Her Late Majesty The Queen

Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. Image courtesy Bettman via Vogue.

Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully at her home in Balmoral last Thursday and the world has not been the same. As a person who grew up in the British Commonwealth, Her Late Majesty’s story is familiar to me, as are the life stories of most members of The Royal Family dating back nearly a millennium.

Something that has struck me in the wake of the sad occasion of the death of Her Majesty has been the response by some members of the public.

People somehow feel that in order to express disestablishmentarian views, it is necessary to denigrate a family in mourning. Yes, monarchies are outdated in these times. Governments are outdated, too. Democratic societies are ruled by influential groups calling for laws to censor dictionary words. Large corporations pay lobby groups to (bribe) lawmakers. Most people don’t go out to vote. We pay taxes that fund overseas wars while people at home live on the street.

But these same people saying nasty things about a woman with impeccable work ethic (70 years full-time) are happy to worship PR created effigies built upon armies of bots. Their respected divas buy their own albums and pay to have them piped into your local shopping malls. Harry Styles is a Gucci dress-up doll who can’t act. Tell me, do you know how the world really works?

We should not be bowing and scraping to anyone. Royalty is anachronistic, and at times the formality can feel silly. But it recalls a time when there was reverence for the dignity of human existence.

Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret in a carriage in the grounds of the Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park in July 1940. Image courtesy: Vogue.

Let us recognise this for what it is. First, by themselves, the pomp and pageantry are real life versions of a fairytale. Imagine being inside the pages of a storybook as a story is unfolding. This is the magic and mystery of royalty.

Second, it is naïve for anyone to believe that reigning monarchs in this day and age are sitting around as staff serve them tea and biscuits. King Charles III, when he was Duke of Cornwall, hired 31 accountants at Clarence House. Among his staff were researchers and other advisors. He is a consummate business networker. He has met every head of state in the entire world. And he is on speaking terms with them: even the despots who starve their own people and hold stashes of national wealth in tiny island banks.

KC is a diplomat, Long Live KC.

A word that I use to describe the way people should act is “decorum”. That brings me to my third point: The King rules by consent of the people. It’s in the Constitution, the people voted on it, and the Privy Council affirmed everything at the Accession Council. Rather than insulting the person at the top, it would be a better idea to try and change the minds of people who consented for him to rule.

Instead of saying vulgar things, people should be taking time to reflect on the meaning and value of the stories we are fed in the media. Instead of insulting a culture, tradition, and history, people should try to understand the hidden hand at play in situations.

Now, I feel I should inform you that none of the negative comments are moving the needle. KC’s press office has been using the furore surrounding his candid on-camera remarks to boost his image as a strong male leader. The commentary and images firmly separate him from his late mother The Queen. They humanise him, and prepare people for what to expect. This is brilliant British PR at work.

And you know what? People are eating it up. More people are lining the streets to say goodbye to Queen Elizabeth II. More people are asking to meet the new King. The funeral of the Late Queen will be the most watched televised broadcast of all time. Royal magic is created by connected people in media, government and business. They are advised by educated people who are diligent, bright and perceptive. And rest assured, there was lots of data analytics in the mix.

What is the right way to act when a person dies and you didn’t agree with their politics? Ignore the coverage. Get on with your life. There are plenty of better things to be in a strop about.


Life is short, so let’s be decent.

12 replies on “Her Late Majesty The Queen”

A thoughtful post, Nicole. Like all things, it is the office that should be respected. If a monarch or other leader enhances that office, it is only right they receive a level of respect beyond the norm.

We are seeing this in droves. People aren’t silly when it’s all said and done. They loved QE. They do want to give KC a chance. Let’s hope, despite whatever the spin, by whatever media, we continue to see through the miasma of social media opinion.

In terms of what I am doing right now, as part of the system of government in Australia, I have instituted at my local government, the required protocols, processes and procedures regarding her late Majesty.

It felt strange putting on my initial messages to others: “God Save the King,” because we have moved on in many ways re using such language. The monarchy is legitimate in our system of government. The time honoured traditions need to be observed, whether, by convention, constitution or otherwise.

It’s only right.

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Not very sure what to say; I grew up in a country that was rid of her oppressive regime. My father was born as her subject (unwilling, but there you were). Should we criticize a dead person who obviously cannot defend her/himself? If the crimes are indefensible, why not? Will any of it make a jot of a difference? Of course not. I got so angry, I made a poster is the default rage level and pretty much all most do,’
Your point on democracy/demagogues is well-taken, no arguments there.
In the end, if someone makes a career and a life (and pots of money) by being in the public eye, then it’s a bit disingenuous for them to expect no scrutiny or criticism, no matter what the event. Decorum for the human being, by all means, yes; criticism for the queen, yes to that too.
That said, I’ve paid scant attention to the whole thing. 😀


It’s a difficult topic because of the mixed emotions and tragic stories. I remember my history teacher saying that as a little girl she met the Queen and told her to her face that she would never curtsey. And I thought that she was pretty cool for doing that. I think we can be against things and not be like a mob. A dismantling of old/outdated ideas is needed but do we as a civilisation have the gumption to do it?


We, as a civilization, do not exist outside some fervent hopes. Concepts like monarchies are outdated by many parameters but there have also been instances where the “enlightened despotism” of a “constitutional monarch” served better than the demagoguery of the unscrupulous democrat.
Fully agree on your point though, we can be against/criticize someone without baying for their blood.

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