America’s Queen?

America is not a monarchy, constitutional or otherwise. Certainly not officially and we might not like to admit it but we did, at least to some degree, have a queen until less than a fortnight ago.

Only a small minority of Americans are of ethnic heritage tracing back to the United Kingdom, fewer still can trace their ancestry back to the early colonial settlers, almost all of whom came from the UK. All that said, most American still held a special place in their hearts for the late Queen Elizabeth II.

Prior to her death, if you privately asked most Americans if they had a queen they may well have replied along the lines of, “No, but…”. The bottom line is that Queen Elizabeth II was special even on this side of the pond.

Having grown up pretty much on the Canadian border I have a bit better pulse reading on Canadians than most Americans do. (My quickie analysis of Canada is that it is a country much like America but with a better health care delivery system and nicer people.)  I’m not going to get into the whole monarchy issue. It is not mine to resolve. At the moment the UK has one and many of the former members of the commonwealth, like Canada, despite being independent take it very, very seriously. Queen Elizabeth II transcended the monarchy itself. She was bigger and more loved than the concept. To an outside observer like myself the big question is what is the future of the monarchy both inside the UK and in the former commonwealth?

Will King Charles III be able to hold it together? Why should I care? Well, its kind of nice to have a Monarch without having to pay for it. Typical American, I don’t want to go to a constitutional monarchy but having a separate head of state and head of government certainly does have its advantages. (A pure monarchy is totally outside of anything Americans would accept.)

For a brief comment on the King. I feel Charles is very much a progressive, especially on climate and to a lesser degree on inequality. I certainly welcome those views and hope he will become a “throne behind the power” influencer. The UK is no longer at the zenith of its power but it remains one of the most influential countries in the world.

Today is Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. It is a day we should all pay homage to a great lady. She was crowned in 1953 a few weeks short of my first birthday. Like most Yanks, or Brits for that matter, she is the only queen I have ever known. I wasn’t alive to witness the role she played while a very young princess during World War II but I’ve learned enough about it to admire her actions. During the worst days of the pandemic, I remember a “stiff upper lip” address she gave to her nation and wished our then President would have displayed similar leadership.

This is about as close as I get to a fluff piece. That said, my opinions are sincere and widely held even in “The Colonies.”

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