at 2:37 PM on September 8


I realise that Queen represented both the best and the worst of Britain at the same time.
posted by gmb

She could have turned out much worse than she did, and in a job like that, that may be as much as we could have hoped.
posted by Etrigan

I'll give her this, though: faced with a role for which it sounds like she was not adequately prepared beforehand, which she was expected to perform tirelessly during a shitshow century, she never cracked.
posted by TinyChicken


Fair comments.

I am totally opposed to hereditary power and privilege of the sort she enjoyed, especially at taxpayers' expense, and firmly believe that my own country (Australia) should ditch the monarchy and go the full republic.

But it would be wrong, and perhaps a little uncharitable, to dismiss the symbolic and political significance of such a long and stable reign, even if technically only as a figurehead.

One way or another it is undoubtedly the end of an era, and it remains to be seen how well the monarchy will travel without her. But I suspect that it will struggle to remain relevant.
posted by Pouteria at 2:40 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]




I don't think she did raise her family. I think she farmed that out to nannies and boarding schools, as was the style at the time.

My mother is of Charles's generation. When I read the book of parenting advice the hospital was giving out to new mothers at the time, I was stunned at how much they stressed the dangers of paying too much attention to children. I wish I could remember the exact wording of one section that said children were like houseplants - it's best to make sure they have water, food, fresh air, and sunshine, and then leave them alone as much as possible. So, while most of it is how the British upper classes have been doing it for generations, even working-class Americans weren't immune to the philosophy of the day.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:58 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


No kind words for the old lady, will spare everyone the unkind ones, just glad the queen who (as the head of the british military) presided over Operation Banner got to live to see Sinn Fein win a majority in northern ireland.
posted by dis_integration at 3:06 PM on September 8 [15 favorites]


reveal the Queen has on occasions used the procedure to privately lobby the government.

Your evidence is that she on occasion lobbied the government? Some rando living in a rented third floor office on K street could say the same thing. That’s some monarch, that is.
posted by Galvanic at 3:17 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


As my historian niece posted:

God save the king. End of an era and the Carolingian age begins.
posted by emf at 3:22 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


The Queen is dead. God Save the King!
posted by one more day at 3:23 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Maybe, freed from the shackles of only being second fiddle, he'll find the courage to speak out and be the critical friend any modern government could benefit from.

What seems more likely is that he will give his subjects the benefits of his wisdom, and as such Britain will end up with homeopathy on the NHS and Palladian colonnades on all new buildings or something.
posted by acb at 3:25 PM on September 8 [15 favorites]


It was by no means inevitable that anyone born outside of England would have a reason to know a word of English.

I'm struggling to decipher whether you're warning the recipients of a waning colonial power or celebrating it.
posted by pwnguin at 3:26 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I like that she was willing to play a part in the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony video where she set James Bond on a mission. Being willing to be a character shows some perspective.
posted by wenestvedt at 3:26 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]


Her brooch and hat games were strong. “What [Queen Elizabeth] cannot overtly say with language, she secretly says with clothes. Truly, Elizabeth II’s quiet, devastating trolling through fashion could inspire an assassin.”
posted by kirkaracha at 3:27 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]




The Scots I am hanging out with tonight seem unsurprisingly ambivalent about the turn of events. Yet my entreaties for them to attempt to get a bottle of Scotch comped by the hotel bar to drown their sorrows remains unrealized.
posted by St. Oops at 3:28 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]




Yes, she lobbied the government. Wow, that’s some dictatorship they’ve got going there. Next up, Queen asked tourists for spare change in Leicester Square.
posted by Galvanic at 3:30 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Some rando living in a rented third floor office on K street could say the same thing.

I suspect she had more success with her lobbying.
posted by clawsoon at 3:30 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


Some rando living in a rented third floor office on K street could say the same thing. That’s some monarch, that is.

Do you think a rando living in a rented third floor office would've gotten himself exempted from laws against race and sex discrimination?
posted by Mavri at 3:32 PM on September 8 [15 favorites]


.
posted by greta simone at 3:32 PM on September 8


David Mack at Buzzfeed News: “21 Unexpected And Surprising Twitter Accounts Paying Tribute To The Queen”

Paddington Bear seems to be winning the favourites war on that one by a long shot.
posted by clawsoon at 3:33 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I suspect she had more success with her lobbying.

And that’s convincing evidence she was a dictator ruling with an iron corgi fist.
posted by Galvanic at 3:34 PM on September 8


Reggie Jackson feeling some relief today.
posted by hanov3r at 3:34 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


I loved the Lego Queen.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:34 PM on September 8


Sinn Fein

would that be the sinn fein that’s just passed on its condolences and expressed its gratitude for her “significant contribution and determined efforts to advancing peace and reconciliation”?

you’re right, she must have been devastated
posted by inire at 3:35 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Yes, she lobbied the government.

If you actually RTFA, you'll discover that she was able to influence the legislation by withholding or granting her consent, with stipulations channelled through her staff and solicitors. In the case of making her estates exempt from certain road safety laws, for instance:
Ultimately the Queen granted her consent to the bill – but only on the condition that a key clause did not apply to her private estates and that “objections which … have been raised by the crown estate and the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall are satisfactorily resolved”.

A handwritten note on a Whitehall document noted: “The upshot of all this was that we inserted two small changes in subsections 1 and 2 of the new clause.”
This is literally an example of what's not supposed to be happening.
posted by fight or flight at 3:35 PM on September 8 [23 favorites]


But it would be wrong, and perhaps a little uncharitable, to dismiss the symbolic and political significance of such a long and stable reign, even if technically only as a figurehead.

Yeah, maybe a week ago someone from a non-Commonwealth country asked Canadian me my thoughts on the monarchy. I couldn’t muster up much more than the verbal equivalent of a shrug. Her ancestors did some appalling stuff, but she seemed like the sort of figurehead who was willing to sit through endless hours of politely watching folk dancing, which is something few of us would care to do. It will be odd, as I say, to get money out of the ATM a few months hence and have Charles’ face looking up at me, but I care little either way.

And I live in a country that still used God Save the Queen — not the Sex Pistols one — as its official national anthem until 1980.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:35 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


I think it's fitting that reactions to her death are as varied and contradictory as the world in which we live. She, more than anybody else, served as a symbol of it, in ways both uplifting and awful.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 3:38 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


As someone who actively took on British citizenship, I swore allegiance to the Queen, rather than just being born under her, eight years after voting to remove her as my home country’s head of state. I wasn’t too bothered by the former because of the failure of the latter; I was already her subject, and had been all my life, so what difference would it make?

I didn’t mind her as an individual; she fulfilled the role expected of her, and by all accounts had a wry sense of humour, and… well, what else can you say about such an ever-present part of the landscape. Like any Commonwealth citizen or British subject in the past seventy years, I carried her face around in my pocket and licked the back of her head countless times. Monarchy tastes of copper and glue.

While we in Britain await the next ten days of compulsory gloom, to be followed by the coming weeks, months and years of self-inflicted political and economic gloom, let’s enjoy the diverse television programming on offer here at times such as these.
posted by rory at 3:45 PM on September 8 [12 favorites]


> would that be the sinn fein that’s just passed on its condolences and expressed its gratitude for her “significant contribution and determined efforts to advancing peace and reconciliation”?

were they supposed to say "rip bozo say hi to lord mountbatten in hell for us", that's just not cricket (or good politics)
posted by dis_integration at 3:45 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


It will be odd, as I say, to get money out of the ATM a few months hence and have Charles’ face looking up at me, but I care little either way.

Quid est? me sollicitant?
posted by pyramid termite at 3:46 PM on September 8


Do the currency printers have to pause until Charles' official portrait as king comes out, or do they just keep printing queen dollars and pounds?
posted by clawsoon at 3:48 PM on September 8


Presumably there would be enough banknotes and coins circulating that they could halt currency printing until the new designs are ready, and let the old stock run down. At worst, some unreplaced notes would look tattier than the usual.
posted by acb at 3:51 PM on September 8


> Some rando living in a rented third floor office on K street could say the same thing. That’s some monarch, that is.

Yes, if said rando had continuous and unfettered access to literally the highest level of government officials and decision makers at several of the most crucial points of the legislative process, for every single bill and amendment offered, and also ultimate veto power over the ensuing legislation.*

If this were happening over matters of great public moment, and the queen were using her power to stand up for the good of the country or the rights of the downtrodden, or something like that, it would be one thing.

But what it is instead, is one of the most powerful families in the world using their legislative access to curry special personal favors and/or increase their personal wealth.

It is playing on more on the level common everyday bribery, graft, and influence trading for personal benefit, then the monarch "being political."

But - is that better, or worse?

* I work on trying to influence legislation and policy in one of my sidelines, and let me tell you that level of access and control is and absolute wet dream for anyone in that kind of position. It's true you have to give a person a lot of credit for not taking advantage of that situation for maybe 1000X the profit the Queen has done. We'll see if future monarchs are able to maintain that same level of self control.
posted by flug at 3:57 PM on September 8 [15 favorites]


Lot of talk in this thread about Liz' politics, but nothing (unless I missed it) about her tiff with Thatcher over South Africa sanctions. The Queen was not amused when Maggie opposed Commonwealth sanctions; the Queen was very fond of the Commonwealth and very opposed to apartheid. So, she put on some pressure and the UK finally signed on. That sat well with me. I'm not much of a monarchist, but the Queen did good on this issue.
posted by CCBC at 3:57 PM on September 8 [35 favorites]


Hey fight or flight, would you please stop?

Gotta disagree, sorry.

I find it very interesting that behind the most respectable facade in the world is effectively a moderately corrupt business that pulls political strings to get favours done for itself. Puts a different spin on things, doesn't it?
posted by clawsoon at 3:58 PM on September 8 [22 favorites]


were they supposed to say "rip bozo say hi to lord mountbatten in hell for us", that's just not cricket (or good politics)

yes, that’s the point. the fact that it’s no longer good politics for them to do so (explicitly or by implication) is what indicates that things have moved on from the days when gerry adams was being poorly dubbed on the bbc.
posted by inire at 4:00 PM on September 8


These days I tend to get worried when a position of power that's been circumscribed by tradition and unwritten rules for generations gets vacated, because it seems that tradition and unwritten rules aren't enough to constrain modern politicians.

Best of luck to the subjects of His Majesty King Charles III as you navigate this momentous change.
posted by MrVisible at 4:06 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]


The reason Britain, Australia and New Zealand don't have coins with her father's head on them in circulation is that we decimalized during Elizabeth's reign. Same reason we don't have any with her youthful portrait; we all switched to the Machin design when we switched to decimal currency. Her coins will be with us for a while yet.
posted by rory at 4:06 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Time for a republic.
posted by biffa at 4:12 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


Serious proposal from Canada. Can we decline the update and keep her? No constitutional rewrite required. Reduced probability of meddling. Seems like a fine muddle to me.
posted by ~ at 4:16 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]


I find it very interesting that behind the most respectable facade in the world is effectively a moderately corrupt business that pulls political strings to get favours done for itself.

Sadly it's unlikely to end with Charles, who has faced numerous scandals over his financial and business matters, including receiving donations to his charities from shady donors who were in turn offered royal honours and citizenships. It's well known that the British royals are close with the Saudi state government and monarchy, who are in turn complicit in all kinds of human rights and environmental abuses, but IMO Charles brings it to another level. Very concerning if he has even a tiny amount of influence over future legislation (not that the Tories will mind if it means more cash to their personal coffers too).
posted by fight or flight at 4:17 PM on September 8 [12 favorites]


The Royal Necromancers can only do so much.
posted by acb at 4:18 PM on September 8 [8 favorites]


> we decimalized during Elizabeth's reign

Some pre-decimal, and pre-Elizabeth, coins remained in circulation in the UK throughout the 70s, and well into the 80s. It was only when the size of the 5p (old shilling), and later 10p (two shillings), coins were changed that they finally stopped being legal tender.
posted by ceiriog at 4:20 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Serious proposal from Canada. Can we decline the update and keep her? No constitutional rewrite required. Reduced probability of meddling. Seems like a fine muddle to me.

Alas, I think the rules have automatic, instantaneous updates enabled by default.

The last change to succession laws (allowing strict primogeniture over male-preference, and some loosening of the rules around Catholics in the family) actually passed without needing to go through the provinces, but IIRC, that was challenged in court, with the ruling being something along the lines that it was okay, so long as it was in line with what everyone else (i.e. the UK and the other Commonwealth realms) was doing.

(Plus, putting someone who's deceased, a nice portrait, or an abstract concept in charge would probably constitute a change in the role of the Crown in ways that just changing the specific person would not. In a theoretical, if not practical sense.)
posted by quizzical at 4:31 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Some pre-decimal, and pre-Elizabeth, coins remained in circulation in the UK throughout the 70s, and well into the 80s.

Ha! I should have guessed as much, knowing what else Britain keeps in circulation (first-past-the-post, the Daily Mail, MPs intent on bringing back barleycorns and furlongs). I didn't visit Britain until 1985, so must have just missed them.

Australia withdrew all the pre-decimal coins, even though the sizes of the old sixpences, shillings and florins persisted in our new 5c, 10c and 20c coins. I grew up knowing only the Machin portrait on coins, until we started seeing middle-aged Liz in the mid-'80s.
posted by rory at 4:32 PM on September 8


Mod note: Several comments deleted. Trying to prevent some major derails in this thread and the comments we've deleted are the ones accumulating flags by other users. I've reinstated one comment as I sort through the thread and am attempting to keep things noise-free. Additionally, comments directed at other users (that do not contribute in a helpful/insightful way) are as always, going to be deleted too. Feel free send us an email with your concerns.
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 4:33 PM on September 8 [14 favorites]


Let me wish King Charles III an early happy semisesquicentennial birthday for next November. Nothing like fresh young minds tackling the problems of tomorrow!
posted by MollyRealized at 4:35 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Plus, putting someone who's deceased, a nice portrait, or an abstract concept in charge would probably constitute a change in the role of the Crown in ways that just changing the specific person would not.

I hear you. That makes perfect sense. And yet: Are you sure 38 million people wouldn’t swear she was always the same nice portrait in a canoe?
posted by ~ at 4:40 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


Yes, she lobbied the government. Wow, that’s some dictatorship they’ve got going there.

It's worth noting that the influence of the Emperor was considered to be such that the Japanese constitution specifically bans the imperial family from intervening in politics, including lobbying. This caused a bit of a scandal when Akihito asked for the right to abdicate as this was technically lobbying the Diet, even if it was asking them to not let the job kill him.

So yes, the Queen lobbying the government is A Problem.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:45 PM on September 8 [13 favorites]


I'm sad for her and her family... I'm not sad for the institution.

I must admit I'm confused about how or why anybody COULD be sad for the institution. Nothing has happened to the institution. The very nature of the institution is that it goes on despite the death of individuals. One dies and the next one is waiting in the wings. There are enough stacked up to last the century. The show goes on. Barring abdication, it doesn't matter if everybody and his cheesemonger's cat hates King Charles; he's King until the duly elected government of the United Kingdom says he ain't.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 4:47 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]




Do the currency printers have to pause until Charles' official portrait as king comes out, or do they just keep printing queen dollars and pounds?

roughly 7 years, same in Colchester.
Her portrait was first printed on currency in 1960.
posted by clavdivs at 4:51 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


> what else Britain keeps in circulation

Sixpenny bits also survived (2.5p), apparently until 1980. I only remember them as tooth-threatening additions to Christmas pudding.
posted by ceiriog at 4:52 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


David Mack at Buzzfeed News: “21 Unexpected And Surprising Twitter Accounts Paying Tribute To The Queen”

I'll say that AstraZeneca wins for the oddest tribute - wasn't expecting that one.

Yeah, and Dominos. You're up, Wendy's; this is your time to shine.
posted by hydra77 at 5:07 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Her portrait was first printed on currency in 1960.

1954 in Canada (well, 1935 to be technically correct, but she was still a princess then), maybe earlier in another Commonwealth realm.
posted by hangashore at 5:12 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


You're up, Wendy's; this is your time to shine.
Your majesty, this is a Wendy's.
posted by ChrisR at 5:13 PM on September 8 [13 favorites]


Daily Mail > The Queen.
posted by cenoxo at 5:15 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


After all these brand tweets, waiting for CBS to announce a Charles in Charge reboot.
posted by nubs at 5:17 PM on September 8 [13 favorites]


I'm perplexed – are they going to keep on replacing whoever's in charge?
If so, who's next? There's nobody else in their country who looms quite as large...

*whisper*

Charles?

I know him. That can't be.
That's that little guy who spoke to me
All those years ago, what was it, '85?
That poor man, they're gonna eat him alive!
Oceans rise, empires fall
Next to Elizabeth, they all look small
All alone, watch them run
They will tear each other into pieces, Jesus Christ, this will be fun!
Da da da dat da...

King Charles... Good luck!
posted by saturday_morning at 5:40 PM on September 8 [21 favorites]


I am delighted, thanks. I am citizen of one colonial country, living in another and if I could locate my biological father, entitled to a UK passport too, so she’s very much my queen. I loathe her, her family’s power and influence and very carefully controlled public image - she had enormous power she used to increase her personal wealth and protect terrible people. She believed in power and the monarchy and her version of a world where she and her family deserved that power. She could have done enormous good, and chose not to.

This is not quite as good as Henry Kissinger’s death, but otoh not as much public money will be wasted on his funeral, and his child will not have undue legal and social power over nations without even the possibility of a vote.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 5:53 PM on September 8 [27 favorites]


.
posted by fairmettle at 5:54 PM on September 8


quizzical Yup, I kinda dig the idea of Canada, and maybe Australia and New Zealand too, keeping Elizabeth as the Eternal Queen. In part because Charles is a dip, and in part because I really like the idea of "the Eternal Queen" or "Her Eternal Majesty" being referenced 200 years hence as a sort of weird ritual thing that no one quite remembers the rationale for or purpose of from their high civics class.

But alas they didn't actually pass bills to make it so, and therefore the standard rules for monarchy apply: Charles became King the instant Elizabeth died. Monarchy travels faster than light, as Terry Pratchett once observed.

The rituals and so on happen later, but Charles has been king for several hours now.
posted by sotonohito at 5:54 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Sadly it's unlikely to end with Charles

Don't forget that he allowed the foul sexual predator Jimmy Savile to become an advisor. In some cases, Savile was allowed to rewrite speeches and develop public protocol for the royal family. Yuck!
posted by scruss at 5:54 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


saturday_morning, Hamilton Twitter WISHES SO BAD it could post that today instead of being tactful!
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:00 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


> sotonohito: "Yup, I kinda dig the idea of Canada, and maybe Australia and New Zealand too, keeping Elizabeth as the Eternal Queen. In part because Charles is a dip, and in part because I really like the idea of "the Eternal Queen" or "Her Eternal Majesty" being referenced 200 years hence as a sort of weird ritual thing that no one quite remembers the rationale for or purpose of from their high civics class."

I don't really know Warhammer 40K but I think this is how you get a Warhammer 40K. Quick question: do we know the extent of Queen Elizabeth's psychic powers?
posted by mhum at 6:00 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


Some pre-decimal, and pre-Elizabeth, coins remained in circulation in the UK throughout the 70s, and well into the 80s.

I remember seeing and using them in the early 80s when I lived in England and having to have pre-decimal coinage explained. (My time in the UK, and it being that moment, when Diana was keeping the monarchy afloat in public opinion, is probably why I have a soft spot for any of the royals.)
posted by gentlyepigrams at 6:01 PM on September 8


I believe I have previously proposed that Canada simply take on one of Her Majesty's corgis and have it and its descendants inherit the Canadian crown. I'm not sure any of them survive her though.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:15 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


the comments we've deleted are the ones accumulating flags by other users.

And here I thought Metafilter was a proper monarchy where the sovereign mods determine which comments violate policy and flags are merely the suggestions of humble advisors, not a dirty democracy where the will of the mob determines which comments live and which comments die.

But I digress.

It is perfectly on brand for Metafilter to dead goat a dead GOAT, and I am happy to do my part.
posted by clawsoon at 6:17 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


> blackjackdavey @VedaJacky

> Honest question which I can't find the answer to:

> Do all the "sirs" (Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Michael Caine, etc..) remain knighted? Or do they lose their titles now that the queen is gone?

Mattias Appelgren @appelgreno

They will all be buried with her.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:24 PM on September 8 [7 favorites]


Kings and Queens of England & Britain, Ben Johnson, Historic UK (to the present day).
posted by cenoxo at 6:36 PM on September 8


Unfortunately for my profession, Charles has taken an interest in us and considers himself an expert, but his ideas aren’t new whether one agrees or not. However, I can assure you that at least some of his invitations to speak on these matters reflect a fairly transparent desire to use him as bait; he’s catnip for certain donors so his smug righteous perspective is tolerated.
posted by carmicha at 6:39 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


and in part because I really like the idea of "the Eternal Queen" or "Her Eternal Majesty" being referenced 200 years hence as a sort of weird ritual thing that no one quite remembers the rationale for or purpose of from their high civics class.

A reminder that here in the Great White North, Queen Victoria's birthday is still a national holiday (204 candles next May!) so I think there is precedent.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:39 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]


One dies and the next one is waiting in the wings. There are enough stacked up to last the century. The show goes on.

So, what happens if something happens to Charles and he’s no longer able to continue as king and, for some odd reason, no one else in line for the job wants it. They all take a pass and ride off into the sunset with their fortunes. Does Parliament decide to axe the position of Monarch once and for all?
posted by Thorzdad at 6:46 PM on September 8


There are 62 people in Wikipedia's list of the line of succession, and I'm told there's over 4500 people in the full line of succession. Someone's gonna answer the phone.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 6:53 PM on September 8 [16 favorites]


They all take a pass and ride off into the sunset with their fortunes.

There are many, many descendants of Sophia of Hanover who are eligible to take the throne. Not all of them are wealthy; some insist that they are the rightful heirs despite the hundreds of other people ahead of them in the line. The chance of all of the eligible people turning it down is so low as to be negative.
posted by Etrigan at 6:54 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


They could always go back to the Jacobite succession. Apparently that would make this guy King.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:56 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Not to abuse the edit window: According to the Wall Street Journal, this woman is 4,973rd in the line of succession.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 6:58 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


I remember from reading about the Hundred Years' War that the French had the problem that if the next person in the line of succession turned out to be insane there was nothing they could do about it and problems ensued. Did the British come up with any solution for that?
posted by clawsoon at 7:03 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


> Nat Guest @unfortunatalie

>Can't believe they are going to make a MAN queen. This woke nonsense has gone too far.

Tim B @tjcbale· 4h
Replying to @unfortunatalie
and @HarryPie1862

The ITV commentator kept saying "His Majesty the Queen" when talking about Charles earlier.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:05 PM on September 8 [20 favorites]


Not to abuse the edit window: According to the Wall Street Journal, this woman is 4,973rd in the line of succession.

Well, she was in 2011 anyway.
Ms. Vogel, 38, holds a different distinction: By the account of some genealogists, she is the last person in line to the throne.
At one point, she was apparently the furthest down the list of descendants of Sophia of Hanover. Many years ago in the Guardian's Notes and Queries column, the editors posed the question about who the last person in the line of succession to take the throne was. One reader submitted that as the Act of Settlement bars Catholics from the throne, surely the Pope must be the least eligible person to become monarch.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:13 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


I do wonder if the norms of patriarchy will suddenly allow the male King to be much more involved in the affairs of state than the Queen.
posted by interogative mood at 7:18 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


She has an excellent public image, but she is a power-hoarding billionaire who has pursued a life of luxury and entitlement for her family over the rights and dignity of a third of the world.

The British royal family is certainly not above criticism, but this is just silly.

Did you miss the news that the British Empire ended a while back? She actually presided over its dissolution.

Her reign has been characterized by both the continued weakening of Britain in the international sphere, and her gradual and continuing surrender of various royal prerogatives at home.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 7:20 PM on September 8 [11 favorites]


Mod note: Just a minor procedural FYI, people were already discussing QEII's death in this thread when the others were posted, so we preferred to keep this one, where people were already mourning/talking. And we are quite sure there will be excellent retrospectives/analyses in the next few days that will merit their own threads, and there will be a state funeral in 10 days or so that will merit one, and so on. Sometimes we even prefer an obit thread of someone semi-famous to wait a week for a really good retrospective to be published, so we can have a great, insightful thread. QEII is super-famous, and we have a live-react thread here, and we know we'll have some further retrospective threads in the coming two weeks. Definitely if there is a particular aspect of her life, reign, or death that you would like to discuss in depth, think about framing a really good post about it with really great articles, and it's okay to wait a bit for the really great articles to appear in the media. And if in six months there's a great article about how Caribbean Commonwealth members' relationship to the Commonwealth is changing in the wake of QEII's death, POST IT THEN, that will be great. If you have questions or concerns, or want us to look at a prospective post, hit the contact form, we love to hear from you.

(Also if someone wants to do a specific high-quality nerdy thread on why Charles III is a horrible regnal name, that would be very relevant to my personal interests, please and thank you.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 7:23 PM on September 8 [40 favorites]


It's hard to imagine, for example, any Canadian indigenous person being anything but neutral at best about her passing

I was listening to the CBC a while back and there was an interview with a First Nations chief, and apparently a substantial number of Indigenous Canadians he knew had very strong positive feelings towards the royals, since they were the family that signed the treaties with them, rather than the government, which they had much less positive feelings toward. I’m probably not capturing it exactly, as it didn’t really make sense to me. This doesn’t mean colonialism & empire didn’t do enormous harm or that it’s a view shared by most, or even many First Nations people, but it did make me realize that I can’t really assume what a group of people believe in any useful or accurate way.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 7:31 PM on September 8 [13 favorites]


The thing I think is interesting is that on whole it seems like there's not much interest from the UK as to why people around the world are not treating this event as a tragedy and somber occasion. It's not simply ghoulish glee, there's a hell of a lot of reasons to not mourn the passing of the face of a country that pillaged and destroyed so much of the world but a lot of people seem to think she can be divorced from that fact.

The UK has happily made her the face of the country and now are mad that people with legitimate grievances with both the country she ruled over in name and the person herself are treating her the same way.
posted by Ferreous at 7:40 PM on September 8 [20 favorites]


Unexpected side effect #62: the next Bond film will see Bond serving on His Majesty’s Secret Service. Well, that is disorienting.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:47 PM on September 8 [12 favorites]


Speaking of films, has anyone posted a trailer to the 2017 movie of this very event?
posted by piyushnz at 7:55 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


Did you miss the news that the British Empire ended a while back? She actually presided over its dissolution.

It's not like she did this out of the goodness of her heart. There's been no accountability or reparations. People can't even, in this moment, handle that people who were colonized by the British empire aren't mourning. She was the Queen of England and people are acting like she's a simple old lady, being bullied in death. Lobbying Parliament, just like regular folks.
posted by Mavri at 7:55 PM on September 8 [32 favorites]


Speaking of films, has anyone posted a trailer to the 2017 movie of this very event?

The play was very good.
posted by Mavri at 7:56 PM on September 8


Trump says King Charles III will be a "great and wonderful king", Kelly McClure, Salon, September 8, 2022. Queen Elizabeth will keep an eye on him.
posted by cenoxo at 7:58 PM on September 8


Some pre-decimal, and pre-Elizabeth, coins remained in circulation in the UK throughout the 70s, and well into the 80s

Heh I have them as well because it used to be custom back when international travel isn't common for friends and family to pool the relevant currency when they have any, and my parents had A Lot. I have to go find them because by the 1990s I couldn't use them obviously, so it's mouldering somewhere. <
posted by cendawanita at 8:01 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


if someone wants to do a specific high-quality nerdy thread on why Charles III is a horrible regnal name

I'm pretty sure Charles II was popular enough to cancel out any leftover bad feelings toward Charles I. He was the Merry Monarch! He reopened the theaters! They named a breed of dog after him! A cute one!

If the name turns out to be unlucky for Charles III, it will be his own fault.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:18 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


"dead goat a dead GOAT" is seriously the best thing I've thought up today.
posted by clawsoon at 8:22 PM on September 8 [1 favorite]


I will always remember the images of her sat alone at her husband’s funeral, because of Covid rules. In that most bleak of moments, the one person who could justifiably consider herself above the rules, determined to set an example. A formidable and courageous woman.
posted by breakfast burrito at 8:27 PM on September 8 [27 favorites]


Unexpected side effect No. 837: In my family, there’s a certain way of telling a story in which someone is behaving in an oblivious but not intentionally obnoxious way: think of someone from a state with mandatory pump attendants at gas stations, who travels elsewhere and then waits at the self serve island, wondering why no employee is showing up to dispense the fuel. Anyway, these stories always include the phrase, “There I sat,” and everyone else chimes in, in unison, “Like the Queen of England!” I don’t know how this routine started, but I wonder if/how it will change.
posted by carmicha at 8:32 PM on September 8 [10 favorites]


If you've ever had full serve, this is common.
After Buckingham Palace was bombed, qe2ww2 Reportedly said:

"I am glad we have been bombed. Now we can look the East End in the eye."

She was a Honorary Colonel at 16.

"Princess Elizabeth began her training as a mechanic in March 1945. She undertook a driving and vehicle maintenance course at Aldershot, qualifying on April 14. Newspapers at the time dubbed her “Princess Auto Mechanic.”
posted by clavdivs at 8:54 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


I feel like this is happening on Twitter at the moment. A lot of Americans who truly do not care about the British monarchy are sort of rubbernecking in hopes of seeing drama, and there's just not much to be had yet. And the few critical tweets . . .

This is, I think, an artifact of who you follow (and/or who the algorithm boosts in your feed).

I wasn't seeing anything super nasty, per se, but stuff like the responses to this "Irish Twitter, please be respectful" tweet. (Spoiler: No.)

The response from the people in former, non-white-settler colonies strikes as something like what you might get if a great-great-granddaughter of R. E. Lee passed away. That she was personally perhaps quite nice, and the only cast member people liked on some reality show, is rather besides the point when being asked to join in public mourning rituals.
posted by mark k at 9:01 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


The nobility absolutely ran amok under Charles II.

As an example to illustrate how little control Charles II actually exerted, young Charles' most treasured possession was a silver pocket sundial has father King Charles I gave him the night before he was executed.

Charles II established the Greenwich Observatory essentially as a memorial to his father, though I’m not sure how formally.

And John Wilmot, infamous 2nd Earl of Rochester, with a couple of friends, got drunk one night, broke into the Observatory and smashed it all up — but suffered almost no consequences. Rochester also wrote a satire about the king while the King was still alive, in which he imagined an appropriate epitaph for Charles II:
Here lies our Sovereign Lord the King,
Whose word no man relies on,
Who never said a foolish thing,
Nor ever did a wise one.
Again without much consequence.
posted by jamjam at 9:07 PM on September 8 [4 favorites]


Rochester's collected letters are very much worth reading for many reasons, perhaps most especially for his observations on the care and feeding of Royalty. I had a copy, but it got away from me.
posted by jamjam at 9:13 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


.... Lee passed away. That she was personally perhaps quite nice, and the only cast member

"In 1902, (Mary Custis Lee) while in Alexandria, Virginia, she was arrested for refusing to sit in the whites-only section of a segregated streetcar, opting instead to sit with her black maid. Her arrest was controversial, and used by some as a symbol of desegregation, although historians debate what her intentions were for refusing to change seats. Afterward, she left for France, where she lived until the outbreak of World War I."

History is a little snapdragon, shush, Londons waking.
posted by clavdivs at 9:14 PM on September 8 [5 favorites]


If the name turns out to be unlucky for Charles III, it will be his own fault.

Maybe he should go with "The Monarch formerly known as Prince (Charles)"
posted by nubs at 9:21 PM on September 8 [8 favorites]


The nobility absolutely ran amok under Charles II.

The "plots" alone are like Peacock Original
posted by clavdivs at 9:21 PM on September 8


The BBC website is essentially wall to wall on the Queen, yet still had space on its front page to bring us the news that Peppa Pig has its first same-sex couple (which is great!). I guess Operation London Bridge plans didn't *expressly* disallow Pepa Pig news.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:34 PM on September 8 [9 favorites]


there was an interview with a First Nations chief, and apparently a substantial number of Indigenous Canadians he knew had very strong positive feelings towards the royals

Remarkably, one of her last public statements was in regards to the recent horrible stabbings on James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. Which I find I have complicated feelings about. Charles, despite being doofus most of the time, also genuinely seems to have a heartfelt interest in indigenous people here in Canada. It often comes off as patronising of course but to his credit not always.

I grew up in an anti-monarchist household (Leftist, Catholic and French... it goes with the territory) so I don't have a lot to say that hasn't been said about her legacy or the Queen as a person. I'm glad though that she had some of her family at her side when she died which is something, until we had a global pandemic, I hadn't realised how valuable and special that is for the dying person and those that remain.

That aside, one of the weirdly beloved desserts in our anti-monarchist household was the Queen Elizabeth Cake. So beloved was this cake that it was even served at my grandmother's wake. At least for that she will be fondly remembered in our household.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:26 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


My understanding is His Majesty was discussing the Royal Residence* with the Queen Consort as early as 1989.

* - as well as spiritual issues such as reincarnation
posted by MollyRealized at 10:32 PM on September 8 [2 favorites]


John Wilmot, infamous 2nd Earl of Rochester

And author of Signior Dildo.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:39 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


If the name turns out to be unlucky for Charles III, it will be his own fault.

Pretty much: born to a very long-lived mother, plus his marital dramas and commentary about wanting to be a tampon, plus he sounds fairly well pill-ish to deal with IRL. No point in changing it 'cause he cursed already by circumstances and personality.

Since there was a request...

A little about previous British kings called Charles as the Prince of Wales takes on the title of King Charles III

How many kings have been named Charles? Why Charles III will hope for a happier fate than Charles I and II


WHY KING CHARLES III'S REGNAL NAME DRAWS FROM A DUBIOUS PAST


King Charles III Is the Name. So Get Used to It.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:12 PM on September 8 [3 favorites]


Coming into this thread super late made for a very confusing first few comments.

Post title:
Queen Elizabeth II has died

Second comment:
"Jokes aside, I feel strangely sad about this, even considering ... everything. I suppose it must be pretty dire if they aren't downplaying it the way they have in the past year."

Me:
("...well, yes, I suppose her being dead is pretty dire, but what on earth does 'they aren't downplaying [her death] the way they have in the past year' mean?")
posted by Bugbread at 11:31 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


It was her mother--also Elizabeth--who said "I am glad we have been bombed. Now we can look the East End in the eye."
posted by brujita at 11:35 PM on September 8 [6 favorites]


Hi, I'm back. This still feels weird but I have been thinking about this all day and it would be pretty fucken great if King Charles were to finally give us our Kohinoor diamond back. And all the other precious stones that were stolen from us and are part of the Crown Jewels.

I can still wish that she rests in peace, but it’s long been time to return stolen stuff. Did y'all know the Taj Mahal used to be encrusted in jewels? That the Brits just fucken took? It's already a breathtaking example of gorgeous Islamic architecture as it currently stands. Can you imagine how magnificent it looked before all that shit was stolen from us?

Would be nice if the world stopped focusing on the goddamn double rainbow and instead extended some care for the communities that were oppressed by her spending a large part of her career presiding over a colonial empire and legitimizing the racism, classism, and power that came along with that. Fuck the double rainbow. I am nayantara and I'm here to say GIVE USE OUR SHIT BACK NOW OK? Don't bury her with OUR FUCKEN DIAMOND. It's ours.

Yeah. The level of complicated I feel about this is kind of overwhelming me at this point. On Facebook I see all of my white friends being like God Save the Queen aww double rainbow amaaaay-zing she's with Phillip now and all of my fricken Indian/Caribbean/East African friends flailing about in some combination of grief and pure unadulterated fury.

RIP Liz but goddamn. You could have and should have done better, and I hope Charles sees that. I know fucken Prince William doesn't and I dread the day that twat becomes the sovereign. He's 90% of the reason why Meghan Markle became suicidal living in that goddamn toxic family. Kate too. OH GOD I AM SO ANGRY.

This is complicated for a lot of us. Please grant us some grace while we figure out how to deal with this massive change in our already historically oppressed reality that we all grew up with.
posted by nayantara at 11:51 PM on September 8 [82 favorites]


Bugbread, check the original title in the link. When this thread started, she was under medical supervision amid health concerns. I think the title got changed when it was announced that she had died around this far into the thread.
posted by aniola at 12:22 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


... so the thing they weren't downplaying was the health concerns.
posted by aniola at 12:24 AM on September 9


Don't forget that in the 60's she fought against new laws on racial and sexual discrimination and ensured that she was exempted.

I'm honestly busy this week mourning one of my Aunts who was a kind person who didn't make a huge mark on the world but also didn't sit on a golden throne most of her life, ruling over colonies and furthering a medieval institution whose greatest legacy has always been war and destruction and that by its very nature implies that there are people who are born to rule over others.

I'm encouraged to see Charles take the throne because for whatever reason, people dislike him even more. He's more likely, it seems, to cause some constitutional crisis and hopefully dissolve this evil, anachronistic farce.
posted by vacapinta at 12:27 AM on September 9 [23 favorites]


Just a brief point of order: there has not been anyone with the title "Queen of England" for centuries, thanks to the Acts of Union.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 12:41 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


The thing about being nice about Elizabeth the person is that royalty is DIFFERENT. In royalty, the office is literally embodied in the person. Hence all the elaborate etiquette. Perhaps they don't cure scrofula by divine power any more, but they are the state and they reign if they don't rule and some of us are subjects whether we like it or not. She is/was the Crown, and if you and yours suffered at the hand of the Crown, it's tough to mourn her. Respect for feelings goes both ways.

Personally I think if there has to be a monarch, she made a fairly good fist of it, and it's hard to be mad at someone when they are at an advanced age. Hereditary jobs deform the people raised for them, as does incredible wealth, so it's hard to see how she could have been any better. But I don't want to see any more monarchs. Pension them off, let them transition back to ordinary citizens, use those assets to benefit a few more more people than one family. Down with aristocrats.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:51 AM on September 9 [20 favorites]


If Tony Abbott was still Prime Minister of Australia, the country's harsh sedition laws would be being brought to bear against larrikin shitposters who crossed the line, with ASIO mass-surveillance data being used to deanonymise them and prosecute them. This is the country that jailed someone for calling Captain Cook a racist a few years ago, after all.
posted by acb at 1:22 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


.
posted by bouvin at 1:37 AM on September 9


I;m not especially invested in the royals, although I do think it's a good thing to have seperate heads of state and heads of government, but this news made me surprisingly sad. I was born a few months after she came to the throne and she's just always been *there*, and for such a long time. It's as if a large tree you see everyday has been cut down,

Anyway, here's my Queen Story. I used to work at the Wallace Collection, and she came to open the museum after it had been closed for remodelling, and was talking to the then director (an expert on Sevres porcelain). The director was apparently holding forth about the museum's extensive collection and, after a pause, the queen said "We have a lot of sevres at the palace too. Of course we *use* ours... "

Also, about the currency - the only reason all our currency in the UK has her face on it is that her reign covered decimalisation, when all the old currency went. As a child, before that, I regularly saw coins in my change that dated as far back as Victoria. Like Elizabeth, Queen Victoria had two lost of portraits on her coins; the old-lady ones were quite common, but "bun pennies", showing her as a young woman with her hair in a bun were rarer and quite a curiosity.

Ooh, and another anecdote; I worked as a cleaner at Buckingham Palace for a while, and remember hearing the strains of the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" coming from the butler's pantry as I dusted.
posted by Fuchsoid at 1:47 AM on September 9 [42 favorites]


In today's useful example on how occupation succeeds with the help of local elites, the sultan of pahang (one of the states in peninsular territory of Malaysia) earlier announced that the state would have flags flown at half mast. The tweet/announcement is now deleted.

Ugh, 'at least' the brits and the existing crown territories had to bother with one royal household. I have nine of these fucks who managed to sell us down the river and still got reinstated after ww2. And that's after agreeing to this protectorate status called Malayan Union which would've gone ahead if people didn't actually demonstrated on the streets.
posted by cendawanita at 2:02 AM on September 9 [12 favorites]


Do the currency printers have to pause until Charles' official portrait as king comes out, or do they just keep printing queen dollars and pounds?

roughly 7 years, same in Colchester.
Her portrait was first printed on currency in 1960.


Just to clarify, it wasn't that it took 7 years to get a portrait of the Queen, it's that 1960 was the first time a picture of the monarch was put on UK bank notes.
posted by biffa at 2:26 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


The thing I think is interesting is that on whole it seems like there's not much interest from the UK as to why people around the world are not treating this event as a tragedy and somber occasion. It's not simply ghoulish glee, there's a hell of a lot of reasons to not mourn the passing of the face of a country that pillaged and destroyed so much of the world but a lot of people seem to think she can be divorced from that fact.

The UK has happily made her the face of the country and now are mad that people with legitimate grievances with both the country she ruled over in name and the person herself are treating her the same way.


Big generalisation there: I believe you're underestimating the degree of anti-monarchist sentiment here in the UK. Whilst there are indeed many UK people with the attitudes you mention (and it's right to criticise them), there are also many who completely understand and sympathise with those legitimate grievances you cited, and some of us are here in this very thread. We're not all forelock-tugging, Gawd-bless-'er-Majesty serfs here in the UK, and not all of us "happily made her the face of the country".
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 2:33 AM on September 9 [30 favorites]


Monarchy tastes of copper and glue.

this is a great line.

Personally I would like to get rid of the monarchy, but I feel like she was about as good a monarch as we could hope for, within that role. Maybe a different, more remarkable person would have transcended the inherently colonialist, conservative, anti-democratic, anti-meritocratic nature of being Queen, and she didn’t do that. But 70 years of being in the job and generally not making things worse is a pretty good run.

It would be nice to think that she was a sort of transitional figure, seeing us through the end of empire and into modernity, so we could use this moment to solemnly thank her for her service and gracefully dissolve the whole institution, but hey-ho.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 2:40 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


The thing I think is interesting is that on whole it seems like there's not much interest from the UK as to why people around the world are not treating this event as a tragedy and somber occasion.

We're still in the first 24 hours after the announcement. The focus here is still on the actual death and some of its implications I would say (also there's a big uptick in searches about getting an extra bank holiday apparently). It seems a bit early to be drawing any conclusion about what UK people are thinking about whether other countries are properly sad enough. Though probably the Mail will pick that up around Sunday.
posted by biffa at 2:45 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Brit, born in '54. She was Queen for the whole of my life and it will be weird to hear people talking about the King, or hearing about King's Counsels or swearing allegiance to His Majesty. Won't be another Queen in my lifetime and possibly not for a very long time after that.

And, as someone quipped on Twitter, come Christmas Day when people talk about the KIng's Speech many of us will assume it is a rerun of the movie.

Not looking forward to the next few days...
posted by epo at 3:15 AM on September 9 [10 favorites]


Perhaps my home broadband is a bit iffy but I doubt it, this is a huge stress test for the BBC's web and mobile coverage. The BBC news app is incredibly laggy on my iPhone though everything else seems to be OK.

And at 12:00, here in Edinburgh, a couple of miles from where the body will be initially laid to rest, I can hear a single bell tolling. A lot of times, perhaps one for each year of her life. Bell ringer must be knackered.
posted by epo at 4:02 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


this is a huge stress test for the BBC's web and mobile coverage.

The Royal Mint has set up a queuing system to load the front page of its website ("Number of users in queue ahead of you:146"). How very British.
posted by rory at 4:06 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


NPR's newscaster just said "King Charles is returning to London this morning," and that name sounded so weird.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:08 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Tweeted by @davidmackau: "this remains an all-time story about the queen". Two American hikers run into the Queen, and hilarity ensues. Old Liz had quite the sense of humor.

.

ps to kevin goody in gasforth: the big extremely royal 'er' in your office will be going away soon, but you'll be getting a brand new 'criii' (conspicuously royal indubitably impressive indeed) to replace it. be careful hanging it up.
posted by zaixfeep at 4:09 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


Wikipedia > King Charles III > Titles and styles; honours and military appointments; arms; banners, flags, and standards (Do you have a flag?); coronation (code name: “Operation Golden Orb”: see also Cosmopolitan, Sep 8, 2022). Long live the King!
posted by cenoxo at 4:10 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


US television broadcasts I have seen are certainly presenting this as nothing other than a tragedy, despite the very strong reactions that folks are having around the world and within our country. The news anchors are doing variously good jobs in covering this, one on CNN saying "So Charles is a king now. That's quite a title!" and other similarly vacuous statements.
posted by cupcakeninja at 4:10 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


A lot of times, perhaps one for each year of her life. Bell ringer must be knackered.

I was reading about this yesterday. According to the guidance from the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, the bells are tolled at the discretion of the local Parochial Church Council, but they must be rung muffled or half muffled, and may ring for up to an hour. Our local church rang for (I believe) 96 times with a half muffled bell.

They'll ring again when they officially announce the accession, unmuffled, then will be half or fully muffled again until the funeral. TIL!
posted by fight or flight at 4:25 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


With a new King residing in Buckingham Palace, will there be another Michael Fagan (Town & Country, Nov 16, 2020)?
posted by cenoxo at 4:39 AM on September 9


I have gone down to the pub for lunch (because nothing in the fridge appealed).

This may have been a mistake. The TV in here is tuned to the BBC's Dead Queen Marathon, and the volume is up. Fortunately it's far enough away that I can ignore it, but still.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:48 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


Tweeted by @davidmackau: "this remains an all-time story about the queen". Two American hikers run into the Queen, and hilarity ensues. Old Liz had quite the sense of humor.

I like this story. Just like I like the story about her taking the crown prince of Saudi Arabia for a joyride, or quietly pressuring Thatcher to get on board with the rest of the Commonwealth and do the right thing re: South Africa.

I want to remember the Queen as a sly, slightly out-of-control grandmother who provided reassurance when needed, humbled others with her own humility, and quietly stood for the important things. This neatly fits my model of how a monarchy should operate in the modern era: they're there when you need them, they're there when you least expect them, but most of the time they're completely irrelevant and might as well be random strangers on a walking path.

But then I realize how completely unrealistic and unsustainable this kind of monarchy is. Queen Elizabeth didn't always speak out when she probably should have and she didn't always use her influence to promote worthy causes. We can argue over where and what for, but the fact remains that being a "soft" power who only speaks up when it's absolutely necessary means one can't take a stand on everything and there will be things that get ignored and terrible circumstances where the monarch is perceived to be quietly complicit.

It's completely unreasonable to have a kindly grandmother as head of state--or anyone else for that matter--and expect them to only get involved when we need them and expect them to make the right decision on whether we need them 100% of the time.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 4:56 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


An unelected head of state shouldn't be influencing any policy. Its all very well if you agree with a particular intervention but given that the King/Queen of the UK is likely to be highly privileged, very rich and draws all their advisors from the military, the landed gentry or chums from private school (and that might just be one person) the policies they choose to support may reflect that.
posted by biffa at 5:05 AM on September 9 [13 favorites]


David Mack at Buzzfeed News: “21 Unexpected And Surprising Twitter Accounts Paying Tribute To The Queen”

@vulgadrawings on Instagram is rounding up the most tasteless social media condolence posts in their stories; I can't decide if Hooters UK or the British Kebab Awards is my favourite.

I've never seen such a strong example in my lifetime of how thin the line between pathos and bathos can be.
posted by terretu at 5:18 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


The condolences from the West End productions of Les Mis (now deleted) and Hamilton were my favourites, if only for all the people in the replies asking if the social media manager has ever read or watched the play.
posted by fight or flight at 5:27 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


epo: ...I can hear a single bell tolling. A lot of times, perhaps one for each year of her life. Bell ringer must be knackered.

On the (U.S.) news this morning they showed a gun salute in Hyde Park: one round for each year she lived.

Those cannoneers are going to be stone deaf before they finish, poor lads.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:50 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Kings and Queens of England & Britain, Ben Johnson, Historic UK (to the present day).

There is a useful Victorian poem (for certain value of “useful”) if you need to remember them in order from 1066 on:
Willy, Willy, Harry, Ste,
Harry, Dick, John, Harry three.
One two three Neds, Richard Two,
Henry, four, five, six then who?

Edward four, five, Dick the Bad;
Harrys twain and Ned the lad.
Mary, Bessie, James the vain;
Charlie, Charlie, James again.

William and Mary, Anna Gloria,
Four Georges, William, Victoria.
At this point there are a few twentieth/twenty-first century addenda versions. My own usual version (slightly stale now) is:
Edward, George, then Eddie Eight,
George; now Bess is head of state.
After Liz (who’s still alive)
Comes Charlie Three and Willy Five.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 5:51 AM on September 9 [31 favorites]


The condolences from the West End productions of Les Mis (now deleted) and Hamilton were my favourites, if only for all the people in the replies asking if the social media manager has ever read or watched the play.

The London Les Misérables Twitter account has form on this: witness their proud posting of a Photoshopped commemorative Platinum Jubilee plate, featuring an image of starving pauper Cosette wearing a crown. As a big fan of Les Mis in general, “tasteless” doesn’t even begin to describe that one.
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 5:56 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


On my TL I keep seeing the Irish branches QT-ing variations of Nope to their hq condolences. The Irish Hamilton production did elicit a chuckle.

Other stuff from my side of twitter:
Gillian Branstetter: As long as we're focusing on the living consequences of British colonialism let's revisit the many laws in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean enacted by British colonists that criminalize homosexuality to this day

lyad el-Baghdadi: There's this entire genre of anecdotes that make it seem like minor gestures of disapproval are somehow heroic. I'm sure he was fine with a woman driving him so long the UK continued to support his regime militarily, diplomatically, economically, and in just about every other way

Jennine: I don’t care about the queen, I care about my grandma who suffered like many others because of the british empire. they gave what wasn’t theirs to give and she died in a camp waiting to return to palestine. vale my queen, my sitti

Peter Darker: This is why you don’t mourn imperialists and colonialists.

Roughly every 6 days in the world, a country celebrates its independence from Britain.

It’s the most widely celebrated holiday in the world.


SpiritofLenin: Pictured here is the Kohinoor diamond. Stolen by the British and now in the hands of their Royal Family.

The British looted an est £45 thrillion from India between 1765-1938. They looted so much the word loot entered the English language from the Hindustani word meaning to rob


Vik Sohonie: When Gaddafi died, there was unadulterated cheers in western halls of power. If Putin was to croak tomorrow, there would be a debauched party in London. But if a monarch with the blood of millions upon millions on multiple continents dies, we’re supposed to show class. 🤨

Hanny: singaporeans mourning the death of lizzie is so funny to me esp when singapore today is literally a chinese ethnostate built on british thievery of indigenous lands

Runi al Dinamarki: Here's a picture of Queen Elizabeth in Aden. Dated 1954.

The Queen ruled over South Yemen as a colony in which native Yemenis were separated from the public image while white Britons lingered around as if it was their own country.


Nazeera Nasir: Lest we forget the reason why brown folks are more susceptible to diabetes and heart disease because their bodies went into "starvation-adapted" mode and thus making them store more fat.

It was because of the multiple famines they suffered under the British colonial rule.
links to: How History Still Weighs Heavy On South Asian Bodies Today

Carmen's Grandaughter: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II died in the middle of an energy crisis that will see many British people freeze to death this winter. A reminder that Queen Elizabeth tried to use State Poverty Fund to heat Buckingham Palace.

Amina Akhtar: If you’re upset that people from colonized countries—whose families were impacted directly by the British monarch—aren’t being “respectful,” maybe just stop and read why people hate them. This wasn’t stuff that happened a long time ago. My parents were born under colonial rule.
posted by cendawanita at 5:58 AM on September 9 [49 favorites]


Jimmy Kimmel made a joke tonight (in good taste) about aunts being all too affected by UK royal stuff happening. Big yep! My aunts on my father's side are oddly really invested in the monarchy. We/I am/are old English colonial bastards such that my great great great great great grandmother had her family killed by Indians and was carried off and either traded back or escaped or something. We were here when every thing west of the Appalachians was a big question mark. Aunt always bring up that our mountain dialect is the closest thing to English as it was spoken back then. None of us besides the Aunts really give a shit. I don't even want to know which side we were on during the Revolutionary War. But it is mostly just a passing interest of long ago history generations separated like a long lost bit of cultural memory.

I'm a bit Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen - YouTube, but also poor young lady and the universe forced her into her position and neutral is a hard position to hold.

Rest In Peace.

.
posted by zengargoyle at 5:58 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


There is a useful Victorian poem (for certain value of “useful”) if you need to remember them in order from 1066 on

The Horrible Histories’ ‘Kings and Queens’ song is a rather catchy one.
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 6:00 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


And:

Mic Wright: From 8 years after Queen Elizabeth’s coronation until well into the 1970s, the British government engaged in Operation Legacy, destroying records of the British empire’s crimes. Now *is* the time to discuss this kind of detail because her death is used to push a sanitised history

Ting: Great thread by @riveramichael. In places like Hong Kong (‘the margin of the empire’), imperialism reinforced not only colonial traditionalism but also existing racism towards brown & black ppl fr Han and alike. eg the death of a south Asian man and the lack of outrage
posted by cendawanita at 6:02 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


The thing I think is interesting is that on whole it seems like there's not much interest from the UK as to why people around the world are not treating this event as a tragedy and somber occasion. It's not simply ghoulish glee, there's a hell of a lot of reasons to not mourn the passing of the face of a country that pillaged and destroyed so much of the world but a lot of people seem to think she can be divorced from that fact.

It astonishes me that anyone would be surprised by this. She was a very popular public figure in the UK and we have never reflected in full on the British Empire. Why would we be likely to do so now?

(Personally, I don't think it makes sense to hold her accountable for the decisions of British governments, but her job was to represent the state to those who love the UK and those who have good reason to hate us so it's not surprising that other people see things differently.)
posted by plonkee at 6:03 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


When Gaddafi died, there was unadulterated cheers in western halls of power. If Putin was to croak tomorrow, there would be a debauched party in London. But if a monarch with the blood of millions upon millions on multiple continents dies, we’re supposed to show class.

don't really care whether people 'show class', but it would probably help if they could tell the difference between (i) an actual dictator personally pursuing the deaths of thousands and (ii) a constitutional monarch who chose not to override the decisions of elected governments.
posted by inire at 6:19 AM on September 9 [27 favorites]


Carnegie Mellon University has issued a statement regarding Professor Uju Anya's tweets yesterday. Absolutely disgusting from an institution prepared to profit from the hard work of Black women and apparently willing to throw them under the bus when they share their own (personal! Private!) views on a harmful institution.
posted by fight or flight at 6:20 AM on September 9 [11 favorites]


Queen Elizabeth II: King Charles to address nation as monarch for first time, Adam Durbin,
BBC News, 9th September 2022. King Charles III is expected to address the nation [prerecorded] for the first time as sovereign at 18:00 BST [*], following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

*Compare your local time at The World Clock.
posted by cenoxo at 6:27 AM on September 9


for context, as twitter has deleted various tweets, professor anya's comments - made before the death was announced - included both her views on the institution of the monarchy (which didn't say anything that hasn't been said here and elsewhere), and the comment 'may her pain be excruciating', which seems most likely to be what carnegie mellon is referring to when it talks about her "offensive and objectionable messages".
posted by inire at 6:29 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


(ii) a constitutional monarch who chose not to override the decisions of elected governments.

Though in this very thread we find cited instances where 'chose' is perhaps the least accurate word imaginable. But hey, it's those elected governments' choice to be bullied by a constitutional monarch, I'm sure. I recognize the vibe, having to suffer under nine (9!) such constitutional monarchs.
posted by cendawanita at 6:29 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


An unelected head of state shouldn't be influencing any policy.

And the problem is that anything an unelected head of state does either influences policy or is influenced by policy. Even when they're acting as consoler-in-chief or as an advocate for some sort of universally recognized cause, it's still influencing policy because a decision will be made whether the most recent flood deserves a visit to survey the damage or whether a recent tragedy is worthy of the head of state to come and help the victims grieve. Taking a public stand against poaching elephants or advocating that children should be fed is all fine and good, but it comes at the expense of all those other things they're not publicly taking a stand against.

At least in the U.S. we occasionally swap people out of the bully pulpit. Imagine having an imperfect individual occupy it for seventy years!
posted by RonButNotStupid at 6:41 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


Deborah Face: You always read about how active and engaged in governance [she is] until you tie her to the crimes of the government and then she barely does anything because her role is completely ceremonial.
posted by cendawanita at 6:48 AM on September 9 [12 favorites]


→ biffa: An unelected head of state shouldn't be influencing any policy

I've mentioned my unelected HoS policy meddling interaction before, but there are some "yeah anyone can write a letter so what?" comments above that might not get the gravity of the situation.

About 30 years ago, I was working for a wind farm developer. We had an amazing prospective site in the NE of Scotland: supportive community, nearby electrical infrastructure and wind resource almost off the charts. We were getting towards the end of the public consultation period when we received the following letter, which I don't remember perfectly, but it looked a little like this:
Her Royal Highness Elizabeth, Queen Mother

Clarence House, 199_

To whom it may concern:

Her Royal Highness has received plans for the _____ Wind Energy Project, and wishes to intimate that the project will be in full view of Her Royal Highness on Her annual fishing trip to the River ____. Her Royal Highness requests that you make the necessary arrangements.

(signed)
Y A Chinless-Wonder
p.p. Her Royal Highness Elizabeth, Queen Mother
We took legal advice. The advice we got was to pack up and go home: the project was over, because of this one letter. We wouldn't get the necessary permits for anything. We couldn't appeal, because there was nothing in law we could appeal against. The project — millions of pounds invested, the potential for decades of clean energy — just faded away because an old lady might've seen a wind turbine once a year.
posted by scruss at 7:01 AM on September 9 [86 favorites]


And the problem is that anything an unelected head of state does either influences policy or is influenced by policy. Even when they're acting as consoler-in-chief or as an advocate for some sort of universally recognized cause, it's still influencing policy because a decision will be made whether the most recent flood deserves a visit to survey the damage or whether a recent tragedy is worthy of the head of state to come and help the victims grieve.

For example: Diana's AIDS advocacy work...

Philip Proudfoot: During the 1980s, the queen tried to stop Princess Diana's work in HIV advocacy, telling her to do something "more pleasant." But Diana ignored her, instead using her platform to tackle stigma and offer comfort to terrified people sick with what was then a terminal illness.
posted by cendawanita at 7:02 AM on September 9 [18 favorites]


> And the problem is that anything an unelected head of state does either influences policy or is influenced by policy.

Someone speaking on NPR today -- I didn't catch their name -- said that the queen had less power than her subjects, because they could vote and she couldn't. Good lord.
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:07 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


The project — millions of pounds invested, the potential for decades of clean energy — just faded away because an old lady might've seen a wind turbine once a year.

When your Nan is the world's sweetest and most respectable corrupt New Jersey businessman.
posted by clawsoon at 7:22 AM on September 9 [11 favorites]


don't really care whether people 'show class', but it would probably help if they could tell the difference between (i) an actual dictator personally pursuing the deaths of thousands and (ii) a constitutional monarch who chose not to override the decisions of elected governments

She was the face of and primary beneficiary of , at best, a $30 billion PR and lobbying firm financed by genocide and subjugation; whose wealth is directly linked to British Imperialism in the past, present, and future.

She didn't "actively pursue the deaths of thousands" because the prevailing systems of power do that on her behalf.

Half the world is processing the passing of a symbol of genocidal, subjugative, white supremacy. Whether they mistake the (horrendously wealthy) face of global colonialism with the murderous spears her family and closest relations put in place, maintain, and continue to profit from, seems incredible immaterial in this moment, and I'd ask you not make it your ambition to teach them right now.
posted by CPAnarchist at 7:23 AM on September 9 [18 favorites]


United Kingdom: Nuclear Weapon Command, Control, And Communications; John Gower, Nautilus Institute NAPSNet Special Report, September 12, 2019:
Launch Authority and Last Resort

Authority to launch the UK’s nuclear weapons rests solely with the Prime Minister, as the National Command Authority (NCA). In times of crisis, the PM may nominate formal Nuclear Deputies who can take nuclear release decisions upon the death of the Prime Minister, thus negating the intended paralysing effect of a decapitation strike or targeted assassination of the PM as part of an extreme crisis. The Prime Minister is advised by a small group of key ministers and officials.

The UK is significantly different from all other nuclear weapon states in that the military has no formal role in the advice or decision upon whether to launch UK SLBM (save detailed expert advice on whether the options for consideration are capable of being executed as the political leadership might desire)….
More details in the article. Royalty may have some political/social influence, but they have no nuclear launch authority.
posted by cenoxo at 7:28 AM on September 9


OTOH, if the monarch detonated a nuclear device, they would not be committing any crime.
posted by acb at 7:32 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I think I am missing where the nuclear reference came from?
posted by biffa at 7:42 AM on September 9


The project — millions of pounds invested, the potential for decades of clean energy — just faded away because an old lady might've seen a wind turbine once a year.

This isn't to absolve her of participating in a venal, hidebound institution, but I'd put real money on a bet that she never once either heard about the project or the letter.
posted by tclark at 7:42 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


So having the seen the Security Circus that preceded Ted Kennedy visiting my neighbors' house a dozen years earlier, I figured they would lock us all in our dorm rooms or something.

President Biden is visiting the JFK Presidential Library on Monday and nearby UMass Boston has just announced that all classes will be remote because the campus will effectively be closed due to the security requirements.

Granted the Queen was only a ceremonial head of state and not the prime minister, but I can definitely see the appeal of having someone so important be so accessible and nonchalant about their appearances.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 7:45 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


This isn't to absolve her of participating in a venal, hidebound institution, but I'd put real money on a bet that she never once either heard about the project or the letter.

About QEII, I might believe that, but the Queen Mother was famously a terrible snob and could easily have done such a thing.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:51 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


It doesn't really make it any better that unearned power devolved from her to her lackeys.
posted by biffa at 7:53 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


the Queen Mother was famously a terrible snob and could easily have done such a thing.

Oh, I'd definitely believe it about the Queen Mother.
posted by tclark at 7:53 AM on September 9


She didn't "actively pursue the deaths of thousands" because the prevailing systems of power do that on her behalf.

It's funny, I tend to feel that the royal family is extruded to be figureheads on the behalf of capital, the ruling class and to a less complete extent white UK people. The whole system is designed to produce a deformed and damaged group of morally stunted people who, eg, don't know how to put toothpaste on their own toothbrushes, literally cannot handle anything outside a very narrow range of experiences, aren't able to feel a normal range of human feelings because their life experience is so constricted, etc, and then pose these deformed people in fancy clothes to create parasocial relationships that legitimate and/or take the heat for capital.

It is a sign of how fascinated that we all are by wealth that we think that somehow the wealth is good, that it's a benefit, that these people are lucky to be deformed and damaged and morally stunted and that naturally you would have to be very unselfish indeed not to want to be deformed and damaged and morally stunted too.
posted by Frowner at 7:55 AM on September 9 [24 favorites]


It is a sign of how fascinated that we all are by wealth that we think that somehow the wealth is good, that it's a benefit, that these people are lucky to be deformed and damaged and morally stunted and that naturally you would have to be very unselfish indeed not to want to be deformed and damaged and morally stunted too.

Capitalism manages to damage and morally stunt people on the bottom, too, which brings to mind the quote, "Money, if it does not bring you happiness, will at least help you be miserable in comfort."
posted by clawsoon at 7:59 AM on September 9 [9 favorites]


That may be true, but at the same time they still have immense wealth and soft power, never have to worry about food on the table or heating their homes. I get it's not an easy life per se, but it's a hell of a lot easier than trying to survive on minimum wage doing kitchen work.
posted by Ferreous at 8:01 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


She didn't "actively pursue the deaths of thousands" because the prevailing systems of power do that on her behalf.

Right here, I think, is the point where the story turns.

QEII was a figurehead for the prevailing systems of power, and did the job so brilliantly that now, at her passing, she is still absorbing the blame for thousands upon thousands of terrible acts that were perpetuated in her name (or the name of "The Crown" or "The Empire") but which were actually planned and carried out by men (and a few women, but mostly men) whose names are now obscured by the (rightful) anger at those acts that is being directed at her.

What frustrates me (and I think a lot of people) is NOT that people are using her passing as an opportunity to educate the world about some of the horrors carried out in her name. Its that it is only her name that is being spoken, when she had about much say in these acts as the actual figurehead on a ship would.

One prime example is the extensive discussion of the Kenyan Gulags and the Mau Mau Uprising, many of which frame her was the person "responsible" for these horrors, despite the fact that she had zero authority to either authorize or stop military operations. Again, let me stress that wider education about this reprehensible chapter in history is absolutely a good thing.

However, what I don't see anywhere in the conversation are the names of Churchill or Eden, or of Thomas Askwith, who actually planned the Gulag system, or Evelyn Baring, who was Governor-General of Kenya. When you omit their names from the conversation, when you essentially assign the blame to her, you are doing exactly what The Establishment wants. The Establishment is deeply invested in maintaining the Royal Family as consenting figureheads exactly because it shields them, and their names, from judgement about and responsibility for their horrific actions.
posted by anastasiav at 8:15 AM on September 9 [92 favorites]


the Queen Mother was famously a terrible snob and could easily have done such a thing.
Oh, I'd definitely believe it about the Queen Mother.


It was the Queen Mother; (for non Brits, she was also called Elizabeth). She's been dead for 20 years, though. The Crown (nearly said Queen there!) exercises significant control over their privately owned lands, and the lobbying via the Privy Council referred to repeatedly above to amend laws etc concerns those. And certainly plenty of soft power in planning that impacts them directly etc. But actual government policy and passing laws? Basically a human-shaped rubber stamp.

Of course, the British monarch is also the public face of a country with a looong history of invasion, brutal oppression and legalised theft, and you don't have to go back *that* far to when the Crown held real power. 48 countries celebrate their independence day from British rule, more than twice the next (France). Whether it was the Crown or the Government of the day that was technically responsible, if being glad to see the back of QEII helps people feel better, then what does it matter in the end?
posted by Absolutely No You-Know-What at 8:20 AM on September 9


List of countries that have gained independence from the United Kingdom, with dates.

You could have a holiday pretty much every week of the year.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 8:35 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


"the Queen in right of New Zealand" or "the Queen in right of the realm of New Zealand".

I've signed for "The Crown in right of Canada" more than once (actually just authorized the right people to sign for me---but I'm responsible for that authorization to the extent of criminal penalties for screwing up, so I count it as signing). Canada (and I think Australia) is kind of complicated be cause we legally have 11 "Crowns", the Crown in right of Canada, but also a Crown in right of each province. This is a legal artifact of the provinces, at least in part, existing before confederation, so separate "Crowns" were incorporated for each as well as for the country itself to manage our separation of powers.

Amusingly, it means when a province sues the federal government for something, like carbon taxes, the Crown in right of Alberta sues the Crown in right of Canada, and the sovereign is both defendant and plaintiff.
posted by bonehead at 8:37 AM on September 9 [14 favorites]


A short Twitter thread about the chaos at a Canadian new citizen swearing-in ceremony

Found it interesting how the judge and other officials weren’t sure what to do with the official oath since it still requires swearing allegiance to the queen.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 8:50 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


IIRC, the oath of allegiance (in the UK, at least) was to “HM The Queen and her successors”. Surely this would be valid as long as long as the Queen it refers to is unambiguous.
posted by acb at 8:59 AM on September 9


She didn't "actively pursue the deaths of thousands" because the prevailing systems of power do that on her behalf.

Half the world is processing the passing of a symbol of genocidal, subjugative, white supremacy. Whether they mistake the (horrendously wealthy) face of global colonialism with the murderous spears her family and closest relations put in place, maintain, and continue to profit from, seems incredible immaterial in this moment, and I'd ask you not make it your ambition to teach them right now.


i wouldn't argue with anyone pointing out that she was a wealthy and unelected figurehead for a colonial, imperialist, white supremacist system responsible for assorted bloody horrors, because that's a fact. nor would i argue that someone is wrong to see her as being thereby morally tainted and not worthy of their sadness or respect, because that's a personal opinion.

but as anastasiav points out, there is in reality quite a big difference between 'largely ceremonial figurehead' and 'person actually in charge'. even if the figurehead gives the government a regular nudge to keep their trout streams pristine and their wealth tax-free.

assertions that there is no moral difference between the government ordering the massacre and the figurehead 'presiding' or 'supervising' or 'failing to speak up' (or whatever fuzzy term is used to justify the equivalence) are false, and the fact that they're motivated by justified rage at the brutal legacy of colonialism doesn't make them true.

it's not my place to try to teach anyone tweeting about this, but i'm not going to pretend that qe2 was somehow putin with extra corgis. others can if they want, but i imagine the ukrainians might have something to say about it.
posted by inire at 9:03 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


When I was sworn in as a Canadian citizen, I mouthed the oath while in the room with my fellow new citizens (pre-COVID!) because of my distate for the monarchy. I know you can't get around it and my life is here, so I kinda faked it.
posted by Kitteh at 9:04 AM on September 9


At least in the U.S. we occasionally swap people out of the bully pulpit. Imagine having an imperfect individual occupy it for seventy years!

But that is not quite how it is. I cannot disagree that the royals have too much influence and capital, but their influence is tiny compared to an elected president in the US and many other countries. And Prime Ministers, who are the people with real power in constitutional monarchies, can be kicked out whenever. You don't have to wait four years. Look at the ongoing carnival that is UK politics.

In a constitutional monarchy, parliament can check any excess from the monarch, if they want to. The most obvious example of this was when Edward-something wanted to marry a known fascist, and was forced to abdicate.
My impression is that the overreach and corruption among ERII's offspring has more to do with parliamentary disfunction than tyrannical powers.

Charles III and his son may not be as good at royaling as Queen Elisabeth, but it is Parliament's job to hold them responsible and make them do their jobs: cutting ribbons and heading charities and going to church after catastrophes.
posted by mumimor at 9:05 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


what I don't see anywhere in the conversation are the names of Churchill or Eden, or of Thomas Askwith, who actually planned the Gulag system, or Evelyn Baring, who was Governor-General of Kenya. When you omit their names from the conversation, when you essentially assign the blame to her.

Did they just die? She just died, so people are talking about her and her legacy. These men and their culpability are (or should be) included in the histories, but right now people are talking about the person who just died.

Let the Descendants of Britain's Empire Have their Glee

“We will not blame him for the crimes of his ancestors if he relinquishes the royal rights of his ancestors; but as long as he claims their rights, by virtue of descent, then, by virtue of descent, he must shoulder the responsibility for their crimes.” —James Connolly on George V
posted by Mavri at 9:06 AM on September 9 [32 favorites]


And the national anthem is changing. The words are beyond ingrained right now. We don't get to sing it very often so people are going to be singing "God save our gracious Qu...ing" for years!
posted by epo at 9:06 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


Yes, the national anthem is changing its pronouns. It's going to be real fun watching the right wingers get their heads around that one.
posted by automatronic at 9:15 AM on September 9 [11 favorites]


On a tangent: is it known whether QE2 had, in fact, ever eaten swan in her life?
posted by acb at 9:16 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


A bunch of other properties are the personal property of the current Royal Family, and so they'd just continue to own those buildings and things [if the monarchy were abolished].

They'd keep owning them if Parliament or its successor(s) said so. OTOH, if Parliament or its successor(s) said they were and had always been the legitimate property of the British / English / Scottish / Welsh / Northern Irish / Republic of Ireland state and that personal or private ownership was just a fiction they were doing away with, they could do that too.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 9:33 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Britain could plan for the Queen’s death – but not for the risky tides of public feeling - Marina Hyde.
From the loss of Diana to Brexit, spontaneous outpourings of emotion terrify those in power. How will they respond now?.... The public reaction to the Queen’s death began the moment it was announced. But the reaction to that reaction will be part of the story; and both are deeply significant, and only just beginning to unfold.
posted by adamvasco at 9:34 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


It's going to be real fun watching the right wingers get their heads around that one.

Or as S. Bear Bergman put it:
Also now we’re going to watch a bunch of people who met me last week but somehow can’t “remember” my pronouns seamlessly switch to Gd Save The King.
(Laughs hollowly in trans masc.)
posted by fight or flight at 9:35 AM on September 9 [22 favorites]


But that is not quite how it is. I cannot disagree that the royals have too much influence and capital, but their influence is tiny compared to an elected president in the US and many other countries.

I meant that there's this very public-facing "office", as it were, which commands a lot of attention and respect that in the absence of hard power is expected to play the role of public advocate and leader, but is subject to the individual whims, prejudices, and follies of whoever is occupying that position.

The Diana/AIDS advocacy example quoted upthread is a good example. Things that the Queen thinks are important get her attention and advocacy, and that's OK except that it also means the things the Queen isn't interested in promoting get ignored.

When I said that at least in the U.S. we change out the bully pulpet once and a while, I was referring to how often different presidents have a different slate of things to use their soft power to advocate whether it's physical fitness, literacy, childhood obesity, etc. It can be debated whether each individual president's interests are of value, but at least you don't have to wait long for the next one to come around.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:37 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I was referring to how often different presidents have a different slate of things to use their soft power to advocate whether it's physical fitness, literacy, childhood obesity, etc. It can be debated whether each individual president's interests are of value, but at least you don't have to wait long for the next one to come around.

I think I understood that, but in the UK, and other constitutional monarchies, there are many bully pulpits. The PM has soft power, and so do many other actors. In spite of what the Queen felt, Princess Diana could roll on with her causes, as could any of the other dukes and duchesses, and all of the elected politicians. But the main issue is that political power resides in the Parliament, and nowhere else.
posted by mumimor at 9:45 AM on September 9


Or to put it more bluntly, what if Charles III were absolutely convinced that Covid-19 could be cured with horse medicine and talked about it in every speech he gave as King, whether he was addressing Parliament or opening a new children's wing at the hospital?

He's the King as long as he lives. You just can't ignore him.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 9:46 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


If he was that erratic, the PM would intervene, just like Churchill did back when Edward wanted to marry Mrs. Simpson. Either Charles would be shut up, or he would be forced to abdicate.
That is the whole point of constitutional monarchy.
posted by mumimor at 9:49 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


It actually happened fairly recently in Spain, when King Juan Carlos was forced to abdicate after a host of scandals. Democracies are not scared of kings.
posted by mumimor at 9:52 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


What evidence do you have the PM would intervene beyond just speculation?
posted by Ferreous at 9:54 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I just mentioned two examples. I can't promise that the current Tory idiocracy would act responsibly, but they will eventually be voted out.
posted by mumimor at 9:56 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


That stuff is basic constitutional conjecture. They've not had to put it to the test recently, but who knows, they might soon, let's see what happens. Perhaps David Allen Green could tell us.
posted by Grangousier at 9:57 AM on September 9


On a tangent: is it known whether QE2 had, in fact, ever eaten swan in her life?

Just once, yesterday morning.

I trust the lesson is clear.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:06 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Operation Unicorn is in effect

That would explain the unusually magnificent full double rainbow that I went out into the street to marvel at as the sun set on my little corner of the Empire this evening.

The Queen is dead. Long live the little grovelling bastard.
posted by flabdablet at 10:11 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I don't want to undermine any of the very justified things that have been said here about the the ugly side of the Queen's legacy and the monarchy in general. But some of the specific parallels being drawn between the US presidency and the British monarchy feel inaccurate to me as a native.

The two countries are not always as different as people like to make out. In many ways I think it's more accurate to compare the role of the Queen to the role that the First Lady has historically played in the US.

Both are unelected roles, given to someone purely by family connection, in which they hold a lot of soft power and carry out a lot of ceremonial duties and act as a hostess to state and official visitors, as well as supporting chosen charitable causes. And both enjoy a lot of things at the taxpayers' expense.

It's fair to hold the Queen responsible for things that were done with her consent, and for what she did with the influence she had. But some of the takes I've been hearing in the last 24 hours feel like hearing someone complaining that Michelle Obama didn't close down Guantanamo Bay.
posted by automatronic at 10:12 AM on September 9 [20 favorites]


They'd keep owning them if Parliament or its successor(s) said so. OTOH, if Parliament or its successor(s) said they were and had always been the legitimate property of the British / English / Scottish / Welsh / Northern Irish / Republic of Ireland state and that personal or private ownership was just a fiction they were doing away with, they could do that too.

Some of these properties have always been literally the private possession of the monarch. It's not just "oh we pretended for practical purposes that this castle was the king's for so long that the fiction stuck and now we're undoing it." The king owned the castle to begin with. I guess Article 17 is no longer a concern for the UK and its own common law is defective on this point compared to American ideas of due process, but depriving Charles of these properties without compensation would be pretty outrageous.
posted by praemunire at 10:16 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Democracies are not scared of kings

Oh no sometimes they love them so much they keep bringing them back (post-Cromwell; or even carting in a distant German branch of the family and renaming them Windsors). The Spanish example isn't so great, psychologically imo, since it's also a restored monarchy but it was soon (relatively speaking) after Franco too. I'd argue the Spanish had more familiarity with the entire idea of kicking out entire systems wholesale.

But really, let's say it's a generalizable feature in that political science way, either Juan Carlos or Edward, it still meant being replaced while the monarchy stays. And their flaws needed to be so egregious or else they would have kept at it. But egregious by what metric? Edward wasn't even forced to abdicate for his Nazi leanings but because he wanted a divorcee.

Monarchies exemplify AND replenish whatever values that are considered normal in society. And for the British crown in particular its ceremonial conduct is also very much an operational one. At least that's my argument, clumsily made, on a mobile phone. I understand the technical and legal firewalls in place but I, like the British, see what's in practice every day. My kings are constitutional too, but they can get away with actual crimes in large part because the political class accepts those behaviours as befitting their values whatever those are. It took one prime minister who's technically an outsider to that society to really push the issue, because one king and his child were getting away with actual physical abuse (possibly even fatal) to even get to a point where royals can be tried in court, though a special one and for limited offences. But that PM is no longer in power, and things revert to as before. And much like the British ones, not only mine get special access to land and resources, and still count them as private holdings. THERE'S SO MUCH embedded power and privilege that gets... forgiven? Just because the last monarch's final role was that of a grandmother.
posted by cendawanita at 10:19 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


After all these brand tweets, waiting for CBS to announce a Charles in Charge reboot.

Well, now Charles is in charge. Of our days. And our knights.

(Stolen from a twitter screen shot.)
posted by loquacious at 10:25 AM on September 9 [6 favorites]


Anyway, I wish the very best to the rest of crown territories because the last time I saw this wave of lowkey despair was when the Thais lost their king and their current one is *redacted for lese majeste reasons*. Never mind the royals over there are behind the scandal with their vaccination production contract. Never mind the many stories of scandals. A monarchy in a democracy is like a mould in a ship in a middle of the sea. It's seaworthy, it won't sink, but the mould won't be going anywhere once it's got a toehold in. Even the 'nice' ones like in Scandinavia.
posted by cendawanita at 10:28 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


If he was that erratic, the PM would intervene, just like Churchill did back when Edward wanted to marry Mrs. Simpson.

Baldwin was PM at the time of the abdication and intervened. Churchill apparently supported Edward.
posted by biffa at 10:31 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


>>After all these brand tweets, waiting for CBS to announce a Charles in Charge reboot.

Well, now Charles is in charge. Of our days. And our knights.

(Stolen from a twitter screen shot.)


I saw that tweet and have spent the morning fuming that someone had made a much better Charles in Charge joke. But it surely should be "Of our dames. And our knights".
posted by nubs at 10:33 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


I am no fan of royalty as an institution except insofar as I firmly believe that the pinnacle of all political pyramids needs to be manifestly absurd, as a counter to the Ptuins and Tr*mps and Xis and Modis and Netanyahus whom we all take far too seriously to our considerable detriment. But I am super annoyed that Elizabeth has died before the odious Kissinger. How the fuck has the Special Relationship been run down enough that this could have been allowed to happen?
posted by flabdablet at 10:37 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


Everyone is rightly hating on [gargles gravel] Kissinger, won't someone spare some vitriol for Dick Cheney?
posted by Bee'sWing at 10:41 AM on September 9 [7 favorites]


The most obvious example of this was when Edward-something wanted to marry a known fascist, and was forced to abdicate.

lol, that's not quite it. Edward VIII was the known fascist and supporter of the growing National Socialist movement. Wallis Simpson might have also been a fascist, but that was not the reason Edward was forced to abdicate. The well-documented objection to her was that she was a divorced American woman (who would obtain a second divorce expressly to marry Edward), not anything about her political views.

They'd keep owning them if Parliament or its successor(s) said so. OTOH, if Parliament or its successor(s) said they were and had always been the legitimate property of the British / English / Scottish / Welsh / Northern Irish / Republic of Ireland state and that personal or private ownership was just a fiction they were doing away with, they could do that too.

Yeah, no sorry, that's not the case. Balmoral Castle and Sandringham, in particular, are explicitly the private property of the family, purchased and maintained entirely with their own funds. Balmoral was purchased by Prince Albert in 1852 with his own money and passed through the family, and Sandringham was a private purchase by Edward VII when he was Prince Albert, and then was purchased again by the Queen's father from Edward VIII when he abdicated. Pretty sure if Parliament took the step of taking private property without compensation from the family simply because they fired the family from public duties, that would be ... revolutionary step.
posted by anastasiav at 10:45 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


won't someone spare some vitriol for Dick Cheney?

I don't mind the whippersnappers being at the back of the line. That heartless bastard's time will come.

The Queen's death puts me in mind of something my own dear departed grandmother said to me, not long after her 96th birthday. She was in a lot of pain at the time and she looked me in the eye and said "Don't get 96, Stephen. Just don't get 96."

I plan to ignore her sage advice if that's what it takes to outlive fucking Kissinger. But we digress.
posted by flabdablet at 10:46 AM on September 9 [2 favorites]


I think I am missing where the nuclear reference came from?

Not to derail any further, but one (fortunate) limit of royal power is that apparently the Queen King cannot order a nuclear strike or retaliation from UK SSBN submarines. As noted in the Nautilus Institute article, that’s solely the Prime Minister’s authority.
posted by cenoxo at 10:49 AM on September 9


One of my (many) feelings about the British monarchy is that any institution that has as much money and power (soft or hard) as it does got it from somewhere, and it came through violence and robbery, more or less recently. The Queen and her family have lived in luxury and what luxury really means is pleasant accoutrements made by hard work (like, literally! think about the difference between handmade and machine made goods over time, or how meringues used to be a luxury food because of the hard work it took to make them right up until cooks got mixers to stiffen the peaks with less labor). Wealth at that level inherently comes with bloody hands. So it's no surprise that a lot of people on the business end of those bloody hands, even if the hands themselves aren't the monarch's, have mixed or even very hard feelings about the death of the monarch.

Not that the British monarchy is the only institution indicted by luxury! It's just the one we're talking about today.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 10:50 AM on September 9 [13 favorites]


By odd coincidence, on Wednesday (I only saw it today), Variety posted in their real estate column something about the Gardener's cottage at Sandringham being made into a AirBnB rental. Some people may find the tone of the article in poor taste but the pictures are pretty.
posted by Ashwagandha at 10:50 AM on September 9


Baldwin was PM at the time of the abdication and intervened. Churchill apparently supported Edward.
Sorry for the mix-up. Baldwin makes more sense.

lol, that's not quite it. Edward VIII was the known fascist and supporter of the growing National Socialist movement. Wallis Simpson might have also been a fascist, but that was not the reason Edward was forced to abdicate. The well-documented objection to her was that she was a divorced American woman (who would obtain a second divorce expressly to marry Edward), not anything about her political views.

This is all disputed. The tale of a king giving up his throne for true love is definitely the spin Edward preferred. And it is certainly true that he was a Nazi sympathizer. But Wallis wasn't only sleeping with the king, and one of her friends was Ribbentrop.
posted by mumimor at 10:55 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


Did they just die? She just died, so people are talking about her and her legacy. These men and their culpability are (or should be) included in the histories, but right now people are talking about the person who just died.

Right, but my point is that they're (possibly because of the forced shorthand of twitter) are assigning a huge amount of actual authority (and therefore responsibility) to her that she simply did not hold, and therefore are shielding the people who actually made the decisions to do the terrible deeds from memory.

Her legacy, and the reason that The Crown persists in the UK as an important and visible institution, is so much more nuanced than this.

Truthfully, one of the most interesting things about her specifically is how she (and the entire family) are essentially pampered pets held in a gilded cage, who have been trained from birth to comply. In a way The Crown is a lot like a beloved pet who has been left an enormous fortune -- the people who benefit from the fortune fight tooth and nail to protect the pet, while also using the pet's existence to justify their own existence and excesses.

If you want to blame her personally for the horrors of The Empire, I'd love to see an actual explanation about how she, constrained and trained to compliancy as she was, could have resisted or prevented them.
posted by anastasiav at 10:57 AM on September 9 [4 favorites]


She could have abdicated and not lived in pampered luxury obtained through genocide. That's one way
posted by Ferreous at 11:02 AM on September 9 [15 favorites]


Meticulously Planned Logistics Operation Underway To Celebrate Queen’s Life — Operation Unicorn and Operation London Bridge are now well underway in the wake of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Howard Altman, The War Zone, Sep 8, 2022:
The death of Queen Elizabeth II, the only ruling monarch most of her subjects have ever known, kicks off a solemn spectacle of remembrance and celebration unlike that for any other world leader, ultimately leading to her funeral and the crowning of now-King Charles III. All this will occur in accordance with meticulously laid out plans, including a massive logistical 'dance,' that have been in place for many years.

Because Elizabeth, who was 96, died at her beloved Balmoral Castle in Scotland, two sets of these long-established plans were immediately put into action.

One, called Operation Unicorn, was designed for what would happen had she died north of the English border. The other, is called Operation London Bridge, the main plan for the Queen’s death, which will run in parallel with Operation Unicorn because she died in Scotland. Both would be followed by Operation Spring Tide - the coronation of King Charles III.

Here’s what we know about these plans so far….
Details follow in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 11:04 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


Honestly though the "gilded cage" thing is so insulting to the generations of people who had their lives and opportunities stolen from them via British empire. Cry me a river, she lived in luxury unfathomable to most of the subjects and former subjects.
posted by Ferreous at 11:06 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


It's in keeping with the Conservative Party's current approach to political decision-making that their newly installed PM's first achievement was killing off the world's most popular and longest-serving monarch.
posted by flabdablet at 11:10 AM on September 9 [12 favorites]


Honestly though the "gilded cage" thing is so insulting to the generations of people who had their lives and opportunities stolen from them via British empire. Cry me a river, she lived in luxury unfathomable to most of the subjects and former subjects.

The absolutely did and do. But that doesn't change the fact that day to day horrors of The Empire, the actual misery inflicted on those people, that was perpetuated by hundreds and thousands of people who were not living in that luxury. Post-WWII, the Crown doesn't set the policy. The PMs do, supported by the party and the people who vote for them.

Those people are using the Crown as a shield - a way to divert your anger from them (the people actually creating and implementing political and social policy) and its working.
posted by anastasiav at 11:18 AM on September 9 [8 favorites]


Why the Passing of the Queen Will Impact So Many People - a typically thoughtful take from A Different Bias, YouTube, 9m4s
posted by flabdablet at 11:26 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I mean, I feel like I'm perfectly capable of being angry at both the people implementing/continuing terrible policies and the figurehead who presided/benefitted from them, all at the same time?
posted by TwoStride at 11:32 AM on September 9 [22 favorites]


I was reminded today that Charles getting promoted means Prince William, Duke of Cambridge is now also Duke of where I live, which gives him rights over the property of anyone who does intestate and without kin, plus the following:

The duke owns freehold about three-fifths of the Cornish foreshore and the 'fundus', or bed, of navigable rivers and has right of wreck on all ships wrecked on Cornish shores, including those afloat offshore, and also to royal fish—i.e. whales, porpoises, and sturgeon
posted by biffa at 11:35 AM on September 9 [10 favorites]


> If you want to blame her personally for the horrors of The Empire, I'd love to see an actual explanation about how she, constrained and trained to compliancy as she was, could have resisted or prevented them.

She could have abdicated and not lived in pampered luxury obtained through genocide. That's one way


Again, though, that only removes her from the system. That does nothing to stop the system itself.

I completely and totally 100% sympathize with those who are angry at the United Kingdom's colonial history. But a member of the royal family abdicating and leaving the royal family does not actually take down the monarchy as a system. It just diminishes the number of people in the royal family by one.

I've been trying to think of another instance when there was a country which had a monarchy or imperial system of government as deeply-entrenched as the United Kingdom has had, and what it took to bring that monarchy to an end - and the only kind of examples I can think of all involve actual armed revolution, like the Communist Party taking over China or the French Revolution or something like that. I can't think of a single instance where a single person said "know what, fuck this" and stepping down from the throne in turn causing the entire monarchy to also collapse with them.

I wish it were that easy. But it's not. And it's a bit unfair to assume it is. Now, if you want to hold her responsible for not walking away from the system herself, and for not personally refusing that role, that's a different complaint entirely - but it's naive to assume that the system wouldn't just go on without her if she'd done so.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:37 AM on September 9 [19 favorites]


She could have abdicated and not lived in pampered luxury obtained through genocide. That's one way

There's good reasons why this isn't a defense, but practically speaking, if she'd abdicated, wouldn't they have gotten Queen Margaret instead? Elizabeth would have likely lived in pampered luxury obtained through genocide like all the other royals, just without any official duties, having abdicated.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:40 AM on September 9 [3 favorites]


I don't assume the system would end but the attitude of "gee shucks she just had to go with the flow" certainly does a lot to absolve her personal gains from the system she presided over.
posted by Ferreous at 11:40 AM on September 9 [5 favorites]


From Marcie Cipriani:
NEW: CMU Professor Dr. Uju Anya, explained to me why she wished Queen Elizabeth II excruciating pain: “I am the child and sibling of survivors of genocide. From 1967-1970, more than 3 million civilians were massacred when the Igbo people of Nigeria tried to form the independent nation of Biafra. Those slaughtered included members of my family. I was born in the immediate aftermath of this genocide, which was directly supported and facilitated by the British government then headed by the monarch Queen Elizabeth II.

This support came through political cover, weapons, bombs, planes, military vehicles, and supplies the British government sent to kill us and protect their interests in the oil reserves on our land. My people endured a holocaust, which has shadowed our entire lives and continues to affect it, because we're still mourning incalculable losses and still rebuilding everything that was destroyed.

Conversations among us today still include who was lost, who was displaced, where people ran, where bodies are buried. They do not include kind, respectful, or temperate sentiments about the people who murdered our relatives and destroyed our lives.” - Dr. Uju Anya #WTAE
posted by fight or flight at 11:47 AM on September 9 [27 favorites]


I noticed that Charles's address today was prerecorded. Is that a usual thing?
posted by Melismata at 11:50 AM on September 9


I noticed that Charles's address today was prerecorded. Is that a usual thing?

Yes, or at least it's not particularly unusual. They probably felt it was too important to have any risk of technical glitches.
posted by plonkee at 11:57 AM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I can't think of a single instance where a single person said "know what, fuck this" and stepping down from the throne in turn causing the entire monarchy to also collapse with them.

That got me curious.

China, 1911:
The Imperial Edict of the Abdication of the Qing Emperor... was an official decree issued by the Empress Dowager Longyu on behalf of the six-year-old Xuantong Emperor, the last emperor of the Qing dynasty of China, on 12 February 1912, as a response to the Xinhai Revolution. ... The issuance of the Imperial Edict marked the end of the 276-year rule of the Qing dynasty, and the era of Chinese imperial rule, which lasted 2,132 years. Furthermore, the Imperial Edict established the Republic of China as the sole successor state to the Qing dynasty and provided the legal basis for the Republic of China to inherit all Qing territories...
Russia, 1917:
Abdication of Nicholas II... was a manifesto of the Emperor Nicholas II, signed in Pskov on 2 March (O.S.) / 15 March (N.S.) 1917, in the midst of World War I and the February Revolution. The Emperor renounced the throne of the Russian Empire on behalf of himself and his son, Tsarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, in favor of his brother Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich. The next day the Grand Duke refused to accept the imperial authority, stating that he would accept it only if that was the consensus of democratic action by the Russian Constituent Assembly, which shall define the form of government for Russia. The rule of the 300 year-old House of Romanov ended with the Grand Duke's decision. Power in Russia then passed to the Russian Provisional Government...
Austria-Hungary, 1918:
On 11 November, Karl issued a carefully worded proclamation in which he recognized the Austrian people's right to determine the form of the state. He also renounced the right to participate in Austrian affairs of state. He also dismissed Lammasch and his government from office and released the officials in the Austrian half of the empire from their oath of loyalty to him. Two days later, he issued a similar proclamation for Hungary. However, he did not abdicate, remaining available in the event the people of either state should recall him. For all intents and purposes, this was the end of Habsburg rule. Karl's refusal to abdicate was ultimately irrelevant.
Germany, 1918:
His Majesty the Emperor and King has made the decision to renounce to the throne.

The Imperial Chancellor shall remain in office only until the matters related to the abdication of the Emperor, the renunciation of His Imperial and Royal Highness the Crown Prince to the thrones of the German Empire and of Prussia, and the establishment of the regency have been settled. He intends to propose to the Regent the appointment of Deputy Ebert as Imperial Chancellor and the introduction of a bill for the election by universal suffrage of a constituent German national assembly, on which it would fall to determine the future definitive form of government of the German people, inclusive of the populations who should wish to request their entry into the Reich.
All of these happened under revolutionary pressure, of course, and the Austro-Hungarian emperor never actually abdicated. But the other examples seem to suggest that a monarch can, in fact, step down in a way that brings the whole thing down. They just have to say, "I ain't doing this anymore, and neither are my kids or any other relatives," and that's the end of it.
posted by clawsoon at 11:59 AM on September 9 [11 favorites]


It's not the end of it. There are groups in France today who advocate restoring the monarchy.
posted by Melismata at 12:03 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


They just have to say, "I ain't doing this anymore, and neither are my kids or any other relatives," and that's the end of it.

It strikes me that that would call for trying to coordinate all of the kids and other relatives to agree on that, and at that point turning the whole thing over to a national referendum would be easier.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:05 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


If there were a republican majority in Parliament and the King decided to abdicate and declare that nobody should succeed him, I think that would do in the British monarchy. But you need Parliament to agree, otherwise they'll just find another royal who does want the job.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:07 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


All of these happened under revolutionary pressure, of course, and the Austro-Hungarian emperor never actually abdicated. But the other examples seem to suggest that a monarch can, in fact, step down in a way that brings the whole thing down. They just have to say, "I ain't doing this anymore, and neither are my kids or any other relatives," and that's the end of it

I don't think a single one of those examples was "the end of the monarchy precipitated by the monarch just up and choosing to abdicate". The monarch was forced to abdicate because the monarchy had been de facto ended by others.

In the UK there is no major appetite to get rid of the monarchy. There are about 4500 people in line to the throne. Our ceremonial figurehead can be a person rather than a flag for as long as we want it to.
posted by plonkee at 12:08 PM on September 9 [10 favorites]


In the UK there is no major appetite to get rid of the monarchy.

Yep.

Here's a tracker for a series of annual YouGov polls asking the question "Is the monarchy good or bad for Britain?", for instance. Continually at 50%+ or more saying the monarchy is good for Britain. Play around with the filters for age and political alignment for extra fun results.
posted by fight or flight at 12:18 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


I don't think a single one of those examples was "the end of the monarchy precipitated by the monarch just up and choosing to abdicate". The monarch was forced to abdicate because the monarchy had been de facto ended by others.

And that's what makes it interesting, doesn't it? Normally when someone makes a decision under duress, we consider that less binding than if they make the decision freely. But for some reason if a monarch makes a decision to end their monarchy under the pressure of revolution we consider that more binding than if they just up and chose to give it up.

Why is that? Why wouldn't a monarch freely choosing to end the monarchy be just as legitimate as if they did it with the threat of a guillotine hanging over their neck?
posted by clawsoon at 12:22 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


BBC News, September 9th 2022 — King Charles III speech (click video thumbnail “>9:01 Watch: King Charles first speech in full”) and text.
posted by cenoxo at 12:32 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Why wouldn't a monarch freely choosing to end the monarchy be just as legitimate as if they did it with the threat of a guillotine hanging over their neck?

Because as with all governments, the monarch derives their authority from society. In a revolution, society has revoked its consent, whereas with a voluntary step-down, that has not occurred (and so a claimant with backing can ascend.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:32 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Why is that? Why wouldn't a monarch freely choosing to end the monarchy be just as legitimate as if they did it with the threat of a guillotine hanging over their neck?

Because human?

That was the problem with communism. Or any ism. A nice idea in theory, but then you add people.
posted by Melismata at 12:34 PM on September 9


It's a constitutional monarchy; to some extent the current officeholder has no say in what their own powers are, it's Parliament which decides. The succession is governed by law. So (eg) the King can't pick a successor any more than he can pick no successor, unless he persuades Parliament to go along with it.

If the CEO of Walmart steps down and says "Walmart is evil, please break Walmart up", the shareholders will have a vote and hire a new CEO. If a CEO is forced out by shareholders who want to break the company up, then the shareholders will probably get what they want.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:34 PM on September 9 [6 favorites]


I’m feeling thoroughly battered, and also quite sad.

Anyway, I thought this from King Charles III was a beautiful and generous address.
posted by HandfulOfDust at 12:51 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Why wouldn't a monarch freely choosing to end the monarchy be just as legitimate as if they did it with the threat of a guillotine hanging over their neck?

For much the same reason that Michael Higgins does not get to decide that Ireland no longer has presidents.
posted by plonkee at 1:08 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Or any ism. A nice idea in theory, but then you add people.

This certainly rings true for jism.
posted by biffa at 1:11 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


He's the King as long as he lives. You just can't ignore him.

Charles I and James II/VII present specific ways to not ignore him.

Pretty sure if Parliament took the step of taking private property without compensation from the family simply because they fired the family from public duties, that would be ... revolutionary step.

I don't disagree, I only think that's something that's not impossible.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 1:17 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


And another change. HMS has always meant Her Majesty's Ship, now His.
posted by epo at 1:25 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


If the CEO of Walmart steps down and says "Walmart is evil, please break Walmart up", the shareholders will have a vote and hire a new CEO.

The CEO of Walmart was voted in, so they can be voted out. But if Sam Walton had decided to shut Walmart down before he went public with it, wouldn't he have been able to do that, just like any sole owner of a business?
posted by clawsoon at 1:54 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


.
posted by filtergik at 2:03 PM on September 9


The CEO of Walmart was voted in, so they can be voted out. But if Sam Walton had decided to shut Walmart down before he went public with it, wouldn't he have been able to do that, just like any sole owner of a business?

Yes. And if Oliver Cromwell had done anything other than left his Protectorship to his incompetent son, the UK might not have had a constitutional monarchy subsequently. But that is not what happened. It was then made quite clear in 1688 that things are at the will of Parliament, not the individual inhabiting the throne.

We cannot go back in time, and the only European monarch that enjoys something approaching the sort of power you are describing is Prince Hans-Adam II of Liechtenstein. To say it would be surprising if he took up that option is an understatement.
posted by plonkee at 2:15 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


And another change. HMS has always meant Her Majesty's Ship, now His.

Also, all the Q.C.s becoming K.C.s.
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:23 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


When the present Queen dies, the monarchy will be faced with a decision. Charles will need a coronation. Many people – it’s kind of intrinsic to the whole monarchy myth – believe in the Juju.

Do they retrieve (and revive) the symbolism and power of the Stone [of destiny}? Do they believe? If they do they will have to return the stone from its present resting place as part of the Regalia of Scotland in Edinburgh Castle and take it to Westminster Abbey, then return it again., thus re-igniting its talismanic role as emblem of sovereignty in a time of heightened constitutional focus.

If they decide not to retrieve it then Charles will be the first king NOT to be crowned with his Royal Bahookie perched atop the Stone for 700 years.
Interesting quote from this article about Ian Hamilton who led the 1950 operation to take the Stone Of Destiny - used to crown Scottish monarchs for several hundred years - from Westminster Abbey - and return in to Scotland.
posted by rongorongo at 3:32 PM on September 9 [5 favorites]


And another change. HMS has always meant Her Majesty's Ship, now His.

Also, all the Q.C.s becoming K.C.s.


O brave new world that has such abbreviations in’t!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:35 PM on September 9 [2 favorites]


Is crowning him without the Stone, then going to Edinburgh and doing the bit with the Stone an option? If not, why not?
posted by acb at 3:37 PM on September 9 [1 favorite]


"Royal Bahookie"!

I heard about Hamilton's crack operation to steal the Stone of Destiny on a podcast, I think Loremen. It was pure comedy, and it worked.

The Stone of Scone is one of those things that I learned about from a Terry Pratchett book without realizing I had, because I assumed he had to have made it up.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:42 PM on September 9 [12 favorites]


The fact that the Queen met both James Bond and Paddington puts the two characters indisputably in the same cinematic universe, and if all that the reign of Charles III brings us is From Peru With Love, I'm in.
posted by Hogshead at 3:47 PM on September 9 [13 favorites]


rongorongo And now I know why in Pratchett's Discworld the Low King of the dwarfs needed the Scone of Stone to be crowned. I'd always thought he was just being a bit silly, but nope reality is sillier and he was just incorporating it.
posted by sotonohito at 3:50 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


For all the autodidacts out there, Scone (in this context) is pronounced Scoon. This has been a “Scottish Guy Tell't Ye” broadcast.

(there's also the very silly movie Stone of Destiny (2008) which, though I saw it in Canada, was amused throughout by a very animated Scottish man in the audience yelling comedy remarks)
posted by scruss at 3:52 PM on September 9 [4 favorites]


Do they retrieve (and revive) the symbolism and power of the Stone [of destiny}?

“Remove the Stone of Shame. Attach the Stone of Triumph!”
posted by kirkaracha at 3:56 PM on September 9 [3 favorites]


Because as with all governments, the monarch derives their authority from society.

I was told it was from a farcical aquatic ceremony.
posted by stevis23 at 8:09 PM on September 9 [17 favorites]


All the rich ex-colonies (excluding Ireland, but definitely parts of India) are definitely having round 2 this weekend since the descendants of those who benefited wanted to be decorous and even celebratory are getting a lot of pushback, shall we say.

Anyway: The Agent NDN: People are like "the queen isn't responsible for all those atrocities, she just supported them in a highly public, highly symbolic, ceremonial capacity that manufactured popular consent for all those atrocities - totally different."
posted by cendawanita at 10:01 PM on September 9 [20 favorites]


Right now every single UK/Commonwealth website seems to have a black intro screen with a tribute to the Queen. I was just looking up something random about Australian coins. The Australian Government Royal Mint website has this instead. Awesome.
posted by essexjan at 3:36 AM on September 10 [6 favorites]


Now it’s bee-official.
posted by Etrigan at 3:50 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


she just supported them in a highly public, highly symbolic, ceremonial capacity that manufactured popular consent for all those atrocities

struggling to remember when i last saw an argument about ‘manufacturing consent’
that didn’t come down to an effort to gloss over most people’s tendency to prioritise their own comfort over justice, by denying that they’re meaningfully responsible for their own decisions.

“it may look as though i willingly voted for a government that explicitly ran for election on the platform of maintaining the british empire and then did what all imperialist governments do to maintain their power over the colonised, but in reality the queen made me do it.”

if we didn’t have the queen, we’d need to invent her, if only to avoid the fact that plenty of british people were quite happy with the empire as long as they weren’t at the sharp end.

somewhat related: ben okri on the queen’s place in (and impact on) the british and commonwealth psyche.
posted by inire at 3:54 AM on September 10 [5 favorites]


I saw that a toy shop in a local shopping centre was shut yesterday "out of respect". A Friday during a school week so a major financial sacrifice I'm sure. Hope the staff got paid.
posted by epo at 4:05 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


Is crowning him without the Stone, then going to Edinburgh and doing the bit with the Stone an option? If not, why not?
That one is above my pay grade to answer. Some details about the process of coronation traditions for the English/British and Scottish monarchs here. - working out how those things should combine these days, is ninja stuff for constitutional experts - and probably a later thread. To me, an interesting detail is the monarch is king/queen of England with the people as subjects - but Is king/queen of Scots: the people’s monarch (Scots do have previous of dispatching at least one unpopular king).
posted by rongorongo at 4:09 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


if we didn’t have the queen, we’d need to invent her, if only to avoid the fact that plenty of british people were quite happy with the empire as long as they weren’t at the sharp end

I'm quite struck by this assertion, that also was made earlier. Struck because immediately I'm recalling America's engagement in... let's just stick to Afghanistan, since it is September. A country that the USSR also decided to have military presence in, in the service of turning it into a political client. I don't recall any significant royalty that needed to be invented for those things to happen. I can agree that republicanism practiced the notion of the state to be loyal to, rather than having to have a human avatar as an intermediary and focus for that loyalty. But I don't see how that is a defence of either the firm or the regent.
posted by cendawanita at 5:31 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


depriving Charles of these properties without compensation would be pretty outrageous.

To the contrary, the inheritance of that sort of property is inherently regressive, and the monarchy is one of the best illustrations of exactly how unjust it is. What’s outrageous is that Chuck won’t now draw the same pension as any other old man who’s been out of work all his life.
posted by aspersioncast at 6:41 AM on September 10 [17 favorites]


In Normal Island news, the royal beekeeper has informed the Queen's bees that the Queen (though presumably not their queen) has died.

Apologies for the link to the DM, although at least it's indirect. They are the paper of record of Normal Island, after all.
posted by rory at 7:55 AM on September 10 [4 favorites]


Telling the bees is a tradition in many European countries in which bees would be told of important events in their keeper's lives such as births, marriages and departures and returns in the household. If the custom was omitted or forgotten and the bees were not "put into mourning" then it was believed a penalty would be paid, such as the bees leaving their hive, stopping the production of honey or dying.
posted by BungaDunga at 7:58 AM on September 10 [12 favorites]


@BlackKnight10k: If you're white and you wonder why black twitter is on some totally different shit than you today, just look at this map of Africa and when countries gained their freedom from European colonization.
posted by mazola at 7:59 AM on September 10 [15 favorites]


Telling the bees is a tradition in many European countries in which bees would be told of important events in their keeper's lives such as births, marriages and departures and returns in the household.

These days it has been largely supplanted by telling the zuckerbots, updating one's ad-targeting profile by posting on Facebook about one's recent event.
posted by acb at 8:44 AM on September 10


John Lydon’s reaction was not what I expected; I wonder if he will be changing the words in his ode to the British monarchy.
posted by TedW at 8:52 AM on September 10


Lydon's gammonhood is almost as well-known by now as Morrissey's fascist turn. I half expect him to rerecord the Sex Pistols version of “Frigging in the Rigging” with his mate Nigel Farage reprising the train robber's part.
posted by acb at 8:59 AM on September 10 [17 favorites]


Telling the bees is a tradition in many European countries in which bees would be told of important events in their keeper's lives such as births, marriages and departures and returns in the household.

Feeding the workers' obsession with the lives of their keepers, eh? More relevant than I thought.
posted by rory at 9:04 AM on September 10 [1 favorite]


mazola's link has sent me down a wikipedia hole. I forgot how goddamn recent all of this history is. QE's reign began the same year as the Egyptian revolution of 1952.

Zimbabwe: The British South Africa Company of Cecil Rhodes demarcated the Rhodesia region in 1890 when they conquered Mashonaland and later in 1893 Matabeleland after a fierce resistance by Matabele people known as the First Matabele War. Company rule ended in 1923 with the establishment of Southern Rhodesia as a self-governing British colony. In 1965, the white separatist minority government unilaterally declared independence as Rhodesia. The state endured international isolation and a 15-year guerrilla war with black nationalist forces; this culminated in a peace agreement that established universal enfranchisement and de jure sovereignty as Zimbabwe in April 1980.

Kenya: Modern-day Kenya emerged from a protectorate established by the British Empire in 1895 and the subsequent Kenya Colony, which began in 1920. Numerous disputes between the UK and the colony led to the Mau Mau revolution, which began in 1952, and the declaration of independence in 1963.

Sudan: In 1899, under British pressure, Egypt agreed to share sovereignty over Sudan with the United Kingdom as a condominium. In effect, Sudan was governed as a British possession... The Egyptian revolution of 1952 toppled the monarchy and demanded the withdrawal of British forces from all of Egypt and Sudan. Muhammad Naguib, one of the two co-leaders of the revolution, and Egypt's first President, who was half-Sudanese and had been raised in Sudan, made securing Sudanese independence a priority of the revolutionary government. The following year, under Egyptian and Sudanese pressure, the United Kingdom agreed to Egypt's demand for both governments to terminate their shared sovereignty over Sudan and to grant Sudan independence. On 1 January 1956, Sudan was duly declared an independent state.
posted by spamandkimchi at 9:53 AM on September 10 [10 favorites]


If you're white and you wonder why black twitter is on some totally different shit than you today

Then there's this, concerning the death from a police shooting of an unarmed black British man, Chris Kaba, by a firearms police officer.
posted by biffa at 10:55 AM on September 10 [5 favorites]


which Sky News are reporting as a tribute walk for the Queen.
posted by acb at 11:16 AM on September 10 [2 favorites]


depriving Charles of these properties without compensation would be pretty outrageous

I needed this laugh
posted by dusty potato at 11:52 AM on September 10 [19 favorites]


> Telling the bees is a tradition in many European countries in which bees would be told of important events in their keeper's lives such as births, marriages and departures and returns in the household.

Beekeeper: So, the new ruler, Charles 3, is the son of Elizabeth 2.
Bees: ...
Beekeeper: What?
Bees: ...
Beekeeper: *Flipping through phrasebook frantically*
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:28 PM on September 10 [10 favorites]




Question: is withholding the Stone of Scone for the coronation a back door route to symbolic devolution? You didn't sit on the magic rock, so you're technically not King of Scotland?
Are there other ceremonially necessary artifacts? A sacred Leek? Cornwall declares independence by not handing over the jewel-encrusted Golden Pasty of Fealty?
posted by bartleby at 2:18 PM on September 10 [5 favorites]


It was announced this morning that Australia will be observing a one-off public holiday to mourn the Queen on Thursday 22nd.

I’m a workforce planner, so from my perspective a one-off public holiday on a Thursday is a bloody outrage. Mid-week public holidays are a bastard to forecast.

This is why Australia needs a Republican model of government.

And the 13-period Eastman calendar.

I mean, I’m not exactly saying its my 9/11, but (checks date) oh wait nevermind
posted by MarchHare at 7:07 PM on September 10 [10 favorites]


The Emperor will be attending the funeral. That's unusual to say the least. Generally the Emperor doesn't attend ANY funerals.

Also, somewhat oddly the headline specifies "Japanese Emperor" which is redundant since there aren't any other Emperors anymore.
posted by sotonohito at 7:25 PM on September 10 [3 favorites]


Also, somewhat oddly the headline specifies "Japanese Emperor" which is redundant since there aren't any other Emperors anymore.

I mean, not acknowledged ones...
posted by Etrigan at 8:35 PM on September 10 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Lizard at 9:02 PM on September 10


Did Trump actually claim in his social media app that the Queen privately made him a knight or are people just saying he said that.
posted by interogative mood at 9:15 PM on September 10


Also, somewhat oddly the headline specifies "Japanese Emperor" which is redundant since there aren't any other Emperors anymore.

I mean, not acknowledged ones...


Honestly I prefer Thou Most Celestial Galactic Empress, but I'm a little freer with the pronouns than I used to be, so I'm not going to pout if if someone messes up and calls me Thou Most Celestial Galactic Emperor instead.
posted by thivaia at 9:24 PM on September 10 [5 favorites]


Also, somewhat oddly the headline specifies "Japanese Emperor" which is redundant since there aren't any other Emperors anymore.

Some of us simply don’t go on and on about it in the presence of the living. You’ll find out soon enough.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:17 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


Also, somewhat oddly the headline specifies "Japanese Emperor" which is redundant since there aren't any other Emperors anymore.

I mean, not acknowledged ones...


* coughs politely *
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:55 AM on September 11 [33 favorites]


If asked how many officially designated Emperors there are in the world today, I wouldn't have been immediately sure that the answer is one, and that the crowned head in, say, an Arabian petrostate, an ex-Soviet stan, a small kingdom in the Himalayas, or perhaps some peculiar offshoot of the Spanish Empire in South America that for some reason never formally became a republic, didn't hold the title.

That's to say nothing of Habsburg claimants, self-proclaimed Napoleonic heirs, or indeed North Korea, which would probably use that title for its absolute hereditary monarch only due to obeisance to the forms of neo-Leninist orthodoxy.
posted by acb at 5:54 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Not to mention about 595,000 penguins.
posted by sebastienbailard at 6:07 AM on September 11 [27 favorites]


Watching the cortege driving through Scotland on regular fast forward (Scottish A roads are not that interesting).

The cortege is 2 bikes ahead of the hearse, a royal limo and 5 SUVs probably carrying tooled up members of the Royal Protection Squad. Behind them, mostly out of shot of the helicopter, is a massive convoy of bikes and white police vans which I'd bet are carrying soldiers. Proceeding at pace on empty roads, slowing to a crawl where there are people standing.
posted by epo at 7:32 AM on September 11


Did Trump actually claim in his social media app that the Queen privately made him a knight or are people just saying he said that.

No trace of such a post on truth social, this looks like a joke fake post that has taken a life of its own (nothing is real and everything is at the same time in our postmodern information dystopia)
posted by dis_integration at 8:01 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


The cortege is 2 bikes ahead of the hearse, a royal limo and 5 SUVs probably carrying tooled up members of the Royal Protection Squad. Behind them, mostly out of shot of the helicopter, is a massive convoy of bikes and white police vans which I'd bet are carrying soldiers.

What's the threat model here? That someone might hold the Queen's corpse for ransom?
posted by acb at 8:40 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Probably. I remember reading about how people tried to steal Abraham Lincoln's body.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 9:21 AM on September 11


What's the threat model here? That someone might hold the Queen's corpse for ransom?

Steal the casket and put it on display in Egypt/India/...?
posted by ari_ at 9:24 AM on September 11 [30 favorites]


The threat model is no senior officer wants something embarrassing happening on their patch. Honestly there were hordes of 'em, hope they were from London and not coming off a Scottish budget.

It'll be worse for the funeral, Biden's coming. They'll probably just empty London and ship the population off to Rwanda for a few days
posted by epo at 9:28 AM on September 11 [7 favorites]


"Moscow rules - watch your back. London rules - cover your ass."
posted by porpoise at 10:42 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


Also, somewhat oddly the headline specifies "Japanese Emperor" which is redundant since there aren't any other Emperors anymore.

Yeah, we're a couple of movies away (and some sandtrout) from another Emporer.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 11:28 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Everyone saying that the monarch has no real power is missing the power of their voice, as well as some legal powers they do have. Diana being in a photograph with a person who had AIDS was hugely influential, even it had been a one-off, and even if she hadn't taken his hand, though it wasn't, and she did. The monarch meets regularly with the Prime Minister and can show approval and disapproval subtly, or not so subtly. The monarch still has a great deal of traditional and symbolic power and their slightest comments are mined for meaning. The brooches, for instance, were well-understood to convey opinion. Her public remarks could have influenced anything, everything.

Queen Elizabeth should have done more to promote justice. But. She was raised in a cocoon of tradition, not well educated for her role. Prince Phillip seems unlikely to have supported anything other than authoritarianism and privilege, and that's probably true of the people around her, all devoted supporters of the concept of royalty. It's not easy to break free from that, and I'll bet television helped get actual news to Her Madge. She seems to have learned and grown over time. She was excellent at the ceremonial duties, incredibly diligent, and King Edward was a hot mess and it ended up being wildly fortunate that he was off the throne. I find that I can respect QEII for her efforts and persona, and still criticize her lack of using her role with better effect.

Not a huge fan of Charles, who always seems to take his privilege for granted, but William may have broader influences.
posted by theora55 at 11:35 AM on September 11 [8 favorites]






Biden's coming. They'll probably just empty London

Not just Biden; heads of state from around the world and a plethora of other dignitaries. Going to be a security and a protocol nightmare.
posted by nubs at 9:18 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


I came into the office today to see what it was looking like on Edinburgh's Royal Mile, which my office window overlooks. Some are already waiting behind the barriers, but it isn't rammed yet. The procession of the Queen's coffin from Holyrood Palace (downhill to my right) to St Giles Cathedral (uphill to my left) is due to start in just over two and a half hours.

There was a long row of portaloos along the cyclepath around the Meadows, which is a fair way from the action. I suppose they can't risk them appearing in shot on TV.
posted by rory at 3:56 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I'll bet the Council are relieved she didn't die during the bin strike.
posted by rory at 4:01 AM on September 12 [4 favorites]


Fittingly, democratic processes are suspended.
posted by vacapinta at 5:13 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I know this is a weird angle to take, but, like, I am looking at photos of the "floral tributes" left piled high and deep outside very site that has anything to do with the Queen and I am wondering where all those flowers are coming from. Not the people who are bringing them, but the literal actual flowers. Because flowers seem like the sort of product you can't just randomly and radically increase the supply of and I assume the general demand for flowers for, like, weddings and stuff, hasn't dropped any.
posted by jacquilynne at 7:11 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


..Because flowers seem like the sort of product you can't just randomly and radically increase the supply of ..

You can! There's a worldwide flower market dominated by the Netherlands. In fact, the UK imports about 90% of its flowers and most come from the Netherlands. So, the person on the street buys from a florist who tries to get more flowers from their local supplier or distribution center such as the New Covent Garden flower market but they in turn rely on importers who get a flower shipment from Holland or abroad, meaning somewhere else in Europe or Africa or even South America.

Don't ask how I happened to know this but like most supply-chains it is a fascinating process which includes one of the largest buildings in the world. Apologies for the derail.
posted by vacapinta at 8:59 AM on September 12 [14 favorites]


Not so much that supply can instantly pace demand but that a local shortage can be spread across the entire world supply.
posted by Mitheral at 9:13 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


I heard on the morning news/talk hsow that they're asking that people stop sending Paddington Bears and pots of marmalade, even sandwiches. Food will end up feeding rats, pigeon, etc., toys may not be able to be re-donated, at least flowers can be composted.
posted by theora55 at 10:18 AM on September 12 [1 favorite]


Well, this comes as a shock. I'd forgotten that the Queen had briefly kept a blog, but it's just like her—thoughtful, poised, aware of her own legacy—to save one last message for after her death.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 10:39 AM on September 12 [5 favorites]


Corgi owners could wind black fabric around their pet's collars for week or two.

And if I were a pet supply company person, I would be frantically trying to get my memorial collar into stores with all possible speed.
posted by jamjam at 11:25 AM on September 12




(though Celebitchy is super pro-Meghan/anti-Kate, fwiw)
posted by TwoStride at 12:17 PM on September 12




Is Price Harry being treated as 'an outsider, a second-tier royal’ now?

An old saw about a 'red-headed step-child' comes to mind — but perhaps paternity tests are routine for the children of princes?
posted by jamjam at 12:38 PM on September 12




pots of marmalade, even sandwiches. Food will end up feeding rats, pigeon, etc.,

Better rats than the undeserving poor, presumably.
posted by acb at 2:24 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


> Prince Harry & Meghan’s kids don’t have royal titles in the updated line of succession

I thought that was Harry and Meghan's plan: to get the hell out.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:27 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


William's non-UK press coverage has gotten so bad that I almost feel bad for him having such bad press aides. Like basically, every story is about him planting stories and trying to control the narrative, which means he's doing a very bad job of it, because the process of controlling the story should not be the story when you're trying to control the story.

"I remember reading about how people tried to steal Abraham Lincoln's body."

His son had a shit ton of concrete poured on top of his grave for exactly this reason, and to this day people randomly go and take pickaxes to the grave if they can get inside the mausoleum because they want to get some sweet sweet Lincoln DNA or something.

People are very, very weird about famous people's dead bodies.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:09 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


> Prince Harry & Meghan’s kids don’t have royal titles in the updated line of succession
I thought that was Harry and Meghan's plan: to get the hell out.


If the kids get titles, it means they would be entitled to British safety protection. Which is why H&M are...not actually against the kids having them, and why the British Royal Family is (plus well, probably also racism) and why it's been floated that any titles the kids are entitled to can/will be taken away from them.

I do concur that Celebitchy certainly does hate William and Kate/are pro-Sussex, in the comments at least. I don't feel that strongly about her myself, but they do nitpick royal bad behavior in general and it seems to be a consensus over there that Kate doesn't like being a working royal + was unpleasant to Meghan.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:20 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


Well, the daughters of Andrew are “titled” (princesses) and they lost their police protection (estimated annual cost £500,000) a decade ago—unless they are making an appearance on behalf of the royal family—as part of Charles’ slimmed down monarchy, similar to what Sweden did recently. Other minor royals also had their security withdrawn when not performing actual duties. They are free to pay for private security; the difference being that private bodyguards are not allowed to carry weapons and hiring off-duty policemen (who can carry) is not permitted. Neither Harry nor Meghan are acting royal family members since they left the UK. They have armed private security in the US.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:26 PM on September 12 [2 favorites]


I’m sort of bummed that of the English King Charleses famous for affairs. Camilla is other woman that will end up being Queen.

Nell Gwynn would have been way more fun.
posted by thivaia at 5:38 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


"It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness?"

-John Adams
posted by clavdivs at 6:46 PM on September 12


Camilla gets the title queen consort not queen if that makes you feel better.
posted by Mitheral at 8:54 PM on September 12




You'd never guess anyone had died here, out on the streets, in the shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes in my inner city borough, ( multi ethnic, lots of poverty). The life struggle goes on, painful, brutal, silent, raucous, grim and sometimes, even oft times, joyful. Meanwhile the tv, the newspapers, social media churn out an endless stream of saccharine guff and mawkish sentimental bollocks about how we're all feeling, how our faces are 'etched with grief' (some of them are but believe me they were long before this and it is emphatically not because of the Queen's death). I find it profoundly distasteful, my wife can see the other side but enjoys it as hugely engaging soap opera. It's going to be a long old haul til next Monday and the funeral. Tuesday, it will - pouf! - and disappear without trace. I might move into the shoe cupboard for the week.
posted by dutchrick at 1:38 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


"William's non-UK press coverage has gotten so bad that I almost feel bad for him having such bad press aides."

Surely it just demonstrates that Meghan and Harry (and it must that way round) are better at manipulating the media where they are. Why would foreign media give a toss about William unless they were being egged on?
posted by epo at 2:49 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, UK hospitals are cancelling treatment, including urgent cancer treatment, falling on the day of the funeral, as a “mark of respect” for the Queen. I guess modern monarchies need human sacrifices as well.
posted by acb at 3:02 AM on September 13 [15 favorites]


Cut the BBC some slack. They are struggling for their very existence against a government which would happily see them vanish. If they didn't have royal mawkishness turned up to max then they would be bashed by the right wing tabloids and right wing MPs.

People always whine about blanket coverage, I'm pretty sure some moaned about Diana and even about 9/11. In any event, many older people are deeply sad and expect this coverage from the BBC. It is a once in a lifetime event, it has to be marked as such.

There is a plausible reason for GP and NHS restrictions on the day of the funeral. Schools will be closed and it may be difficult for many to make childcare arrangements at short notice.
posted by epo at 3:36 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


BELIEVE
posted by lalochezia at 5:44 AM on September 13


When scanning Korean news headlines about Queen Elizabeth II's passing, I was mainly interested in which term for 'death' would be used - Korean has several speech levels, which take into account the formality of the situation as well as "levels of deference towards the listener, as well as the subject, the object or the complement of a sentence." There is a whole class of vocabulary that was only used for royalty, including specific terms for a ruler passing. And the terms used for a ruler are different from that of a queen consort. So I was interested to see which term would be trotted out for news headlines - one of the terms reserved for royalty, or something else? What news outlets used was 서거, which is the most respectful level under royalty, and is used these days for say the death of a president or prime minister.
posted by needled at 5:56 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


Camilla gets the title queen consort not queen if that makes you feel better.

Wives of reigning kings are technically always "queen consort". In the past they were usually styled "Queen X" - e.g. Queen Mary, Queen Alexandra, etc. because there wasn't such a degree of confusion as to who was in charge, thanks to misogyny. Philip (and Albert before him) were made prince consort for just this reason. I suspect they are emphasizing the queen consort thing for Camilla to avoid confusion (because there has been a reigning queen for 70 years) and controversy.
posted by Preserver at 6:19 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


Prince Harry & Meghan’s kids don’t have royal titles in the updated line of succession

Their younger child, Lilibet (age 15 months and born in Santa Monica), might technically someday be both the US president and the monarch of the UK, thus fulfilling George III’s three-century plan.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:34 AM on September 13 [22 favorites]


The man who shouted at Prince Andrew that he was a pedophile has been arrested and charged with breach of the peace. The two conservative men who assaulted him have not been arrested and it does not appear the police intend to arrest them.

And of course, known pedophile and human trafficking participant Prince Andrew is still walking free and will never face any penalties at all.
posted by sotonohito at 8:03 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


What kind of soft brained idiot do you have to be to defend a known pedophile with violence because he's your social better?
posted by Ferreous at 8:44 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


A Tory?
posted by saturday_morning at 8:52 AM on September 13 [22 favorites]


The man who shouted at Prince Andrew that he was a pedophile has been arrested and charged with breach of the peace.

Some fine commentary on Twitter.
posted by rory at 9:12 AM on September 13


For a certain type of British traditionalist, abusing those beneath one in the social order for one's own gratification is inherently virtuous. Indeed, it used to be taught in their public schools. It's basically MAGA-hat rolling coal only with a refined accent.
posted by acb at 10:01 AM on September 13


Looks like here in Canada some of us will be getting a day off on the 19th. Hopefully there'll be something similar for the Coronation when that takes place.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:08 AM on September 13


There's some sort of nice irony in the fact that the debate in Canada about how widespread the holiday should or shouldn't be is all centered around how much it might cost the capitalist system of which the Queen was the aristocratic face.
posted by clawsoon at 10:38 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


They appear to be cancelling people's chemo, cardio and various long-awaited medical appointments as a mark of respect. I can't even imagine being someone who had waited for months for an important specialist's appointment only to be told that you could wait another six months because whoops, gotta respect the queen. Sometimes something happens that is so stupid and malevolent and obviously counter-productive that it just makes you dizzy with its sadism, like you just can't focus on the world. When Trump and Jared were diverting all the imported PPE to their cronies, that was just so corrupt that it felt unreal; this feels the same way.
posted by Frowner at 10:50 AM on September 13 [20 favorites]


I'm flying on the 19th for a job starting the 20th. I'm going to be supremely pissed if the house of windsor as embodied in the former queen manages to stick it to me one last time by messing with my flight on a day I won't get paid for.
posted by Mitheral at 11:00 AM on September 13


What kind of soft brained idiot do you have to be to defend a known pedophile with violence because he's your social better?

If you admit that one of the very top members of the aristocracy is a fundamentally broken human being, then that puts paid to the entire idea of divine right -- and not just the divine part, either, because proponents of the aristocracy insist that even if you don't believe that God gave these people the skills necessary to lead, then at least they benefit from the education and training they receive and the expertise and experience of the people around them to the extent that they're still better than just regular fuckin' Andy from down the pub.

But if all that (possible) divinity and (actual) education and training and expertise and experience produces a pedophile and then a bunch of other people with all that same d&e&t&e&e seem to be more focused on protesting the pedophile than on, say, leading the empire... well, then you're attacking the entire system when you draw attention to the pedophile.

Which says more about the system than it does either the pedophile or the person drawing attention to him. Which is why the nice old lady is being defended with fists and feet even after her demise.
posted by Etrigan at 11:04 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]




They appear to be cancelling people's chemo, cardio and various long-awaited medical appointments as a mark of respect.

As has already been stated in the comments here and made clear if you RTFA, it's not "as a mark of respect", it's because announcing a bank holiday at short notice puts huge pressure on staff, especially staff who might have children or caring responsibilities which they need to deal with if schools are closed.

To quote from the article linked in the tweet:
A doctor at one trust told openDemocracy: “I imagine most of the doctors would be happy to just ignore the bank holiday, but we are totally reliant on a huge team of people paid minimum wage and treated like shit like porters and cleaners, and I imagine they will take a bank holiday if offered – as I would in their position.”
Please, please don't buy into the narrative that anyone in the NHS actually wants to be doing this. Many NHS staff are just as pissed as their patients, but they have no choice.
posted by fight or flight at 11:37 AM on September 13 [18 favorites]


Stone of Scone to be moved to London for coronation

that went really badly last time
posted by scruss at 11:47 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Please, please don't buy into the narrative that anyone in the NHS actually wants to be doing this. Many NHS staff are just as pissed as their patients, but they have no choice.

I would never blame the NHS! I could never imagine the NHS voluntarily telling people to delay their chemo, etc. My assumption about this whole thing is that it's pressure from the top.

The thread got so far ahead of me that I missed the bank holiday angle. But even so! A bank holiday sounds like a bad idea when the NHS is already so stressed. I mean, people are talking about how they have lost appointments that they waited months and months for and now they just have to....wait again. It seems like a terrible idea given the actually existing conditions, absolutely likely to kill people.
posted by Frowner at 11:55 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


announcing a bank holiday at short notice puts huge pressure on staff, especially staff who might have children or caring responsibilities which they need to deal with if schools are closed

Exactly. There are also difficulties for staff who use public transport to travel to and from work - bus companies running a Sunday timetable on a Bank Holiday means far fewer buses, and services stopping at an earlier hour (or, depending on the area, no buses that day).
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 11:56 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I admit I kinda like how they can suddenly have a bank holiday for things, because I'm sick of having to work through insurrections and whatever and still pretend that I give a shit about working. But that said, the medical appointments having to be canceled does suck, especially since I hear it takes forever to get them there in the first place.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:57 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Canada has just announced a federal holiday, which means I get a free day off.

But I also have an appointment that day for a new patient visit with a family doctor who is TAKING NEW PATIENTS AND HOLY JESUS CHRIST THAT IS LIKE UNTO DIAMONDS AROUND HERE. So now I'm kind selfishly rooting for it to be a federal holiday but not a provincial holiday, because that would be convenient for me.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:16 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


If you're in Ontario then it looks like your wish came true!
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 2:01 PM on September 13


I don't think Alberta has made a decision yet, likely because they can't resolve the internal conflict between genuflecting to royalty, the fact that Trudeau is asking for this, and the need to ensure nobody loses any profit.

In all honesty, if this comes up for discussion in my place of work, I'll tell them we'd be better off giving everyone Sept 30 off than a day for this.
posted by nubs at 3:37 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


So far New Brunswick and east has the day off, while Quebec west to Saskatchewan is having a day of mourning. The rest have not said anything yet.
posted by fimbulvetr at 3:46 PM on September 13


Not quite everyone in the Atlantic provinces. In NL, only government offices and schools will get the holiday. A lot of parents are now scrambling for last minute childcare and not at all happy about that.
posted by peppermind at 4:46 PM on September 13




People are very, very weird about famous people's dead bodies.


Okay, I will never again roll my eyes at my own people's custom of sleeping on a sage's grave as an act of veneration. A pillow is not in the same league as a pickaxe.
posted by ocschwar at 7:40 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


In Eight years time,
posted by lalochezia at 7:48 PM on September 13


That redundancy thing is appalling. Every time one falls into the "cosy lovable royals" trap ...
posted by paduasoy at 12:59 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


I suspect it’s only a matter of time until the state funeral is postponed as a gesture of respect toward the Queen.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:09 AM on September 14 [9 favorites]


I think the redundancy notice thing is one of those things that probably cuts both ways. On the one hand, in the middle of what is essentially a crisis in their jobs, while they're all working ridiculously hard is kind of a terrible time to tell them that they might or might not lose their jobs. But on the other hand, if the reality is that many of them will lose their jobs -- and I think people would also be fairly outraged if Charles just grew the Buck House staff by 20% without even considering cutting some of his old staff -- it probably is better to give them as much notice as possible that it is likely coming. Would it be less shitty to let them work themselves blind for the next month and then tell them they might lose their jobs anyway? I'm not sure.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:18 AM on September 14 [2 favorites]






Per the twitter thread rongorongo has linked, here is the YouTube channel for the Queue, and its Twitter feed, and the full map of the Queue route. And I love the fact they are using What3Words to capture the end point.

Will the Queue get its own merchandising?
posted by nubs at 10:50 AM on September 14 [3 favorites]


Just came here to post that, rongorongo—excellent thread.

PM on Radio 4 actually featured some dissenting (or at least agnostic) voices about the whole business today. Stretch it out long enough, and people will snap...
posted by rory at 10:51 AM on September 14


Or the sunk-cost fallacy will reinforce people's commitment to it, in the way that cults survive failed prophesies.

Once the ritual is over, people will be dumped back in a grey world of lowered expectations, permanent austerity and precarity. I can imagine that some people will imagine into being the idea of Charles III as the great unifying symbol of the nation that his mother (and before that, Diana) was mythologised as, purely as a psychological defense mechanism. People are homeostatic and seek equilibrium, and will do anything to cling onto a shred of hope.
posted by acb at 11:08 AM on September 14 [1 favorite]


They're livestreaming the lying-in-state on BBC Parliament, and we started watching out of curiosity. When we first tuned in they were changing the guard around the coffin (currently they're doing it again - every twenty minutes, apparently), and we watched the fascinating slow choreography of the interchange and have been hypnotized by it ever since. It is, to say the least, slow television, but it's fascinating and quite moving, emotionally if not kinetically.

The queue is currently two and a half miles long, but it's predicted to reach ten miles over the next few days. It's been noted that although The Queue runs along the South Bank most of the way, it's directed to the other side of City Hall at Westminster Bridge. Probably because the underpass under Westminster Bridge smells badly of piss. If so, that's a nice touch.
posted by Grangousier at 12:22 PM on September 14 [6 favorites]


Her Majesty the Queue
posted by saturday_morning at 12:24 PM on September 14 [8 favorites]


They're livestreaming the lying-in-state on BBC Parliament

except for viewers in Scotland, where it's called “Aye, she's still deid”
posted by scruss at 1:45 PM on September 14 [10 favorites]


I find it baffling that with all the planning they did for this, 'have everyone line up for freaking days' was the best solution they had to the viewing situation.

Or maybe they came up with, like, I dunno, a timed ticketing system, but then actually wanted the visual of a miles long queue of tens of thousands of people standing there waiting to see the Queen.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:20 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


I am becoming increasingly pissed off at the false narrative in the media that the entire country is in mourning for the Queen. I am not, most of my friends are not, we are largely indifferent to the whole pomp & pageantry that's going on now. I also hate mawkish sentimentality, but if people are foolish enough to want to shuffle along in a queue in the rain for 30 hours (which is the predicted time if the queue reaches 10 miles long), then that's up to them. But the media portrayal of a grief-stricken population is very far from the truth.
posted by essexjan at 3:24 PM on September 14 [14 favorites]




actually wanted the visual of a miles long queue of tens of thousands of people standing there waiting to see the Queen.

Of course they want that visual; it reinforces the very specialness of the royals, that people will stand in line for hours upon hours in order to see the royal coffin for a brief moment. Its akin to a pilgrimage.
posted by nubs at 4:02 PM on September 14 [2 favorites]


They need to parallelise The Queue. Most efficient way to do this would be to split HRH into many pieces and place each one within its own reliquary. The Queue can then be balanced efficiently. After London each county to receive one reliquary to pay their respects.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:12 PM on September 14 [4 favorites]


Can you imagine the scandal if the performative outpouring of grief at the death of the monarch who ruled for 70 years was comparable to and possibly lesser than that at Diana's death? It would shake the system to its foundations, and make rumblings of a republic inevitable. So, of course, they have to juice it, so that it is incomparable. Shutting down cancer surgery, taking over all electronic screens in the country, and having a tilt at the Guinness record for the world's longest queue, so that people can glance upon the royal coffin for two seconds, are all part of this.
posted by acb at 2:33 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]


King Charles' Alleged List Of Daily Demands Has Been Revealed And It's Raising Eyebrows

I remember similar stories about Diana. They are just a bunch of filthy rich people with no connection to real life. All of them, including Saint Di.

(I'm still a monarchist. It's complicated).
posted by mumimor at 2:57 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


in Scotland, where it's called “Aye, she's still deid”

Well, there have been times when one needed to make sure of these things.
posted by automatronic at 3:29 AM on September 15 [2 favorites]


Here on Normal Island, we’ve had an email round at work today instructing us to change the company banner in our signature to a provided image of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles III, which includes the text “SUPPORTING OUR MONARCHY”.

No, we are not anything to do with the Crown or UK government, but a private company. Yes, I am a trade union member. No, I will absolutely not be putting this signature on my emails, and I am perfectly willing to explain why if pulled up on it.

Which reminds me… Audio of BBC report on North Korea overlaid on footage of the Queen’s funeral procession (@Karl_Was_Right, Twitter).
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 4:29 AM on September 15 [21 favorites]


Which reminds me… Audio of BBC report on North Korea overlaid on footage of the Queen’s funeral procession

Perfection.
posted by clawsoon at 5:35 AM on September 15 [1 favorite]


the media portrayal of a grief-stricken population is very far from the truth

crowd psychologist stephen reicher commenting on this, and on the various reasons people have (aside from foolishness / mawkish sentimentality) for joining THE QUEUE - some are royalists who are genuinely grieving, some are not particularly royalist or upset but attend out of respect, some project things from their own lives onto the royal family (and so are grieving through, not for, the queen), and some aren't really bothered but want to be present at such a significant event.

"All this only begins to scratch the surface of what people are telling us about why they are at the processions and in the queues. Yet the media constantly replace this plurality of voices with a narrative of universal respect. If ever a dissenting voice is heard, it is as an exception that reinforces the general rule.

What makes this all the more significant is that it is not just the crowds who are unified in fealty. The crowds are represented as the concrete embodiment of the national community. “They” are “us”. The fact that they are mourning means that Britain is mourning. We are a nation united in support of the monarch. It follows that anyone who departs from this view is not of “us” and risks exclusion from the national community.

This has a chilling effect. It means that certain things (such as challenging the hereditary transfer of power and wealth) cannot be said, not only through direct repression (as in the arrest of those expressing republican views) but also through self-censorship. For if we are led to believe that everyone else loves the monarchy, and demands due deference to the monarch and the monarchy, we will be more reluctant to challenge such views for fear of a backlash; and that in turn will reinforce the impression that these views are universal – what has been called a “spiral of silence”.
"
posted by inire at 7:46 AM on September 15 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry, folks, but the queue has divided. Please be so good as to step over here.
posted by Etrigan at 8:19 AM on September 15


A twitter user in a different thread about the queue pointed out that its legion were sleeping rough, in the rain, to hold their spaces over night, while the people experiencing homelessness who normally look for shelter on the street had been rousted from the vicinity to "improve" the optics.
posted by carmicha at 8:22 AM on September 15 [8 favorites]


It was only a matter of time before we had a sharp distinction between the deserving and undeserving homeless.
posted by acb at 8:23 AM on September 15 [4 favorites]


Period color footage of the queue for Lying in State and crowds for the state funeral of George VI (the Queen's father) in 1952. About 1 minute. From Twitter.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 8:32 AM on September 15 [4 favorites]


An idle thought, but it felt true: maybe people (including many outside the UK) are using this death as a means or marking and mourning the permanency of the loss of the Pre-Covid world; or, for that matter, that we're never going back to The Way Things Were and aren't getting The Future We Were Promised.

It's a more structural poignance, as seen in the tradition of using English Royals as the 'measuring life' when structuring estates to deal with the Rule Against Perpetuities.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:13 PM on September 15 [7 favorites]


An idle thought, but it felt true: maybe people (including many outside the UK) are using this death as a means or marking and mourning the permanency of the loss of the Pre-Covid world; or, for that matter, that we're never going back to The Way Things Were and aren't getting The Future We Were Promised.

I think moments like this are a way a lot of people process grief unrelated to the actual event at hand - you have a chance to grieve for lossses that aren't always acknowledged in society or by those close to you, or for losses that you can't share with those close to you. I try to remind myself that there people who need that catharsis right now, and that the public performance may not be the private reasons. But that's also hard because the grief is weaponized into support for an institution that is deeply problematic and flawed.
posted by nubs at 1:29 PM on September 15 [7 favorites]


12 of the Dumbest Rituals and Traditions of the British Royal Family. Includes the rock, the bees, the swans, the sex chair....

Wait, you're not allowed to get condoms during mourning time?!
All of these things happened on planet earth and involved grown-up people.
Then draped black on their hives to show that the bees are in mourning—because the bees really give a shit.
Everything about the royal family is stupid and insane.
The royal family hasn’t announced Queen Elizabeth II’s cause of death, saying only that she died “peacefully,” but I’m assuming that she was murdered, because that’s what happened to King George V.
I’m not kink-shaming here, but come on. You’re the king—surely you have better game than this.
(Nope. He doesn't.)
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:50 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


A twitter user in a different thread about the queue pointed out that its legion were sleeping rough, in the rain, to hold their spaces over night, while the people experiencing homelessness who normally look for shelter on the street had been rousted from the vicinity to "improve" the optics.

It's our anti-need based system. The people who least need bank credit are the most likely to get it. The only people who are allowed to sleep on the street are the people who have a home they could be sleeping in. Feel free to add more examples; I'm sure you can think of some.
posted by clawsoon at 6:04 PM on September 15 [3 favorites]


The condom thing is very bizarre. Are they hoping for a baby boom to align with the coronation?
posted by jacquilynne at 9:31 PM on September 15 [1 favorite]


The main thing making me sad is now I don't get to find out whether Elizabeth would have got a letter from herself for turning 100.
posted by flabdablet at 10:05 PM on September 15 [7 favorites]


The condom thing is very bizarre. Are they hoping for a baby boom to align with the coronation?

All female children born in England in June of 2023 will by law be named Elizabeth.
posted by acb at 1:09 AM on September 16


tweet by Eleanor Morton
'It's what she would have wanted' I say, punching the Macdonalds server & stuffing 8 boiling apple pies into my mouth. 'It's what she would have wanted!' I cry whilst performing a lewd act on a statue of Admiral Nelson 'ITS WHAT SHE WOULD HAVE WANTED' I scream, weeing on a dog
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 4:49 AM on September 16 [4 favorites]


'Despicable' amateur football teams in Sheffield face punishment for playing after Queen's death
Sheffield International FC tweeted on Friday that its match would be played as a friendly instead, but later said someone had "snitched on us so now even the friendly is off".

It switched to a training session, adding: "If that gets cancelled we'll have a game of rugby seeing as that's deemed respectful enough."

The team seemed to be referencing the fact that sports such as cricket and rugby went ahead after the Queen's death while nearly all football matches were postponed.

However, on Saturday morning, Sheffield International FC tweeted a picture with the caption: "Silly billies. Everyone's turned up in their match kit".

A few minutes later, another image showed them shaking hands with their opponents: "Oh wow! Byron House have arrived! Fancy seeing them here!" the club tweeted.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:05 AM on September 16 [5 favorites]


Britain's new monarch could have become King Philip, Arthur, or George.

Arthur would be a bit fraught.

"King of the who?"
posted by Stoneshop at 8:38 AM on September 16 [1 favorite]


I’m starting to think Charles is going to so screwed up the funeral and his ascension to the throne that the British public will finally decide to scrap the whole thing. Or as I’ve said previously there is always a Doctor Who scenario where they decide the queen has simply gone through a regeneration and will now be played by Helen Mirren or Olivia Colman. Recast the Prince of Wales with Idris Elba — he’s already played the role of Crown Prince of the James Bond franchise….
posted by interogative mood at 9:27 AM on September 16


i know - the british can get the americans to invade london to install one of the kardashians

we'll call it "the glorious revolution ii - electric boogaloo"
posted by pyramid termite at 9:40 AM on September 16


Bit of a wait till the funeral. I will pass the time refurbishing nursery rhymes.

Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
I've been up to London to visit the Queen.
Pussycat, pussycat, what did you there?
I waited in line for a long, long time
But I didn't see her anywhere,
Not even her chair.
However I did see David Beckham.

Old King Charles was a funny old soul
And a funny old soul was he
He called for his bricks
And he called for his trowel,
And he built old Poundbury.

Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly,
Lavender's green ;
When I am king, dilly, dilly,
You shall be queen consort.

Taffy was a Welshman,
Taffy was a Prince.
posted by valetta at 9:48 AM on September 16 [2 favorites]


Our divine monarchy is finished -- There is only spectacle left by Ben Judah

You don’t need tabulating political scientists to understand the British and their Queen. You need European psychoanalysts: Freud, Jung, Fromm. You need to understand the subliminal, the subconscious and the immense recesses of antiquity that haunt our psyches. It is here where monarchy draws its power. From the moment it was announced to her in Kenya, through her coronation as Queen of countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka and South Africa, across a lifetime of the last post being sounded, over the by then mostly African Empire, that still existed when her reign began — she never stopped pretending. And for her, we never stopped pretending, either.

We pretended with her and for her — that the Commonwealth was real, that there was love and affection for her, or for us, in countries we’d conquered and lost, that we were still a great power. And if not an empire, then she ruled its heir. That her first minister was the equal of the men she received in what even the Kennedys realised was not splendour, but more a dowdy country hotel called Buckingham Palace. It could be beautiful, it could be felt, all this, but it wasn’t real. We all know a first principle of psychology is not to fantasise, but to accept who you really are.

As she aged, shrinking into her clothes, it became clear there wasn’t enough there, behind the insignia of government, to hold us up in the world. The factories, the mines, the shipyards, the discoveries that powered the rule of Queen Victoria — we simply no longer had enough of them. The carpet has long been threadbare. The draught could now be felt in the house. This funeral is the last great pretence. The last funeral for a British world power. The world’s leaders will never gather like this in Westminster Abbey again. The crowds will not flock to London, let alone Edinburgh, like this again.

[...]
The King is not a stupid man. “Big Ears” of the tabloid press has spent his life knowing there is nothing sacred about him. That nobody reveres him. Every charity, every interview, has been proving Count Albrecht von Monteglas’s point. This is not what he called “the true Royal tradition” but an institution that knows it must constantly fight to keep its popularity afloat in the polls. A permanent referendum. Charles III could never rule like a true Hanoverian: his appetites or insanities, easily justified to the public as simply the divine order.

posted by cendawanita at 10:51 AM on September 16 [4 favorites]


Camilla gets the title queen consort not queen if that makes you feel better.

Her title is Queen. The consort inclusion is just to avoid confusion with the much more well-known Queen and to ease people into it. I would bet money that by Charles' coronation they will have dropped the "consort" portion entirely.

Also, I was always casually pro-Meghan and Harry but after seeing the treatment they've received by the press on royalist twitter, I am firmly in their corner out of spite. I wish Meghan had been miked up on that memorial walk.
posted by asteria at 1:00 AM on September 17 [4 favorites]


The consort inclusion is just to avoid confusion with the much more well-known Queen and to ease people into it.

This is completely wrong. Queen Consort is a specific title with specific limitations to her power. A reigning queen is the Queen Regent (hence QR stamped on various things). The widow of a deceased King is the Queen Dowager (who still wouldn't have the powers of a reigning Queen Regent).

They definitely won't do away with the "Consort" part of her title because it's a required form of address and a reminder that she cannot, for instance, hold any political or military power.
posted by fight or flight at 3:55 AM on September 17 [6 favorites]


But isn't the practice of adding 'consort' to a Queen specifically is the invention here? Limitations of power is well in place* it's just the idea is a continuation of a practice that started with Albert and Victoria, when the Queen is the actual regent, not her male partner.

*Probably a bit of an understatement of an established assumption that the King is the regent.

(ETA: i was being unclear. I mean adding 'consort' to the public address of the royal.)
posted by cendawanita at 4:33 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


It's a pity we can't bump this thread up the line rather than letting it disappear down the plug hole. It's relevance persists and will even grow over coming days. It's an astonishingly rich and illuminating moment to glimpse what is really going on in the UK these days. Almost as if the drawing of a regal, red and gold curtain over the brute realities of life today is revealing as much as it covers. Endlessly fascinating.
posted by dutchrick at 4:35 AM on September 17 [3 favorites]


But isn't the practice of adding 'consort' to a Queen specifically is the invention here?

If you mean "was this invented specifically for Camilla", no. This was always the case; the King's wife is always the Queen, and the Queen's husband is always King. The addition of "consort" to either "Queen" or "King" refers to "this half of the couple is MARRIED to the one who is ruling". There's also the addition of "regnant" to one or the other, to designate "this half of the couple is the one who is ruling".

We're just not used to hearing "Queen consort" because none of us were alive the last time there WAS a Queen Consort. And Elizabeth was technically "Queen Regnant", but no one used the "regnant" part because everyone already knew who we were talking about.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:01 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


the Queen's husband is always King

Yeah, nah. Philip was a Duke and a Prince Consort, not a King.
posted by flabdablet at 5:14 AM on September 17 [8 favorites]


Also, I was always casually pro-Meghan and Harry but after seeing the treatment they've received by the press on royalist twitter, I am firmly in their corner out of spite.

I defy anyone to watch this and not be pro-Harry (and Meghan, but she isn't in this clip). He's turned out all right.

Yeah, nah. Philip was a Duke and a Prince Consort, not a King.

Albert was Prince Consort and not King, too.
posted by rory at 5:48 AM on September 17 [5 favorites]


Philip was a Duke and a Prince Consort

Actually, in terms of titles, he was a Prince of the United Kingdom. Prince Albert was the only royal husband actually titled Prince Consort (Victoria awarded him the title). Before Albert, the husbands of Queens had various titles and powers depending on the political situation at the time.
posted by fight or flight at 5:51 AM on September 17


It's a pity we can't bump this thread up the line rather than letting it disappear down the plug hole.

Quite. I wonder if there should be a new post/thread for the funeral pomp and political sabre rattling ridiculousness about to unfold in the next few days? I'm expecting the Grand Cheeto to make a fool of himself at least.
posted by fight or flight at 5:54 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


If we’re taking Wikipedia’s word for it, then Camilla being styled “Her Majesty The Queen Consort” is a break from tradition, as Elizabeth, George VI’s spouse, was styled “Her Majesty The Queen” (before his death) and Mary (George V’s spouse) was styled “Her Majesty The Queen-Empress” (before his death).
posted by Etrigan at 6:07 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


A reigning queen is the Queen Regent

I think you might be confusing this term with Queen Regnant, which refers to a ruling queen. A Queen Regent is someone who governs temporarily while the true ruler is unavailable.
posted by biffa at 6:13 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


How queen get reagent? How is daddy firmed?
posted by flabdablet at 6:34 AM on September 17 [7 favorites]


Albert was Prince Consort and not King, too.

And he had to spend all the time trapped in a can!
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:05 AM on September 17 [3 favorites]


Returning from Spain where I was when the queen died - last night at 10pm was the first time I had watched UK BBC news since my return. Eight full days after the monarch’s death - and 3 days before her funeral - the entire first 10 minutes of the programme are dedicated to talking about the queue to walk past her coffin. We see shots of people at the head of the queue shuffle past the catafalque and beefeaters, on four occasions as part of the piece. We are warned, again several times that “the temperature tonight is going to be cold in the queue”. We are told the queue is visible from space. Apparently the queue was suspended and then resumed during the day: so we get to see those moments of high drama. There is extensive coverage of David Beckham standing in the queue with a cap on. The short cut to the front of the queue for lords and MPs is, tactfully, not mentioned- but there is a call out to the special channel where viewers can watch the front of the queue 24/7. After 10 minutes we move to “other news” - which is about 10 more minutes of Prince Charles making a speech in Wales.

The BBC do, in fact, employ journalists and editors- but they appear to have locked them away somewhere. What is left behind is absolute bananas.
posted by rongorongo at 8:08 AM on September 17 [3 favorites]


Yeah, nah. Philip was a Duke and a Prince Consort, not a King.

Huh - I may have mis-remembered, then, I was basing that on the way it got laid out in this extremely informative video. That channel, "Useful Charts", is all about the various family trees and timelines of various nations and world leaders, and they know their shit. They released a video in 2022 about the full Line Of Succession at the time, and two days ago they released that follow up addressing "okay, what's changed now that Charles is King". Whatever they say trumps what I said.

> A reigning queen is the Queen Regent

I think you might be confusing this term with Queen Regnant, which refers to a ruling queen.


LOL - it's even more embarrassing, that was a typo on my part. Regnant IS indeed what I'd meant to type in the first place.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


After 10 minutes we move to “other news” - which is about 10 more minutes of Prince Charles making a speech in Wales.

It's getting better then—a couple of nights ago, when I last bothered to turn on at 10pm, it was a full half hour before we got to non-royal news. Given the significant developments in Ukraine over this period, not to mention further news of impending economic and environmental disaster, it's been ridiculous.
posted by rory at 10:00 AM on September 17


the entire first 10 minutes of the programme are dedicated to talking about the queue to walk past her coffin

Meanwhile another war is happening in the small European country of Armenia and there is almost nothing in the press about it.
posted by Lanark at 2:52 PM on September 17


European country of Armenia

Just to nitpick, Armenia lies in Western Asia, not Europe.
posted by Pendragon at 3:02 PM on September 17 [5 favorites]


They're in Eurovision, which makes them European, just like Israel, Azerbaijan and Australia.
posted by acb at 5:02 PM on September 17 [21 favorites]


Lanark, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has been happening for decades and, despite the upsurge in recent violence, is largely considered a 'frozen' conflict without many prospects for escalation. It's not normally covered in UK/European news, so not surprising it's not been covered recently either.
posted by rosiroo at 2:46 AM on September 18


I think the news being underreported right now is the Truss chief of staff being questioned by the FBI concerning foreign election interference.
posted by vacapinta at 6:40 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


the Truss chief of staff being questioned by the FBI concerning foreign election interference.
Wait, what??
The link is paywalled, can you explain or quote a bit?
posted by mumimor at 6:45 AM on September 18


I took the description of that article and pasted it into search and here's the first article I came up with that isn't paywalled or a broken link.
posted by aniola at 7:25 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]




That lede is a little bit ambiguous - someone else had removed Elizabeth's initials from Harry's uniform.
posted by porpoise at 8:38 AM on September 18


Mumimor, aniola: here you go
posted by vacapinta at 9:20 AM on September 18 [3 favorites]


> That lede is a little bit ambiguous - someone else had removed Elizabeth's initials from Harry's uniform.

I am confused (both by the sequence of events, and why I find myself caring). Was his uniform hanging in a closet and someone came at it with a seamripper without being stopped?
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:45 AM on September 18


So Prince Harry had his grandma's initials removed from his uniform

Say what you will about Andrew, but he and Harry were the two (other than Elizabeth herself) in that parade who have actually been to war. The fact that Charles and William get to pretend their military service was anything but a way to give the heir apparent something to do in his 20s that might not land him in the tabloids, while Anne and Edward are being allowed to cosplay all goddamn week... if I were Harry, I'd stand silently through the rest of the funeral, then change my last name to Markle and apply for US citizenship.

Fuck them all.
posted by Etrigan at 11:48 AM on September 18 [4 favorites]


Was his uniform hanging in a closet and someone came at it with a seamripper without being stopped?

For all intents and purposes, yes. They have valets and the like who prepare their uniforms (most of which are resplendent in unearned gold and silver and ribbon) while the royals are off doing royal things. Harry doesn't have those staffers, since he's not in The Firm anymore. His dresser was most likely sent (with very specific orders) by someone at Buckingham Palace who's very, very close to the King.
posted by Etrigan at 11:51 AM on September 18 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Scotland, not everyone has bought into displays of national mourning to the same extent. As with many football games this week, fans at the Rangers-Dundee United were asked to observe a minute of silence, the visiting fans were instead heard to chant "Lizzie's in a box". The club has apologised for "the actions of a small group of supporters".

Not wishing to chance chants during a minute of silence, authorities at the St Mirren-Celtic game instead opted for a minute of clapping for the Queen. Celtic fans responded with chants of “If you hate the royal family clap your hands”.
posted by biffa at 11:52 AM on September 18 [6 favorites]


I apologize for my misphrasing. Mostly I'm confused that Harry didn't fly in with/bring his own uniform that couldn't have been tampered with? Did The Crown confiscate them all when they fired him? It sounds like they provided him a uniform and stripped it of the initials...but of course didn't do that to Andrew.

I bet they fly the hell out of England the second the funeral's over and I hope they never return. I saw a mention somewhere that they bet H&M aren't allowed to renew the lease on their cottage in the future, which sounds about right.

Also, letting it be known that this happened, and that they were "disinvited," which they found out via the news, is just shameful of the so-called King and/or his courtiers.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:54 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that Andrew is also not a working royal, but he was allowed to wear a uniform? So that excuse for not letting Harry wear his doesn't hold up. I get that he lost some of his ceremonial/symbolic titles when he stepped back, but he's an actual veteran. I don't get how he can be forbidden from wearing a uniform. These people are incredible assholes.
posted by Mavri at 11:56 AM on September 18 [4 favorites]


I just googled on the uniforms. Frankly seems like excuses, especially in Andrew's case.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:11 PM on September 18


No amount of effort by anti-royalist interests can possibly threaten the continued existence of this monarchy as much as the collective conduct of those individuals who presently populate it. The coronation and the grinding months leading up to it are gonna be a clusterfuck.
posted by hangashore at 12:14 PM on September 18 [10 favorites]


Mostly I'm confused that Harry didn't fly in with/bring his own uniform that couldn't have been tampered with?

He lives on another continent. Even if I were going to my grandparent's deathbed, I wouldn't pack my uniform, and I don't have people whose entire job is to make sure that I have a uniform available at a moment's notice.

My understanding is that Andrew is also not a working royal, but he was allowed to wear a uniform?

Andrew was in civilian clothes in at least one of the ceremonial things early on -- there's a pic I can't find anymore where he and Harry were the only ones in suits amidst a gallery of cosplaying old frauds.

So that excuse for not letting Harry wear his doesn't hold up.

None of it holds up. It's strictly how Charles (and William) wanted it to be. They knew what they were doing; they just like Andrew better because he only embarrassed the family indirectly.
posted by Etrigan at 1:02 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


So Prince Harry had his grandma's initials removed from his uniform and then he and his wife were publicly "disinvited" from a party, which they found out by reading the news. STAY CLASSY, AND BY THAT I MEAN, ASSY, CHARLES. No wonder people are booing him.

Sigh

Don't ask me why I know this but I do

The "initials" are actually the Royal Cypher, and like everything worn on a uniform it has rules about who and who cannot wear it. In this case, its a symbol that the person wearing it holds the role of aide-de-camp to the Queen. William was an aide-de-camp, Harry was not (and has never been) (I can't speak about Andrew, but I'm very sure he would not have been wearing an award or insignia that he was not entitled to wear). If you look at photos of William and Harry at Harry's wedding, William also had the cypher while Harry did not. here is a photo from Harry's wedding where you can see this clearly.

This is a great example about people getting upset about something they actually don't understand (and I also include the press squarely in that category of "people" -- particularly since they should all be able to fact check this before they publish).
posted by anastasiav at 1:38 PM on September 18 [4 favorites]


William was an aide-de-camp, Harry was not (and has never been)

The Queen makes Prince Harry a personal aide-de-camp, October 2018 (five months after the wedding picture was taken)

It may have been among the honors and titles stripped when he left The Firm, and I don't know whether it generally carries permanent award status, but Harry may well have expected to have it on the uniform prepared for him.
posted by Etrigan at 1:53 PM on September 18 [6 favorites]


Mavri: "My understanding is that Andrew is also not a working royal"

Unlike other royals?
posted by adamrice at 2:14 PM on September 18 [2 favorites]


"most of which are resplendent in unearned gold and silver"

Gold thread is delicate (but lasts, as long as you don't, like, move too much or touch it). But silver thread tarnishes LIKE WHOA. It used to be shiny longer, but increasing sulfur compounds in the air as a result of the industrial revolution (particularly hydrogen sulfide) makes silver tarnish really fast. If any royals are wearing uniforms with actual silver thread/cord, that's being replaced literally at least yearly.

"My understanding is that Andrew is also not a working royal"
"Frankly seems like excuses, especially in Andrew's case."


It's 100% because Harry cares a lot about his military service, so it was the best thing to take away from him as a threat and an inducement when he moved to the US. When serving in Afghanistan, he found purpose and community and friends that he really struggled to find as a younger man, and as a man with a lot of mental health issues from losing his mother as a child (and from being a prince). It was notable, at the time, how much Queen Elizabeth ordered her household and the military to do to hide Harry's location when he went to Afghanistan, probably because he was struggling a LOT at the time, and Harry was able to serve mostly as a pretty normal soldier. The media blackout lasted an astonishingly long time before his location was leaked.

After he had to stop active service, he has been hugely involved in veteran issues, including wounded veteran issues, and not just as a "patron," but his involvement has been very personal and very direct. The Buckingham Palace and Clarence House aides trying to force Harry to behave properly after he married Meghan decided the best way to force the issue was to take away his honorary military titles, his military charities, and to forbid him to wear his uniform. We learned from leaks from Kensington Palace (William) and Clarence House (Charles) that Harry was upset about this, but he accepted it as the price of living his own life in America.

Andrew, on the other hand, IS A GIGANTIC MAN-BABY. (In addition to a criminal pedophile being shielded by the Royal Family, details.) And he has spent his entire life convinced that as second-in-line to the throne, he's being fucking robbed. He allegedly used to make lots of jokes about second-son Dukes of York who became king (including George VI), and how he'd get there when Charles failed. He spent two decades agitating for Beatrice and Eugenie to permanently be awarded the title Princess and to be permanently working royals (they are not), and to get them other titles.

(I do sort-of like to think of Andrew rage-stewing in his own juices that Charles and Diana got divorced and THEN Charles remarried a divorcee (WHY EDWARD VIII HAD TO ABDICATE IN FAVOR OF THE DUKE OF YORK) and THEN everyone just let Charles keep being Crown Prince instead of abdicating in favor of Andrew (who was also divorced but had not remarried).)

Andrew almost certainly threw a gigantic, long-lasting tantrum about his uniform. It's also very likely that Elizabeth did actually want him to wear his uniform -- he was her favorite child, and she allegedly only removed him as an active royal because absolutely forced, and thought he could come back after some time in exile. (Charles allegedly dislikes Andrew and desperately wants to demote Andrew and all his family and not pay them or have them represent the family, which is part of why Andrew worked so hard to get Beatrice and Eugenie guarantees from Elizabeth.) The Buckingham Palace courtiers never thought he did anything wrong but give a bad interview. The senior royal establishment, as exercised through its bureaucrats, have considered the exile of Andrew a temporary inconvenience due to bad press -- NOT a permanent punishment for BEING A FUCKING PEDOPHILE RAPIST.

The senior royal establishment, via its bureaucrats, has considered Harry off-piste since he got engaged to Meghan, and has been strenuously attempting to get Harry back in line via media harassment, loss of privileges, and other schemes in their control. To them, Harry is far worse than Andrew, because Harry won't do what he's told, and won't bow to their demands.

Andrew was always going to be allowed to wear his uniform at at least one event -- the Buckingham Palace courtiers in charge of the event probably had to be persuaded that it should only occur at the vigil, and not at everything. Harry was never going to be allowed to wear his uniform, because he refused to play by their rules and moved to the US. Buckingham Palace never intended there to be any consistency; they thought "everyone will be fine with Andrew wearing his uniform, he's just bad at interviews," and that, "Harry will come crawling back with his tail between his legs if he can't wear his uniform." They thought, "We'll just say the thing about working royals."

They were catastrophically wrong. As they have been catastrophically wrong about Harry and Meghan for a long time! (And about Andrew -- someone, somewhere, in Buckingham Palace decided that letting Andrew, THE DUMBEST AND MOST SELF-IMPORTANT ROYAL, do an interview with a real BBC interviewer was a good idea.) But they really didn't expect anyone would question it! They thought they'd just say, "Harry isn't a working royal," and Harry would have a tantrum, and the world media would side with them. Instead, they got Harry saying, "yeah, this is fine," and the world media going "OKAY BUT THE PEDOPHILE???"

Part of the problem is, the internal workings of the royal family have mostly been covered by the UK tabloids, and the royal family places ex-secretaries and aides at those tabloids specifically to plant good press for (specific members of) the royal family. William has former aides who are now royal reporters at the Daily Mail in particular; SOMEHOW those specific people always get stories that are unflattering to Harry, but very flattering to William. William's press operation is super-clumsy -- the named sources are always too obvious, and the journalists are always too close to William. (Charles's press operation, otoh, can manage to plant things in Vogue for feature stories, with much more disguised sources; much more Brad Pitt-level media placement, although for people who pay attention to the gossip press, everyone can tell when Brad Pitt is placing stories on Page Six, and everyone can tell when Charles is doing it in Vogue.) That works great when it's just the UK tabloids that are interested, but marrying Meghan made a lot of US media interested in Harry, and William's friendly plants could sell stories to the UK tabloids ... but not to People Magazine. Not to US Weekly. And Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace do not seem to have figured out how to combat this. They just pump MORE tabloid stories to the UK tabloids, and are seemingly shocked when non-UK sources a) are interested and b) don't buy their plants. And for the most part, Harry and Meghan are not counter-planting -- we know what their counter-plants look like; they're often in People; they often involve Serena Williams. This is why so often we get ugly stories about Harry with "sources close to the royal family" (Kensington Palace and Clarence House sources), but then just "Harry's publicly-issued statement" and no "sources close to Harry."

(Harry and Meghan's media operation is a lot more savvy and a lot more 21st century -- they operate like movie stars who grant limited but excellent access to foster specific narratives without seeming like they're fostering them -- while the royal family is still operating like mid-20th-century media personalities who try to drive a narrative via planted stories in trade media that don't hold up to actual reporting, and extremely minimal access that allows pictures but no real reporting.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:45 PM on September 18 [12 favorites]


This is also, incidentally, why we've gotten no quotes at all from Harry's side about why he & Meghan went walkabout with William and Kate, but we've got SEVERAL UK tabloid stories about how William totally invited Harry to come out with them, AND we've got several UK tabloids claiming Charles forced the boys to reconcile and insisted William invite Harry to the walkabout. The funniest thing in royal media, by far, is when Charles and William are frantically briefing against each other.

There's currently a lot of stories about how the "stand-ins" for the crown are the four adults next in line for the throne, which is William (ok), and then Harry, Andrew, and Beatrice (none okay), and how Charles wants to excise Harry, Andrew, and Beatrice from being allowed to be stand-ins for him. This is a fascinating claim, because it would require Parliament to amend the law, and because the tabloid stories claim he'd ask that Princess Anne and Prince Edward be allowed to stand in for him! So, basically, it'd exclude JUST HARRY AND ANDREW, FOR SPITE, and let Charles pick his better-liked siblings, even though they're WAY down the list now. So it will be VERY INTERESTING to watch how this story develops, who the tabloids think will be in and out, and IF Charles actually asks Parliament to take up the question. Right now, this is 100% a planted story to float the idea, but it's not clear if it's planted by Charles's camp or William's camp, or someone loyal to one of them who thinks it's a good idea and is freelancing to try to put pressure on them. Watching the story, and what sources are named going forward, and which tabloids come down on which side, will be SUPER interesting.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:05 PM on September 18 [3 favorites]


> Harry was never going to be allowed to wear his uniform

Who gets to decide that? Did someone send him an e-mail with the dress code? What if Harry had just shown up in his uniform -- would someone have physically stopped him from walking in the door? Or, like Etrigan suggests, does he not have his uniform hanging in his closet waiting to be worn and thus was easily stopped? (And why am I so interested, help me, I do not care at all about the Queen etc and yet I am fascinated by this.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:09 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


Am I the only person in here who thinks that the emblem on Harry's uniform is secondary to him finding out he was UN-INVITED to a wake for his grandmother, and that the way he found out was by READING IT IN A NEWSPAPER?

I mean, that seems WAY worse than the uniform thing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:15 PM on September 18 [5 favorites]


Tbh, I am still hung up on the idea that they didn't let him get to her side to say goodbye before she died because he was going to bring Meghan. Literally everything else seems pretty incidental to that.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:52 PM on September 18 [5 favorites]


Am I the only person in here who thinks that the emblem on Harry's uniform is secondary to him finding out he was UN-INVITED to a wake for his grandmother, and that the way he found out was by READING IT IN A NEWSPAPER?

This celebitchy article speculates that the Palace announced the H&M would attend without confirming it with them and that the story about them being uninvited is to cover for the fact that H&M refused to attend.
posted by roolya_boolya at 11:26 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen it confirmed but a lot of people with sources on the inside are saying that the Queen passed somewhere between noon and 3pm. A lot put it at 1pm/1:30 pm. So, likely, everyone save for Charles and Anne (who were already at her side) arrived after she had passed. That time at Balmoral may have been akin to a wake/viewing.

That may also be why neither Kate nor Meghan were in attendance, they kept it to immediate family. Still a bit of an odd choice as in my opinion, they would be immediate family. But perhaps they were trying to keep a lid on the Queen's condition by not inviting spouses.

Yeah, nah. Philip was a Duke and a Prince Consort, not a King.

Correct. Philip cannot be a King because in the British Monarchy a King would outrank the Queen. That's also why there are differing titles for Queens: Consort, Regent, Regnant but nothing similar for a King. A King is a King but a Queen usually draws her power from someone else and that someone must be clarified.

As for the differing titles - Consort is the spouse of King, Regent is the mother of an underage monarch, and Regnant is a Queen in her own right. I've heard someone put it this way using Game of Thrones: Cersei is Queen Consort in Season 1, Queen Regent in Seasons 2-6, and Queen Regnant in Seasons 7-8.

Anyway, if you like following royals I would highly recommend checking out Amanda Matta, she goes by matta_of_fact on Tiktok and (I think?) Instagram. She is very informative without being an out-and-out royalist and is a fan of Meghan and Harry. I think she will be doing a live for the funeral.

but marrying Meghan made a lot of US media interested in Harry, and William's friendly plants could sell stories to the UK tabloids ... but not to People Magazine. Not to US Weekly.

I absolutely agree and will go one step further - I think they still struggle with social media and don't understand how it works. Sure one can allegedly have a bot campaign against Meghan Markle on Twitter to make anti-MM tweets and tags trend but most savvy Twitter users tune those out. Furthermore, I don't think they really anticipated that Meghan and Harry would have a dedicated fanbase of their own. They also seemed to underestimate the fact that this funeral would be viewed globally and for people with no attachment to the monarchy their behaviors like refusing Harry the chance to wear his uniform or having people deride Harry and Meghan for holding hands would seem odd.

The Palace knows how to play to a royalist audience but not much else.

Am I the only person in here who thinks that the emblem on Harry's uniform is secondary to him finding out he was UN-INVITED to a wake for his grandmother,

I did not hear that he was uninvited from the wake? But he and Meghan were allegedly uninvited from a meeting held on Sunday with world leaders. They later said it was for working royals only which again seems odd.

But the Palace has been making lots of odd choices including uninviting the Danish Queen Consort after inviting her and allegedly having nine-year-old George and seven-year-old Charlotte walk in the procession today. Both Harry and William have spoken about how traumatizing it was to have to do that for Diana's funeral so I really don't understand why they're making literal children do that. At least it sounds like they will be buffered between their parents and Harry and Meghan since they are walking in order of succession.
posted by asteria at 12:56 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]


"Maybe it’s a coincidence, but almost everyone I speak to turns out to have recently lost someone, or something important”. Laurie Penny from GQ magazine stood in The Queue for 14 hours - and wrote this great article about the experience.
posted by rongorongo at 1:55 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]


> Am I the only person in here who thinks that the emblem on Harry's uniform is secondary to him finding out he was UN-INVITED to a wake for his grandmother,

I did not hear that he was uninvited from the wake? But he and Meghan were allegedly uninvited from a meeting held on Sunday with world leaders.


Hang on - so which was it? I heard it was more of a social event rather than a business-meeting type of thing. That's why I called it a wake.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:42 AM on September 19


This morning the clock radio woke me up with the comfortable lies of the typical funeral service, a lovely choral piece by Vaughan Williams, and then some blasting trumpets and a bagpipe.

And then God save the King, which somehow puts me in mind of the musty old imperial time when Canadians were convinced they were more British than the British.
posted by clawsoon at 4:37 AM on September 19


Watching the funeral; I'm agnostic about the British monarchy in today's world, but I am a huge history nerd who's spent a LOT of time singing in Anglican chapel choirs, so this is relevant to my interests.

Lovely setting of "Like as the hart" by Judith Weir, current Master of the King's Music. The choir (a mix of Chapel Royal and Abbey choristers) are doing very well, I think. (My Facebook feed is full of musicians doing the equivalent of football cheering; British choral music is a very small world.)

The Croft funeral sentences were fine; they're short and the text is clear. I like the Purcell ones better, but they're longer and more polyphonic, so might not have worked with the timing of the procession (and are also harder to sing while processing). Still, they included one of them ("Thou knowest, Lord"), and sang it well.

"My soul, there is a country" by CHH Parry is a good choice of anthem, if a little jolly for a funeral. But Parry wrote that epic setting of "I was glad" for the Queen's coronation; only fitting that he should sing her out.

Vaughan Williams, in his old age, also contributed coronation music; I thought the sopranos did nicely in the opening phrases of "O taste and see". Nerves of steel, those lads.

(Singer Facebook full of people going "WRONG TUNE WRONG TUNE" for Love Divine. I guess they picked Blaenwern because it sounds more serious, but I do prefer Hyfrydol)

HM's trumpeters joining the organ for the final stanzas of the hymns was well-executed, I think. (The Fanfare Team get a pass for a few duff notes. Anyone who's tried to play a brass instrument while in an emotional state can relate.)

I tuned in as the Queen's coffin was being taken through Parliament Square to the Abbey. It was moving to see the Yeomen Warders and the Guards slow-marching with their pikes reversed, the Navy boys drawing the gun carriage, and the Armed Services generally doing her proud.

(I follow the Yeoman Ravenmaster on social media, which I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys pictures of ravens. I've met him and he's a good guy; he took his turn guarding the coffin Saturday as the public filed by)

Anyway, those were my thoughts today. Tune in next year(?) for more musical kibbitzing at the Coronation.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:53 AM on September 19 [16 favorites]


Listening to the service a quote about priests and kings comes to mind, but it probably wouldn't be considered appropriate for the occasion.
posted by clawsoon at 5:35 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]


One thing that struck me is that the Queen's coronation was an occasion for which most of the nation's television sets were specifically bought - it was the first mass television event, the first time that many people sat down to watch something at the same time. Her funeral may well be the last - I can't think of anything that would occasion so many people to sit down watch at the same time in the same way ever happening again. Charles' funeral might be just as fancy (or will most likely not be ), but won't attract anywhere near as much interest.
posted by Grangousier at 5:43 AM on September 19 [8 favorites]


Philip cannot be a King because in the British Monarchy a King would outrank the Queen.

To be fair, Philip was often quite rank. Certainly more often than Elizabeth.
posted by flabdablet at 6:43 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]


The Palace knows how to play to a royalist audience but not much else.

If they have to choose, I guess it's better for them to have a bunch of rabid domestic support than diffuse international goodwill. They probably didn't have to choose? But it doesn't feel like the Palace really draws the world's best and brightest, and even if they did, they'd still be at the mercy of the talent's demands. And as a whole -- once a monarchy is separated from rule, it's basically just state-flavored celebrity. So perhaps the mess was inevitable, (and indeed, the point).

When I see British tabloid headlines, I do wonder if the palace understands they've radicalized their fans to the point where they all seem deranged to the rest of the world. I try to remember these people are all rich strangers and I shouldn't care about any of them, but in my heart I just want Harry and Meghan to get on a plane and never return to that place.

I don't think it's that bad to have the kids play a part in the funeral? There's a big difference, to me, between forcing kids to act as human shields after their mother's shocking and unexpected death to protect the broader institution from further criticism vs. including your kids at a state funeral for their very old and revered grandmother.
posted by grandiloquiet at 7:41 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]


Speaking of "God Save the King," the recent hardening of attitudes by palace loyalists would suggest they might favour bringing back the usually-omitted second verse:

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter his enemies,
And make them fall:
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix:
God save us all.
posted by hangashore at 9:19 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]


Also, the third verse with “rebellious Scots to crush” might soon once again be timely.
posted by acb at 9:46 AM on September 19 [3 favorites]


Oh, my boss finally told me more about what he was doing in Scotland when The Queen passed.

His wife is a makeup artist, and was there to do the makeup for Jenna Bush Hager for a feature the TODAY show was going to do in Dumfries House that day, where Jenna was going to interview Camilla and/or Charles. They were setting up for the interview when suddenly Charles got an urgent phone call, and the next thing they knew, Charles' assistants were cancelling the interview and getting him onto a helicopter. Meanwhile my boss was wandering through a hedge maze with their 4-year-old and wondering "WTF is that chopper doing landing there?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:26 AM on September 19 [4 favorites]


having people deride Harry and Meghan for holding hands

I've been curious about this! I realize people will criticize Meghan for existing, but is physical comfort in a situation like this considered poor etiquette? Like a stiff upper lip/cold, formal upper class english thing--be proper, don't show emotion? It wouldn't justify the vitriol, but is it something the haters pulled out of thin air or is it based on something real?
posted by Mavri at 10:42 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]


The rousing jazz performance between Clarkson's eulogy and Mulroney's at the Canadian service was quite something, and totally unexpected.
posted by sardonyx at 10:49 AM on September 19


It wouldn't justify the vitriol, but is it something the haters pulled out of thin air or is it based on something real?

This is the same system that published headlines about how Kate would lovingly caress her unborn child but how Meghan couldn't keep her hands off her pregnant belly because she needed the attention. If she and Harry had never touched, then that would be the criticism.
posted by Etrigan at 10:54 AM on September 19 [9 favorites]


And it has undoubtedly been repeatedly made clear to Harry that as harsh as the situation is, he could end it in an instant. All he'd have to do is divorce that awful woman*. He would be welcomed back with open arms, all his titles and honours restored, and new ones lavished upon him. Nor would he be lonely; some nice posh filly would soon be found for him, with a pedigree dating back to William the Conqueror's court. And, of course, any children from the new pairing would end up leapfrogging his currently existing children in the succession hierarchy, for reasons that have nothing to do with spite or bigotry but are genuinely enshrined in the ancient, arcane, but supremely, divinely impartial mechanics of succession law.

* the word used there might have been one other than “woman”.
posted by acb at 11:02 AM on September 19 [4 favorites]


If she and Harry had never touched, then that would be the criticism.

Yes, I get that. Maybe I should post an Ask Me about English mourning etiquette.
posted by Mavri at 11:23 AM on September 19


I note that Zara and her husband were also holding hands during the same event and well, nobody cared about that one.
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:27 AM on September 19 [2 favorites]


Maybe I should post an Ask Me about English mourning etiquette.

I think that what Etrigan was trying to say was that these criticisms don't have anything to do with English mourning etiquette in the first place.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:33 AM on September 19 [8 favorites]


I don't think we have funeral etiquette other than Angels by Robbie Williams at the crem followed by beer and sandwiches at the pub with a punch-up after.
posted by Grangousier at 11:55 AM on September 19 [13 favorites]


I note that Zara and her husband were also holding hands during the same event and well, nobody cared about that one.

Also Charles and Camilla held hands at the church service the next day. I am fairly certain the reason why no one has ever made bank by publishing a book of royal protocol is because it changes a lot based on whims. But I may just be a cynic!
posted by asteria at 3:32 PM on September 19 [2 favorites]


Canadians were convinced they were more British than the British

Didn't see the Blade Runner franchise going that way, but sounds interesting, eh?

I now want a crossover with the hockey game from Strange Brew...
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:07 PM on September 19 [1 favorite]


Eyebrows McGee, I love that you're as obsessed with this as me :)

What if Harry had just shown up in his uniform -- would someone have physically stopped him from walking in the door? Or, like Etrigan suggests, does he not have his uniform hanging in his closet waiting to be worn and thus was easily stopped?

Yeah, good question, would they have manhandled Harry out the door? (Also another thing I thought of: if they left stuff at Frogmore, why not a spare uniform? Also I think I assumed traveling with a uniform was like traveling with mourning clothes for the royal family. )

(And why am I so interested, help me, I do not care at all about the Queen etc and yet I am fascinated by this.)

LOL. They are a reality TV show in some respects. Per The Crown, "The Dull and the Dazzling." I've never had any interest in watching say, Kardashians, but probably because they give the vibe of experienced reality TV people who know to say "I'm not here to make friends!" and know what crap they're supposed to be doing and saying rote. The Windsors are famous people who mostly are bad at being famous, kinda want to be famous and kinda don't at the same time, and tear down anyone who marries into the family that has charisma. The drama makes me get my popcorn.
posted by jenfullmoon at 5:36 PM on September 19 [4 favorites]


Question about how one spells "mourning / morning clothes". I read the Guardian's articles on the funeral and they always used the term "morning suit" or "morning clothes" for Harry and Andrew's attire. I thought at first it was a famous Grauniad typo, but it was consistent across different pages and articles.

Is their spell checker broken or are "mourning clothes" considered "morning clothes" over there?
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 6:41 PM on September 19


Morning dress is old-fashioned, formal day clothing for men, particularly noticeable for the now-unusual cut of the coat and the way the coat and trousers frequently contrast rather than match. I mean, technically there is morning dress for women but it's just dressy daywear of various types rather than a clearly prescribed outfit.
posted by Frowner at 7:17 PM on September 19 [11 favorites]


Up until a few years ago, it was commonplace for owners and trainers to wear morning dress to the Queen's Plate, which means you'd see men in top hats and shiny shoes and fancy coats and vests and hats leading horses across the Canadian dirt. I think that style of dressing is still evident at British races. Sadly, the tradition has pretty much died out here. It was always one of the parts of the spectacle that made the Plate special (especially when compared with American racing).
Izvestia
Not Bourbon
Big Red Mike (no horse, and not the greatest shot of the clothes but Liz was in attendance).

*And yes, I know these photos depict crossing the turf, but the race is run on dirt (well, now Tapeta) and they do walk through it.
**I wish I could find better modern-era photos of the morning suits. I'm sure they're out there, I'm just not having an luck with Google tonight.
posted by sardonyx at 8:25 PM on September 19 [2 favorites]


Also Charles and Camilla held hands at the church service the next day.

Clear as day a signal of their support for the young emigres and an admonishment to everyone picking on them!
posted by trig at 12:17 AM on September 20 [7 favorites]


My sisters partner made a horse cake for the #queensfuneral and-
It belongs to the internet now.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 6:16 PM on September 20 [10 favorites]


Born in Arizona
Moved to Babylonia
King Chuck!



Steve Martin should do an update.
posted by brujita at 10:32 AM on September 23 [1 favorite]


Born in Arizona
Moved to Babylonia
King Chuck!


Born in old Hibernia
Moved to Caledonia…
posted by TedW at 3:11 PM on September 24 [1 favorite]


BBC: "Queen's cause of death given as 'old age' on death certificate" ... "It says she died at 15:10 BST in Balmoral Castle in Scotland on 8 September - she was 96."
posted by Wordshore at 7:43 AM on September 29


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