I observed the passing of Queen Elizabeth by pushing my bomb-ass battery-powered sweeper around, sucking up dog hair and thinking about the butterfly effect. What drove Wallis Simpson to set her cap for the Prince of Wales in 1930-something? (My guess is: Money and position, but honestly I don’t care because I have always found their love story boring in the extreme.) Anyway, when she made her play, she set in motion the events that would lead the prince’s niece to become sovereign, rule for 70 years and die as the beloved great-grandmother of a diminished empire, but at least not one that consorted with Nazis.
Of course, the talk was always that Edward VIII was probably gay and probably sterile (mumps), and even if Wallis had been a blushing virgin and not a twice-divorced American well past heir-producing age, at some point a different line of succession might have had to be drawn up. Still. The crown did a hop, skip and jump, and went first to Elizabeth’s father, who became George VI, before landing on her 25-year-old head in 1952. And there it would stay until Thursday.
That was her on Tuesday after she greeted the new prime minister, and invited her to form a government in her name. You can complain about the waste and anachronistic nature of royalty all you want, but I’d wager most of the tourists who visit the U.K. at least make some time to drive past a palace or three, and as for doing the job, well, she worked overtime.
Imagine holding the same job – and a job it is – for 70 years. She had to hang on through so, so much: The latter half of the 20th century was no picnic for an institution like the monarchy, and then there was the country itself, losing its empire piece by piece. Her children, sensitive Charles and bold Anne, then the second thoughts, Andrew and Edward, had to go through their own wild youths and midlife crises and all the rest of it, all in a spotlight that only grew brighter and hotter with time. Give her this: She outlasted Diana.
Along with the spotlight comes all these, these …commoners, with their own ideas. “The crown should go directly to William,” opined one dipshit American on Facebook. “He’s much more of a leader than Charles.” And this is based on what, exactly? Because Charles cheated on his pretty wife with his homely old girlfriend, I expect would be the answer. Anyway, lady, this isn’t fucking Game of Thrones, anyway. The crown goes to the sovereign’s firstborn, it’s not up for a vote. Charles has been in the waiting room all his life.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to Charles’ monarchy. His goofball interests and life experiences will give the world a different monarchy than his mother’s, and I want him to do the job he’s trained so long for. Long live King Charles III. I hope he has a grand coronation. If hereditary monarchy has to endure this long, at least it should be interesting.
P.S. Queen consort Camilla will be a trip, too – at least I hope so. I so want her to be the three-G&Ts fun grandma of Buckingham Palace.
Other than the excitement of current events and sweeping up dog hair, my only outing Thursday was to Costco, to pick up a prescription and note that not only is the Christmas merch out, but I heard “Joy to the World” on the sound system. I’m so old – how old are you? – I’m so old I remember when people complained that Halloween was too early to start thinking of the holidays.
Have a swell weekend, all.