God Save The King: Queen Elizabeth II Dead at 96

Michael Siegel

Michael Siegel is an astronomer living in Pennsylvania. He blogs at his own site, and has written a novel.

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53 Responses

  1. Jaybird
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    says:

    I wonder if she’s something like the last one.

    Like she was a living Chesterton’s Fence and now she has been removed from office.

    Now what?

    Whatever it is, I doubt it’ll be like the way we used to do it. It doesn’t work like that anymore. It couldn’t if it wanted to.Report

  2. Jaybird
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    says:

    Report

  3. James K
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    says:

    The Maori King made a statement regarding the Queen’s death:

    Kiingi Tuheitia Pootatau Te Wherowhero VII has received with sadness the news of the death of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth, together with the late Prince Philip, visited Turangawaewae Marae on several occasions and enjoyed a close relationship with the late Queen Te Arikinui Te Atairangikaahu. Queen Elizabeth personally signed into law the Waikato Raupatu Settlement Act 1995 – the only New Zealand legislation given Royal Assent in person by the Queen. This act is significant in the life and history of our nation and is held in the highest regard by the Kiingitanga as honouring a Queen-to-Queen relationship.

    Kiingi Tuheitia and Makau Ariki Atawhai send their aroha and respect to the Royal Family now gathering in Balmoral. “The Whare Ariki of Te Wherowhero send their aroha at this time to the Royal House of Windsor. We pray for the late Queen and for King Charles.”

    He poo, he poo. He poo ka riro i a Maatangireia, i a Rangiaatea, i a Te Tumu o Rehua. Ko te poo ki a koe!”

    https://www.1news.co.nz/2022/09/09/kiingitanga-offers-respects-to-queen-elizabeth-ii/Report

  4. Jaybird
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    John Lydon (you may know him as Johnny Rotten) has written an op-ed for The Times. The op-ed is, of course, behind a paywall but Variety has some excerpts for you to enjoy:

    “God bless the Queen. She’s put up with a lot,” he writes. “I’ve got no animosity against any one of the royal family. Never did. It’s the institution of it that bothers me and the assumption that I’m to pay for that. There’s where I draw the line. It’s like, ‘No, you’re not getting ski holidays on my tax.’”

    Report

  5. Saul Degraw
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    96 is a pretty good run. That being said, I am perplexed by the continued existence of monarchies and aristocracies especially when they hold zero power. The royal houses of Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Belgium are even more powerless/laid back than those of the United States, and they continue on for reasons I find perplexing.

    Charles III seems much disliked in the U.K. and Commonwealth compared to his mom. I do wonder if some of those countries will finally declare themselves outside the commonwealth.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Andrew Sullivan quoted CS Lewis to explain it:

      Where men are forbidden to honor a king, they honor millionaires, athletes, or film stars instead; even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.

      Report

      • Chris in reply to Jaybird
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        At least we can watch athletes and movies.

        Besides, Sullivan has shown himself to be both a terrible person and to have a terrible understanding of his fellow humans and their nature, such as it is, so if he quotes something about how humans are, you can almost assume it’s wrong.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Meh. I enjoy movies and many people enjoy sports and they sometimes get political power (for better or for worse) but they often need to get elected.

        C.S. Lewis and Chesterson are not sources of wisdom in my opinion. I will concede that there might be something to a ceremonial head of state psychologically and socially.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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          says:

          Chesterton is, Lewis is up for debate (Lewis is an excellent preacher for the choir, not so much for the heathen).

          I suppose I can see the benefit of a head of state being the golden calf.

          I mean, you’re likely to have the same golden calf next week.

          If your favored golden calf is a sports star or actor or singer? Ugh. You’re going to be getting a new one every couple of days.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            I’ve basically given up trying to remember whether any particular quote came from Lewis or Chesterton. That said, I find Chesterton to be a better writer. He’s deceptively dense. You can read a paragraph that seems to be one idea repeated five times in different words, then at the end realize that you’ve been to five different places. That last sentence makes you reflect on the ideas again. I recall one time where he used the word “crucial” and only later I realized he was saying “of or related to the Cross”.

            Back to the subject, there’s a problem in talking about what a king is, and it’s that a king to an Englishman is a different thing than a king to a Spaniard, because England is different than Spain. There’s an elitism in Spanish culture that’s different from English consciousness of class. An English king represents something like continuity where a Spanish king would represent authority. An Englishman wouldn’t look to a royal for reward but for example, and for stability. And I’m just using Spain as one example. Every culture is going to be different.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Jaybird
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        says:

        Its a testament to Elizabeth’s good character and honorable life, that such a quote in this day and age doesn’t produce guffaws of derision and scorn, both for the author and anyone who quotes it.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      Perhaps they continue precisely because they are powerless and laid back, and, therefore, not worth the powder to blow them to Hell. And under Elizabeth II, the royals were a nifty tourist attraction. Sort of like Disney Land.Report

      • Saul Degraw in reply to CJColucci
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        says:

        Possibly! I have seen the living cultural patrimony argument made in their defense but the Royals still receive taxpayer money and I think that is a wrong. When I was in Rome in 2018, one of the museums we went to was actually a private house with a good art collection. It was owned by a former aristocratic family that needed to open their place to the public to pay for taxes. I like that variant. “You can keep your stuff. You can keep your titles but they mean nothing. We will tax the hell out of you.”Report

    • James K in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      You don’t need to leave to Commonwealth to drop the monarchy, most Commonwealth countries don’t have the King as head of state. I mean, India in in the Commonwealth.

      As to why most of these countries don’t change, the main reason is there’s no need to. The King isn’t in charge in any meaningful sense, so there really isn’t a problem to solve. And constitutional change isn’t something most governments do, unless there’s a major problem that needs solving.Report

    • North in reply to Saul Degraw
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      says:

      The British monarchy serves a valuable purpose. It is a storehouse of reverence for the Monarch, reverence that otherwise generally defaults to the practical leader of the nation. When I look at the absurd moral convulsions that republics have over their Presidents, etc, and compare it to how Canada or the UK treat their Prime Ministers (not quite as reverently as janitors, but janitors in the civil service actually clean things) I can’t help but think that the Constitutional monarch nations have the better system. The military, also, pledges loyalty to the Monarch, not the Prime Minister, and you don’t need to be a libertarian to understand why that power is far more sensibly stored there than in the hands of a political executive.

      Now, in theory, you can get rid of the Monarch and just have some other office to do the same job but the question begs: why bother. The idea of creating another political appointment for politicians to horse-trade and kiss each other’s posteriors over fares very poorly when compared to an a-political and historic institution like the Monarchy. Indeed, since the Monarchies (under HRM and her Grandfather especially) figured out the new paradigm republicanism only really flourishes when the country in question has a bloody colonialist history or when the given Monarch in question starts fishing up badly.

      Charles will give republicans their chance, no doubt, but I think he’s too elderly to screw up the way he’d need to overcome inertia and institutional advantage. William and Kate seem like especially clever operators and if/when the Monarchy gets down to them, I expect it’ll be on very solid footing until we find out what sort of person wee George shapes up to be.Report

      • James K in reply to North
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        says:

        The British monarchy serves a valuable purpose. It is a storehouse of reverence for the Monarch, reverence that otherwise generally defaults to the practical leader of the nation. When I look at the absurd moral convulsions that republics have over their Presidents, etc, and compare it to how Canada or the UK treat their Prime Ministers (not quite as reverently as janitors, but janitors in the civil service actually clean things) I can’t help but think that the Constitutional monarch nations have the better system.

        In fairness, I don’t know how much of that is having a monarch, and how much of that is having a directly elected Head of State. I don’t think Germany has this problem with its President.Report

        • Brent F in reply to James K
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          says:

          The problem with the nobody President is that they are obvious nobodies and thus aren’t the emotional lightning rods real monarchs are. So that’s a void the Chancellor can and has horned in on.Report

          • LeeEsq in reply to Brent F
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            says:

            This is pretty much the issue with ceremonial Presidents. The idea is that an elected ceremonial President can serve as a receptor of warm and fuzzies in the same way a constitutional monarch does. Ceremonial Presidents do not have any history or tradition behind them and tends to be an award to people for long service to the state. So the Prime Minister ends up getting the emotional attachment of at least a plurality while the ceremonial President gets none.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to North
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        says:

        This is well put; though it’s interesting to remember that the relationship of King to parliamentary parties wasn’t always neutral; it was lawful (well, usually, but more so after a severed head), but not always neutral. The studied neutrality is a somewhat recent affectation.Report

        • North in reply to Marchmaine
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          says:

          Thank you and certainly it wasn’t always neutral. Heck, a saying I once read somewhere was “the King started Parliament so he could get his lords to come around and hear what he had to say, then in time it flipped around.” We’re talking about an institution that has progressed from head cutting all the way through to ribbon cutting. It’s an incredible sweep of history.

          The studied neutrality was an innovation I’ve often heard ascribed to Walter Bagehot in his discussions of Dignified vs Efficient government. I think it’s more a recommendation than a requirement of the monarch though anyone who’d suggest that the Sovereign stray off the neutrality reservation had better have a strong argument behind it considering how well studied silence has served the Windsors for over a century.Report

  6. Saul Degraw
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    says:

    https://twitter.com/reneeygraham/status/1568284294304469000?s=20&t=EnDsmnsb9ASrfqviez90jA

    ABC, NBC, and CBS decided to air King Charles III’s speech but not the speech by Biden on the dangers to American Democracy.Report

  7. Mike Schilling
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    says:

    Successions are so boring these days. Andrew should declare Charles to be illegitimate and have him locked up in the Tower, like the old days,Report

    • North in reply to Mike Schilling
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      says:

      I think Andrew has bigger problems on his plate than the fact he’s so far of the line of succession that he can’t even see it anymore.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to North
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        says:

        Rumors that Harry is moving to the Netherlands to take up ancestral dutchy are being denied a little to vigorously for my tastes. The Markle machine constantly referring to Camilla as just “the Papist” or “Queen Convert” is only the beginning. William and Kate are definitely not eating from the box of chocolates sent from Sussex house this Christmas.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
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          says:

          There are a handful of things that William could do to overthrow Charles and start a land war in Europe.

          There aren’t a ton of them but there are more than none.Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            Prince of Wales to a 73 y/o king is a decent gig… as long as Camilla doesn’t pop out a child to provide a factional heir.

            Which, let’s be honest, if she does then we should assume that God spoke to her in her tent and we should definitely make that one king.Report

            • North in reply to Marchmaine
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              says:

              I mean, even if she somehow did so that kid’d be behind Harry in succession which, with William having several perfectly healthy children of his own, is basically almost as far as Andrew is. It’s 2022- odds of you needing more than 2 spare heirs are extremely low.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to North
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                says:

                Right, technically. But second wives and legitimate issue can be a factional rallying point for shenanigans – especially in counterfactual biblically tongue-in-cheek comboxes. 🙂Report

      • Mike Schilling in reply to North
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        says:

        That’s the point; he needs a position that lets him pardon himself.Report

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