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Monarchy, Mourning and Mania
The new era of 'national grief'
In this guest article, Trish Taylor reflects on the nature of ‘national grief’ and the role of the royal family in the new era.
On the 8th September Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch died aged 96, after reigning for 70 years. Every day since, the country has observed a period of “national mourning,” set to culminate on Monday 19th September with the Queen’s funeral, with Operation London Bridge in full swing. Across the country the Queen smiles down on us from every available surface and shop window, in a fashion more commonly associated with less democratic nations. Of course, I’m sure everyone can agree that this is a unique and historic national event and perhaps it is right and appropriate to pause and acknowledge the occasion in some way. Indeed, few right-minded people would condone the crass “celebrations” of the Queen’s death, that have regrettably surfaced in various parts of the UK throughout the past week. However, what we are currently experiencing goes far beyond a humble “mark of respect,” or expression of condolence. Rather, we are witnessing an enforced expression of mass grief being thrust upon the people of the UK, whether they wish to participate in it or not.
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This Monday across Britain, people of all ages, from all backgrounds will be plunged into a day of collective sorrow for the Queen. Some will be only too pleased to demonstrate their devotion, with many having queued through the night just to catch a glimpse of the Queen’s coffin as she lies-in-state. But what about those with GP and hospital appointments cancelled or holidays cut short due to “the Queen’s funeral?” What about those who will go hungry with food banks closed? What about the families who have to reschedule their loved one’s send off because their death, it seems, matters less than another’s?
With a record 6.8 million patients currently waiting for appointments, NHS cancellations for the Queen’s funeral will result in thousands of cataract surgeries, knee & hip replacements and cancer treatments being further delayed. Adding insult to injury, doctors and nurses have been invited to participate in the funeral procession, “in recognition of their work during the pandemic and beyond.”Interestingly, though, vaccination centres are to remain open. It seems that continuing to administer Covid jabs takes priority over any other service that the NHS provides at present. Furthermore, families are seeing their long-awaited holidays ruined, with accommodation closing to allow staff to “pay their respects,” by watching the funeral on TV. Centre parcs, Alton Towers, Legoland and Thorpe Park to name a few, announced that not only would the attractions be closed, but residents who had booked to stay in their on-site hotels were no longer able to do so. And those who wish to cancel or rebook are being further penalised with large fees. Centre parcs subsequently backtracked following the predictable outcry from affected holidaymakers, allowing guests not due to leave on Monday to remain in their accommodation.
If all that weren’t bad enough, perhaps the most disturbing feature of the enforced mourning is the censoring and arrest of dissenting voices. A 22 year old woman who displayed an anti-monarchy sign at St Giles’ Cathedral, Edinburgh ahead of the King’s proclamation on Sunday 11 September was arrested and charged “in connection with a breach of the peace.” At least two further protestors were arrested by police in Scotland and there have been multiple reports of police in Oxford and London warning people not to express anti-monarchy sentiment. Since when did opposing the monarchy become a crime?
The fact that this imposed national grief comes after two and a half years of covid lockdowns, vaccine mandates and health status passports, makes these measures all the more concerning, not to mention the blanket, uninterrupted and largely one-sided media coverage of the spectacle. Even commentators who had previously been vocal critics of government lockdown and vaccine policy and now appear continuously on our screens, gushing about the Queen’s “life of duty and service,” praising King Charles for “reaching out to the public” and commending his pledge to remain apolitical in his new role. Are they forgetting that this is the same Queen who contributed to the demonisation of a significant proportion of her subjects, branding those of us who opted not to take the vaccine as “selfish?”In a video call with NHS officials the Queen reinforced the severity of Covid, labelling it a “plague” and insisting that the vaccine was “harmless.” It seems that even the more discerning among our broadcasters have been overcome by a collective nostalgia that clouds their memory of recent history. The desire to remember the Queen as a constant, steady and loving presence throughout living memory, “the nation’s granny,” seems to prevail over less palatable realities.
Indeed, political pundits and presenters who have, in months past, pointed out the worrying agenda and reach of globalists, such as the WEF and criticised the behaviour of the “elite,” who live in luxury at the expense of the rest of us, seem to have missed the connection. In fact the Royal family is, in its very essence, elitist. The Royals cost the UK taxpayer a whopping £102.4m in the financial year of 2021-22, with funds used for refurbishing luxurious royal residences and various foreign excursions. Moreover Queen Elizabeth herself displayed, at times, a questionable attitude towards the use of taxpayers’ money. For example, in 2004 she requested funding from a “poverty grant,” which had been aimed at low-income families, to help heat her palaces. The request was refused as the government feared the public backlash that may ensue. More recently, the Queen allocated £12m of taxpayer’s money to settle her son, Prince Andrew’s legal troubles, allegedly paying “someone he’d never met for something he never did.” If that wasn’t enough to give pause for thought, there are the numerous long-standing and dubious links between the Royal Family and those who are self-proclaimed globalists, with a well-publicised agenda to exert complete control over ordinary people. But that’s for another day.
Suffice to say that with Charles’ track record of championing “the golden opportunity of The Great Reset,”and regurgitating arguments for crippling climate control policies that would effectively decimate the economy, the curious optimism that the new king will adhere to his pledge not to meddle in politics may be ill-advised. Indeed, at 73 years of age, can we really expect this leopard to change his spots? I wonder if this may be an opportune moment to pause and rethink the monarchy in its current form. Of course many royalists will be aghast at such a treasonous suggestion. However, King Charles may have unwittingly given the dissenters a bit of a head start in this regard with his toe-curlingly rude and abrasive behaviour. We’ve all seen, for instance, the highly embarrassing recent footage of him gesticulating and snarling at his staff.
We hear much of how the monarchy is all about ‘duty’ and ‘service,’ but who do they actually serve? In what way is your life and community actively enriched by the existence of the monarchy? Or do they serve another purpose altogether? If we want to resist the increasing restrictions on our human rights and freedoms then we need to peacefully and democratically challenge the institutions that perpetuate this elitist versus commoner society.
Trish Taylor is a writer and political commentator.
Gordon Rayner, The Telegraph, 15 September 2022.
Rebecca English & Kate Pickles, The Daily Mail, 25 February 2021.
“How much does the Royal Family cost the British taxpayer?” britishheritage.com, 9 September 2022.
Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian, 24 September 2010.
“’A golden opportunity’ – HRH the Prince of Wales and other leaders on the Forum’s Great Reset,” weforum.org, 3 June 2020.