The world has changed. Of course, it does that every day – indeed, every hour! But this week, the changes have been profound.
Especially for our British cousins. Two days after the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, replaced the disgraced Boris Johnson, the inevitable finally happened. Elizabeth Windsor-Mountbatten, age 96, died in her beloved Scottish home, with most of the family around her. Seventy years of her reign finally ended.
England, the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, the Anglophile world, the entire planet, will never be the same. For good? For bad? Or a little of both. But it should make us pause and think.
Elizabeth presided over the dissolution of the British Empire, a process (as we discussed earlier and somewhat coincidentally in this space) begun long before she took the throne. Her father, her grandfather, and a long list of prime ministers had begun and pushed (and accepted) that dissolution, but it was on her watch that the Empire fully sank.
Although she officially chose not to abdicate: to retire – as even popes have started to do, and many monarchs in Europe have already done – in reality, she (more than her father) did abdicate in a de facto manner: taking the duties of a “legitimate” monarch less and less seriously as time passed and leaving her people – not just in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the remaining principalities, but in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and elsewhere to the tender mercies of politicians. Like her first prime minister, Winston Churchill – except without his clear (if wrong and evil) understanding of priorities and service.
Politicians greedy for power, for wealth, for prestige, and with no real concept of loyalty, service, responsibility, or accountability beyond how many votes they could buy, steal, or gain by trickery and lies.
Which was the point of the very last act of Elizabeth’s reign. The replacement of Tory PM Boris Johnson with Liz Truss, because Johnson was such a sad sack he could not maintain the discipline of his front bench, much less the back-benchers of the Conservative Party.
Truss has raised hopes: as Britain’s third female prime minister, clearly the hopes are that she will be another Margaret Thatcher, described by Jason Campbell as “… not merely the first woman and the longest-serving prime minister of modern times, but the most admired, most hated, most idolised and most vilified public figure of the second half of the twentieth century.” And many pray that she will not be the same as Theresa May, one of the more unsuccessful PMs of the last century. But Truss is, still, a modern politician, whom we lovers of liberty can assume will be a tyrannical statist that will (as have virtually all her predecessors) continue to destroy the United Kingdom and all its parts.
Less than 48 hours after she met with the monarch she nominally serves in a “democratic monarchy,” she because the first premier of a new monarch: His Majesty Charles III. And therefore the first crisis of the new British Government: His Majesty’s Government, first in 70 years.
The death of Elizabeth is a profound shock: what we’ve seen so far in the UK and in the US and the rest of the English-speaking world is what many have predicted in the last two decades. It reminds me a little bit of what my father told me about the death of Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1945, in the last few months of World War Two. My father, born in 1931, was only fourteen: the only president for his entire life was FDR. Even with fighting still going on in Europe and the Pacific, the impact was stunning.
As an aside, it has always amazed me that Elizabeth II and her husband Phillip Mountbatten would chose to name their eldest son Charles, and that Charles obviously planned to make this his regnal name.
Why? The first Charles, a Stewart, was executed by Parliament after his capture and trial during the English Civil War in 1649. The second Charles, Charles I’s son, ruled only Scotland for 2 years (1649-1651) before being defeated and driven to exile by Parliament. He regained the throne in 1660 in the Restoration but was a tyrant, ultimately spending his last several years on the throne as an “absolute monarch” until his unexpected death at 54 in 1685. He was succeeded by his brother James (II of England and VII of Scotland) who was such a disaster he was deposed by Parliament just three years later, in 1688. And replaced by his daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange – a Dutchman!
Since then, the royal family has avoided both the names Charles and James. So Charles has the name of two essentially failed, tyrannical, abusive kings of the United Kingdom.
But back to Charles III. Already long past standard British retirement age (73), he comes very late in life to the throne. If the monarchy is not ended (as hoped by many), his son William (40 years old now) will likely become king in only one or two decades.
But it is not his age that worries many. His unpopularity – opposite to his dead first wife Diana’s – is an ongoing issue. His “wokeness” and especially his environism has been evident for decades: he strongly believes in manmade global warming and constantly pushes the idea of a crisis which requires increasingly totalitarian government. In other words, many fear he will act in no way to counter the increasing power and progressive nature of Parliament.
Although his mother has left him little if any formal power, the Windsors still have significant influence in the UK and the Commonwealth. It seems fairly obvious that his influence will further accelerate the destruction of the British nation, and perhaps Western Civilization. His ascension is not good for the world or for liberty. Unless, like the two Charles before him, he causes the British people to wake up and once more fight for their liberty.