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And then there’s the queen of all queens, Elizabeth, who the other day celebrated her sixtieth year on the throne. Yes, you can rage at her and her clan for their obscene, unearned wealth and privilege, or you can pity them for having been doomed by birth to spend their lives being scrutinized by the world and being denied the same right all the rest of us have to chart our own courses. For my part, I’m pretty much equally divided between rage and pity. The bottom line, from this America’s point of view, is that monarchy isn’t fair, either to the ruled or to the rulers; it’s archaic, pure and simple – a vestige of a more primitive, pre-democratic, feudal world. America’s whole raison d’être was, and is, to move beyond such backwardness.
But. But! In today’s Europe, as we’ve discovered, there are far worse things than constitutional monarchy. Since World War II, Britain has been transformed, for the worse, perhaps more drastically than any other country in Western Europe – its society vulgarized, its people demoralized, its commitment to its own self-preservation, once awe-inspiring in its quiet, noble determination, hobbled by the madness of multiculturalism. As I noted here in January, one in three British adults actually believes that Winston Churchill is a fictional character. A country whose people were once intensely aware of, and proud of, their magnificent heritage have, in an astonishingly short time, become staggeringly historyless, increasingly unmoored from their own culture and values. It can seem that the only significant link remaining between today’s Britain and its storied past is none other than Elizabeth II herself – a woman who, if nothing else, can testify to the fact that Winston Churchill, her first prime minister, was, indeed, a historical figure. The more of a mess Europe and Britain become, and the longer this little woman hangs on, the better she looks, and the more cheering it is to see that there exists among her people a real love for her – a love that, one can only hope, is, at least in part, a reflection of a perhaps only half-conscious appreciation for the continuity with the past that she, virtually alone among public figures in her country, represents.
But after her – what? The deluge?
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