Pretensions of Empire
Every empire needs a figurehead whom the masses can adore. From Sargon of Akkad and Shi Huangdi, first Emperor of China, to Elizabeth, Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.
Our obsequious media is singing the praises, night and day, of the late, 96-year-old ruler. The fact that Elizabeth had no actual power is beside the point. She was the image of order in a chaotic world. She was a maintainer of capitalism and the moral protector of property rights.
For some in the lower class, she was just a symbol of nationalism, and class stratification in a world where everyone knew their place. Never mind that it was an oppressive world for the working class, women, people of color, immigrants, and foreigners in general.
While Elizabeth’s reign was relatively benign, robbery, piracy and murder helped her predecessor kings and queens accumulate great wealth and power. Most were horrid, bloodthirsty men, like Henry 8, who murdered his wives with regularity. Or Richard 3, who it seems had two children murdered because they might become a threat to his regime.
Then there was Charles 1, who was so hated that he touched off a civil war and lost his head in the process. It is unknown whether the current Charles 3’s destiny will follow the same path. In the 20th Century, Edward 8, a Nazi and friend of Hitler’s, so alarmed the British ruling class that he was forced to abdicate, with the cover story that it was for “the woman he loved.”
The kings and queens of what is now called the “United Kingdom,” led the pillage that for centuries decimated a large part of the world. They were previously known as the Anglo-Saxon tribes who sailed to Britain and over the centuries captured most of the island from the original British, who were gradually pushed back into Wales. Then they turned their attention to subduing Scotland and Ireland, and half of France. Then onward, in their sturdy sailing ships, they grabbed most of Africa, Asia, and parts of Oceania and the Americas. They were often indistinguishable from pirates as they looted the wealth of the world.
But alas, the UK is no longer an Empire and the Royals have no power. The only group that Elizabeth actually ruled over was her dysfunctional family, whose quarrels have seeped into the news with increasing frequency.
There is a conspiracy theory held by many, that she had Princess Diana murdered. Others claim that she wore dark glasses because her own eyes were bright red. That many believe such things shows the state to which the British Royal Family has fallen.
Perhaps it’s time to turn this extended family out onto the street where they will have to fend for themselves. Some critics have pointed out that England couldn’t afford to lose such a lucrative tourist attraction. I say that any good actors could portray the Royal Family quite well. Why not have their present-day quarrels and those out of history reenacted by actors at Windsor Castle for the benefit of an audience of the curious?
And by the way, the so-called House of Windsor is a made up name. The Royal Family has long been portrayed by actors, and would-be aristocrats, who were imported in the early 18th Century from Hanover, Germany. They styled themselves the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which was a cadet branch (only 2nd sons need apply) of the House of Wettin. Getting a gig in England was quite a promotion for this gang. However, the fact that the early Kings could only speak German made it difficult to communicate with their subjects. But, no worries, one of the Kings, George 3, was insane.
Almost immediately, things started going downhill for the Germans and their crazy king. They lost the American colonies, which was a tremendous blow to their prestige. Early in the 20th Century, Egypt, Ireland and South Africa were lost to the Empire, and in the late 1940s, India cast off the British yoke. The sun was setting on the British Empire. The British were no longer feared as the mightiest of the mighty. By World War II, they had difficulty winning a battle, unless their country cousins from America helped out. By Margaret Thatcher’s time, they had been reduced to fighting Argentina, a second-rate power.
But it was 200 years after being hired in Great Britain before the transplanted German Royal Family encountered any dynastic issues. In 1917, World War I was in full swing and the enemy of the English was the Germans. The Royal Family’s last name, Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, was embarrassing to say the least. So, of course, they changed their name to Windsor, which is the name of a thousand-year-old English Castle. No one would suspect.
After that close call in 1917, the pomp and ceremony carried on for a hundred years. And then Queen Elizabeth died. The kindly old lady had made the Royal Family seem almost human was gone. She was beloved by many, probably because she was so old, and was not a party to any of the foolish policies of the government.
Without her, it will be tough going for the Family, as well it should be. There are no more darling members to pacify the public. Elizabeth is dead, Diana is dead, and Prince Harry and Megan Markle have been ostracized because she is “one of those people.” With Elizabeth’s death, Harry becomes fifth in line to become king, after William and his children. However, just by being in the public eye, Harry and Megan make the monarchy more unstable, as did Harry’s mother, Diana, before her untimely death.
It is up to the people of the UK what happens next. If I were one of them, I would say, enough is enough. Away with these slackers, let’s have a democracy.
If King Charlie were a decent person, he would say in a speech that he was ending the institution of the monarchy. Let the barristers fight over that. More likely, there will be a modest revolution where the people rise up and demand a democracy, or republic, or something without Royals. This antiquated institution has disappeared in nearly every other country, along with the aristocrats who used to be their base of support.
Down with all kings, queens, tyrants, dictators, and patriarchs!