Elizabeth Windsor, the “Queen” of England has finally died, aged 97, having “reigned” for 70 years.
Souvenir crockery? Postcards? Wellington boots?
The news media is saturated with “respect” and “sadness”, “grief and gratitude”, and enough bullshit to flood a continent. Monarchy and colonialism go hand in glove; both are monstrous anachronisms and should not exist in the 21st Century or civilized society.
I am old enough to remember when we were expected to rise from our cinema seats as God Save the Queen was played before movies. I remember as cheeky primary school kids how we made up our own words to God Save the Queen during morning assembly and the teachers never even noticed.
And saluting the Australian national flag, dominated as it was and still is by the Butcher’s Apron. And parroting some palaver about obeying our parents, teachers and the law. And being marched – yes, marched! – into class to the brassy sound of Sousa blaring from the PA system.
We were children and did not understand what we were doing any more than did the young Elizabeth who was filmed in 1933 being prompted by the Queen Mother and Edward VIII to enact the infamous Nazi salute.
There is nothing to stop Australia’s newly minted federal LABOR government from abolishing the office of the governor-general and appointing some public service bureaucrat to do all that ribbon-cutting and rubber-stamping. Australia has no need for foreign monarchs or their (cough!) representatives.
Now 73 years old Charles will be a “King”, fuck knows why and what for. As somebody reportedly remarked, he may only have “25 years left. And they have to go through the whole coronation process, spend all that money, change all the emblems everywhere – and then in 25 years, do it again.”
So I suppose I’ll have to see Charlie’s ugly jug head on my cash instead of Betty’s.
But at least there’s a good joke currently doing the rounds about how the Irish pronounce “Charles the Third.”
And that all I have to say about that historical footnote!