B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
Photo credit: Adam Vaughan, EPA-EFE

We Should Not Mourn The Queen

Written by
Bethan Bates
and
and
September 19, 2022
We Should Not Mourn The Queen
Photo credit: Adam Vaughan, EPA-EFE

I recognise this is a bold title given the date. But if you ask me (which you should), there is no time like the present. So let me start by giving my qualifications. Firstly, I have recently moved to Peterborough from Britain, secondly, I am Welsh, so my family have been preaching this for generations, and finally, I am a recent History grad so I have spent many years studying monarchy and monarchs.

Fundamentally, my issues with the excessive mourning of the Queen stem from her being the literal embodiment of the Crown. An institution that has been used to colonise, oppress, and destroy. A common rebuttal by Royalists is that by mourning the Queen they are not supporting the Crown, but rather ‘she is a person’, and yes, she was a person, but she was also much more. So let’s discuss why the Crown is an inherently corrupt entity and why we should no longer support those who uphold it.

It is no secret that the Queen is extortionately wealthy, with the British (see: English) Royal Family being worth an undefined amount (or as Forbes suggest, CA$36 billion). Although there are a number of ways that the royals earn money, with many of these being secret to prevent backlash, members of the Commonwealth contribute a significant amount in taxes. The Monarchist League (a royalist group in Canada) established that the Crown costs Canada around CA$58 million per year. In a country where food insecurity is rife, consider what could be done with this money to support Canadians, rather than to fund a corrupt and dated monarchy.

Of particular personal impact to me is the treatment of the Celtic Nations under English rule. After the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, (now) King Charles III passed the title of Prince of Wales as well as the Duchy of Cornwall to his son, Prince William. It is a long held tradition that this title goes to the heir to the throne, but where it came from has been lost in collective memory (although if you are interested in learning more Google Llywelyn ap Gruffydd and Owain Glyndwr). To make a long story short, the title of the Prince of Wales is used to demonstrate control and power over the Welsh. The title is therefore a form of continued humiliation by an unelected leader. Furthermore, the existence of the Crown is a key reason that Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland have been unable to fight to leave the Union for hundreds of years.

It was once said that the sun never sets on the British Empire, and although this is becoming more untrue by the year, the Commonwealth (i.e. the Empire in disguise) is still holding strong. With 14 countries remaining I could write thousands of words on the treatment of Commonwealth nations both now and throughout history. However, the fundamentals are that these 14 countries, the majority of which are non-white nations, are ruled by the direct descendants of those who colonised them.

As well as being representative of the problems with the monarchy Elizabeth II was in her own right someone who upheld values that contributed to the continued oppression of her own and other countries. For instance, many Indigenous Canadian leaders wanted the Crown, and specifically the Queen to take a hands-on approach in addressing unfulfilled treaties signed between Indigenous peoples and the Crown. Or for the Crown to speak to the treatment of Indigenous youth in Residential Schools during Queen Elizabeth’s reign.

Recently, Queen Elizabeth’s son has been in the news due to his relationship with Jeffery Epstein and accusations of sexual assault against a 17 year old. As a consequence Prince Andrew lost his honorary military titles and stopped using HRH for official purposes. This story put Andrew, and the whole Royal Family, in the spotlight for many months before the case was suddenly resolved. The Telegraph reported that the settlement came from the Queen’s own private wealth.

Since the Queen’s death, the United Kingdom has been forced into ten days of national mourning, which includes a number of vital services such as hospital appointments, mail service, foodbanks, and union strikes being postponed on the day of the Queen’s funeral. The absurdity of medical procedures being put on hold to commemorate demonstrates the disconnect that exists within the country.

All this is to say that we will never live in an equal society until the monarchy has been abolished. Don’t waste your time mourning the Queen: fight for justice and true equality.

B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
Written By
Sponsored
B!KE
Statement House
Theatre Trent 2022
Arthur News School of Fish
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