Queen Elizabeth got too good of a rap

Crowds gathered for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral Photo Credit: Alex J Donohue

By Rowan Baiocchi

  On Sept. 8, 2022, “Her Majesty” Queen Elizabeth II died. This came as a surprise to absolutely no one, given that she was born before the outbreak of the Second World War, at the zenith of the British colonial empire. What was shocking, however, was the way that the United Kingdom was subjected to a state-mandated period of national mourning — at the expense of the British people. For ten days the nation of Great Britain canceled programming, medical appointments and all other manner of everyday services in honor of a figurehead of colonial atrocities who spent the better part of her 96 years leeching off of the English Commonwealth. This comes during a time of hardship for many across Great Britain, trapped inside over the past summer at the hands of a brutal heatwave and unable to keep up with a cost of living that has rapidly become unmanageable.

  This has, understandably, struck a collective nerve in all those with a half-decent understanding of world history. Queen Elizabeth II, during her life, was the queen of 32 sovereign states, though that number fell to 15 by the time she died. Put another way, during the height of her reign, Queen Elizabeth II still held power over 32 nations that the British Empire had colonized and enforced their own rule upon. She was a supposed “figurehead” who — regardless of public perception — still held a not-insignificant amount of sway over parliamentary matters. To impose a period of national, mandated mourning for her makes perfect sense if you call her what she was: a living, breathing testament to the cruelty and abuse inflicted by the long arm of the British Empire upon countless sovereign peoples. Continuing to peddle the narrative of Elizabeth as a “beloved” elderly woman is, at best, a showcase of a truly staggering level of ignorance and absolute obliviousness to the untold thousands killed in the name of keeping the sun on Britain’s shores. At worst, it is an actively malicious weaponization of the public opinion to distract from the current state of the British government. 

  The ascension of King Charles to the throne cannot be overlooked. According to Metro, the new regent, 73 years old, is slated to have his official “slimmed-down” coronation sometime in 2023 — meaning cheaper than Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, which would cost £46m today. This will, of course, follow the funeral of her majesty the royal colonizer, whose cost is estimated to be upwards of $7.5 million, making the projected coronation a prime contender for one of the Horsemen of Financial Ruin for Great Britain. This is not even mentioning the queue to see the queen, which was, at its longest, a roughly 10 mile line that saw people waiting close to 24 full hours, nor the fact that there was not a single public vote taken to see if anyone actually wants Charles on the throne. Even as its longest reigning figurehead dies, the rotting corpse of colonialism continues to flex its power; the least the people can do is give it the respect it deserves. Which is absolutely none.