Why does Great Britain not abolish the monarchy?
Who is steering the British monarchy into the future?
Although today, Wednesday, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor has reached the remarkable milestone of 95 years of age, there is no celebration at Windsor Castle. There is a very obvious reason for this: The feast day of Queen Elizabeth II falls in the period of royal mourning for Prince Philip, her husband in more than 73 years of marriage, who died twelve days ago at the age of 99. It is easy to understand that the Queen does not feel like gunshots and cakes.
In addition, there is a fundamental deviation from the life of normal mortals: As the head of state of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and another 15 member states of the Commonwealth from Australia to Tuvalu, Ms. Windsor enjoys the privilege of an official birthday. It is celebrated on the second Saturday in June, when the changeable weather in southern England usually brings sunshine instead of the cool and cloudy weather that is announced for Wednesday.
The new family patriarch
The dignified funeral service for the Prince Consort and the 95th birthday always give cause for reflection, as a look at the London media reveals. Everywhere there is talk of the end of an era. In fact, the heir to the throne, Prince Charles, has not only - temporarily - passed the title of Duke of Edinburgh, but also the role of family patriarch. The fact that Philip would set the tone in the castle and family had been Elizabeth's concession to her husband at the beginning of the now more than 69-year throne, who had to stay a step or two behind her all these years in public.
The public is likely to see the Queen even less often in the future. She has already left trips abroad and many official appointments to her eldest. Monarch, however, wants to remain the deeply religious mid-nineties, as the then princess made a public vow to God and the world on her 21st birthday in 1947: She will "my whole life, long or short, of service to you and to the world dedicate to large imperial family ". That is true.
In addition to the number one in line to the throne, a second man is almost automatically at the center of the considerations of all those who speculate about the future of the monarchy: number two, Charles' older son William (38). An experienced royals expert considers a speculation that is popular outside of Great Britain that the crown could pass directly from grandmother to grandson is "as good as impossible". The idea not only ignores the raison d'être of a hereditary monarchy, it also ignores the declared needs of the father of three children aged seven, five and just under three years old.
Two women are supposed to help with modernization
The days after Prince Philip's death also highlighted the central role of two women in modernizing the old institution. Unlike the (mostly German) princesses of the 18th and 19th centuries, who always brought fresh blood and new ideas to the island, both come from the middle class English.
At the age of 28, PR manager Sophie Rhys-Jones met her future husband, Prince Edward, the Queen's youngest son, and soon moved in with him in Buckingham Palace. The marriage entered into in 1999, unlike that of Edward's older siblings, has remained intact ever since. Sophie (56) is reported to have had a particularly close relationship with her in-laws for a long time. The countess visited the grieving queen several times last week. The 17-year-old daughter Louise must have been held in high esteem by her deceased grandfather, at least she inherits Philips' pony carriage.
Years ago, Prince Edward took over his father's most important project, namely the Duke of Edinburgh badge, for which young people do social services or spend a few days in the wild. Several million young Britons have now gone through the system. After Charles' accession to the throne, Edward will also assume the title of Duke of Edinburgh. The 57-year-old is not as innovative as his father, but hardworking, conscientious and inconspicuous - the latter is particularly important in view of the antics of his brother Andrew, who is friends with sex criminals, and of his nephew Harry, who lives in California.
It was the second important woman for the future of the monarchy who, after the memorial service on Saturday, demonstratively brought the quarreling brothers William and Harry into conversation: Duchess Kate, William's wise companion since the student days together in St. Andrews. After the final Megxit, sealed by the explosive interview by Harry and his wife Meghan with the talk show celebrity Oprah Winfrey, the Duchess of Cambridge kept an iron silence. On the other hand, William passed detailed reports of his disappointment to selected media.
The 39-year-old still has to drive out such escapades from her husband. Perhaps she will get tips from the jubilee - keeping the impatient Philip in check over the years was certainly one of Elizabeth's life's accomplishments. (Sebastian Borger from London, April 21, 2021)
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