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The Queen

At last, Elizabeth II has passed into history
Screen Shot 2022-09-08 at 4.17.16 PM

One's heart goes out to the British people on the death of their monarch. It's hard to imagine that Elizabeth Regina is gone. She has been a constant presence in American life via our media, which is fascinated with the British royal family, though of course those who are not her subjects can only hope to imagine what this loss feels like to them. May God comfort all who loved her.

She was a representative of a more honorable and admirable world. I just heard one of her biographers say on CNN that the Queen would pray on her knees at night before crawling into bed. That's such a poignant image. Unlike, alas, some of her progeny and their wives, she carried herself with great dignity, of the sort that one never sees anymore, and that we may never see again.

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Elizabeth was at the other end of the universe from this trashy Carnegie Mellon professor, a self-described "antiracist feminist," who made a fool of herself with this tweet since removed:

Unfathomable hatred. This one from a prominent black American journalist is better, but still inhumane:

I am so sick of these racialist ideologues who believe that their convictions about race give them the right to behave inhumanly. Of course it's fine to talk about colonialism and the British monarchy. The queen's death had only just been announced, though! These two vulgar women have not harmed the memory of Queen Elizabeth with their remarks, only themselves. "Critical Race Theory," in the end, is nothing more than hating whitey.

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On to better things. Alexander Larman's appreciation in The Spectator was moving and insightful. Excerpt:

Elizabeth II will be much missed. Few could claim that they knew her personally, but in her role as firstly mother and subsequently grandmother – and belatedly great-grandmother – to the nation, she has been imbued with an affection and trust by strangers over the course of her extraordinarily long and eventful life that few others could expect to receive. She redefined an institution, performed good deeds, quietly inspired millions, if not billions, and did all this without attracting any personal scandal or significant opprobrium: a staggering, even unprecedented achievement. We can only be reminded of Hamlet’s words on his father, suitably gender-flipped. She was a woman, take her for all in all. We shall not look upon her like again. And we, as a nation, will be the poorer for it.

This summer I was talking with a conservative British friend about what he expected to happen when Elizabeth dies. He said that he did not expect the monarchy to survive. He is not hopeful about King Charles. A decade or so ago, I wrote a long piece for TAC in which I expressed some admiration for Charles. He has a reputation in the US media as something of a dunderhead, but in fact he is rather interesting. Excerpt:

The heir to one of the world’s oldest monarchies, a traditionalist? You don’t say. But Charles’s traditionalism is far from the stuffy, bland, institutional conservatism typical of a man of his rank. Charles, in fact, is a philosophical traditionalist, which is a rather more radical position to hold.

He is an anti-modernist to the marrow, which doesn’t always put him onside with the Conservative Party. Charles’s support for organic agriculture and other green causes, his sympathetic view of Islam, and his disdain for liberal economic thinking have earned him skepticism from some on the British right. (“Is Prince Charles ill-advised, or merely idiotic?” the Tory libertarian writer James Delingpole once asked in print.) And some Tories fear that the prince’s unusually forceful advocacy endangers the most traditional British institution of all: the monarchy itself.

Others, though, see in Charles a visionary of the cultural right, one whose worldview is far broader, historically and otherwise, than those of his contemporaries on either side of the political spectrum. In this reading, Charles’s thinking is not determined by post-Enlightenment categories but rather draws on older ways of seeing and understanding that conservatives ought to recover. “All in all, the criticisms of Prince Charles from self-styled ‘Tories’ show just how little they understand about the philosophy they claim to represent,” says the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton.

Scruton’s observation highlights a fault line bisecting latter-day Anglo-American conservatism: the philosophical split between traditionalists and libertarians. In this way, what you think of the Prince of Wales reveals whether you think conservatism, to paraphrase the historian George H. Nash, is essentially about the rights of individuals to be what they want to be or the duties of individuals to be what they ought to be.

You might want to read it to see what kind of monarch he may turn out to be.

Comments

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Giuseppe Scalas
Giuseppe Scalas
To be fair, by a cursory reading of her tweets, I understand that professor Anya's family members were victims of the beastly British repression of the Mau Mau revolt in Kenya.
I can respect that: a personally motivated (and not entirely ungrounded) hatred.
Hatred is bad, no doubt, but is much more understandable than any silly Grievance Studies theorization.
schedule 5 months ago
    Rob G
    Rob G
    "Hatred is bad, no doubt, but is much more understandable than any silly Grievance Studies theorization."

    The problem with moral cretins like Anya is that in them the two things are inseparably mixed.
    schedule 5 months ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      Giuseppe can be a class act as he is here.
      schedule 5 months ago
JON FRAZIER
JON FRAZIER
Internet rumors that she was on her deathbed were rife the last two days. But when I saw the news I was strangely sad. Strangely, because I am definitely no monarchist. But she'd been queen since well before I was born while presidents and dictators and popes have come and gone. It almost feels as if some great monument of our civilization has gone to dust and ashes.
schedule 5 months ago
    Giuseppe Scalas
    Giuseppe Scalas
    On the other hand, le Roi est mort, vive le Roi!
    I like King Charles III a lot. Hopefully, it will be an interesting kingdom.
    schedule 5 months ago
      JON FRAZIER
      JON FRAZIER
      As I said, I'm not any kind of monarchist, but I wish him and his several realms the best. And I'm glad the Queen regularized Camilla's status so his reign is not haunted by the ghost of Diana every time the couple is publicly referenced or announced.
      schedule 5 months ago
Zenos Alexandrovitch
Zenos Alexandrovitch
Unfortunately, the evil queen of the AmCon Diaspora Discord continues her reign of tyranny.
schedule 5 months ago
    Michael Cullinan
    Michael Cullinan
    By "evil queen" I assume you are speaking of the one who announced herself on the Diaspora thusly:

    " I am the Evil Queen. My word is law, at least on this server.

    I will boot you. However, I will for almost all occasions give at least one warning first."

    That sounds like the tyrannical moderation on Twitter, which means you dare not speak your mind if you are of the wrong persuasion (i.e. not Woke).
    schedule 5 months ago
    MPC
    MPC
    Since you're arguing on the internet you might as well try to talk in a way that stands a chance of at least planting a seed in the person you're talking to.

    Ranting and demonizing do no good.

    They might not like your argument but if you are civil and calm you'll get a chance to make it.
    schedule 5 months ago
Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
Rod, thank you (from the old kingdom). I am surprised talking to colleagues - people you assume to be wired into the modern world to be quite moved. It’s not logical to mourn a stranger, and yet we intuit something quite mystical and primitive, the monarch as pontifex, the link between the secular and the transcendent, and the need (desire?) for a shared ancestor we have in common. It’s like when a very aged relative dies, who is the last of that generation, we are grateful but mourn the passing of time, the memories we share, the world that has been left behind.
schedule 5 months ago
Don Tikkala
Don Tikkala
Am I wrong to pay and sign up as a member of this website even though it means making myself known to the Federal Bureau of Idiots and the Central Ignoramus Agency? No matter. It's time to take a stand and tell Rod Dreher that he's doing important work, and the least I can do is pay a measly $60 USD for one year.

I just wish I didn't have to keep company with Frazier.

Where are those lovely women, Edna Hilda and Mrs Cracker? I even miss Siarlys (sp?) Jenkins, a person of unknown gender. And lest we forget Fr Frank Bass - surely even he can use $60 USD from the offertory.
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I had an uncle (RIP) who was an official photographer of Her Majesty. Here's a photo he took in October, 1951 of that great woman - when women actually were women - a great symbol, a great warrior, at Rideau Hall, the official residence of our Governor General in Ottawa, as she participated in that quintessentially American thing called a "square dance".
https://squaredancehistory.org/files/original/51bc9f795dab6a527f91009c495a6a6e.jpg

Before he took that photograph, he'd already changed his name from Franciszek Rychlewski to Frank Royal, sometime around when he joined the Royal North West Mounted Police. He's actually fairly famous if not quite Ansell Adams. I don't know why he wanted to dissolve and become identified as part of the North American Melting Pot rather than being a mere Pole.

I have still an old edition of Canada's Criminal Code given to me by his 100 year old widow (RIP) - and you know what - there's not one mention in it of black people - people we used to think of as being exactly the same as us back in our Demented Dominion in the 1920s. I wish that she - Royal's widow and a Colonel in the RCA during WW2 - WRENs I think women officers were then called - had given me his Smith & Wesson, but she didn't (if the FBI and CIA are reading this) and I remain at the mercy of bad people who may come my way in my sleepy little town.

My maternal grandmother used to entertain black men - so it was rumored in the 1930s - when the Children's Aid Society used to find empty beer bottles under her bed.

I'm not ashamed of my relatives, not even my American ones, but I don't think I will ever again visit the formerly great U.S. of A despite the vast majority of people there being just as good as anywhere.

Not being vaccinated against COVID is my excuse when my people down there ask me to visit.
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Is editing allowed on this website?
schedule 5 months ago
Giuseppe Scalas
Giuseppe Scalas
I think there's only one word that made the reign of Elizabeth II remarkable, and it's the same word that informed King Charles' first royal speech:
That word is Duty.
It's the least loved word of our times, apparently, and yet the only one able to elicit allegiance.
schedule 5 months ago