The Queendom

King Charles III. Nope. Sorry, it just doesn’t work. We don’t have a king, we have THE Queen. If he’s going to replace her, he’s got to be Queen Charles.

I’m not having a dig at his possible gender confusion or his preference for wearing skirts. It’s just the meaning of the title. King is a medieval concept. Kings were warlords. In our feudal past, no matter how they dressed it up with religious anointing and talk of justice and law-making, a king was just the strongest thug with the biggest army, who could butcher anyone who opposed his right to grab the land.

Queens were wives (breeding machines) for kings, and couldn’t possibly rule in their own right, because they were never going to be the biggest thugs. But then we emerged into a slightly more rational state where intelligence and diplomacy began to overtake thuggery as requirements in a ruler. The idea of monarch as warlord remained as an abstract concept. Elizabeth I famously wore a breastplate when addressing her troops at Tilbury, and Elizabeth II, in her younger days, wore a splendid military uniform at the trooping of the colours. Royal offspring are still expected to put in some time with one or other of the forces. But the last monarch who actually fought was George II in 1743 (Battle of Dettingen, in case you’re interested).

Thanks to a civil war, a beheading and a revolution, our monarchy became a constitutional outfit, a personification of the Crown (Government), the establishment, the nation, the people, ultimately powerless in action, but powerful in symbolism. Our last king, George VI, fulfilled that role in a world at war and a nation still rooted in Anglo-Saxon class, deference and empire.

Elizabeth II took over in that same era, but her achievement in surviving as monarch for 70 years saw the country evolve and emerge into an entirely new era. We are a different people. We are diverse. We no longer have an empire. We don’t do deference, we don’t respect upper class yobs any more, even if we keep electing them. Hardly any of us can remember having a king. We simply have The Queen and we live now in a world where we expect our monarchy to be a piece of Hollywood theatre. Queens provide the spectacle so much better. For grand occasions like coronations (where they are crowned, not coronated, despite what I’ve several commentators say), Queens have nice frocks, with sequins and pearls and diamonds and look absolutely right wearing a glittery crown or sitting in a golden coach. A military uniform just isn’t the same, even with a lot of pretty braid.

No, in this new age of the 21st century, he’s going to have to be Queen Charles III. At least he’ll have a name which won’t annoy the Scots, who must have been seriously annoyed by having Elizabeth II when they never had an Elizabeth I.

5 thoughts on “The Queendom

  1. I suspect you’re onto a loser with this one! Can’t you hear the thuds of people keeling over in shock? As Judith says, humorous and thought-provoking. As a child, I wanted the sparkly frocks, crowns and palaces – now, I wouldn’t touch the job with a diamond encrusted golden bargepole.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks, Trish. A diamond encrusted golden bargepole is called a sceptre. Looks good but not very effective on the Grand Union canal.

    Liked by 2 people

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