Elizabeth II

Discussion in 'World Events' started by exchemist, Sep 8, 2022.

  1. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    Anyone watch the televised funeral today? I thought it was quite moving, and the pageantry was something next level. In a way though, I felt like we, as the general public, were intruding on this family's private moments, but I suppose that is the case when you're such a formidable public figure like Queen Elizabeth II. It was quite remarkable how the family maintained such composure as it went from event to event, having to greet public mourners, etc.

    They're discussing now a ''scaling back'' of the monarchy...it will be interesting to see how King Charles carries on, and what steps he'll take to further modernize the monarchy.
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    I saw a few parts of the funeral on TV.

    One thing that struck me is how formulaic it all was. Like people have been planning for a long time that this is how it would be done, which I am sure they have been. But the last time this was done for an English monarch was back in the 1950s, so I guess a lot of the protocol and arrangements followed the model from the last time. And that royal funeral would have followed the protocols from the time before that, and so on, back and back. The result is that we saw some ceremonies and procedures that must literally date back centuries.

    I suppose that, to some extent, all funerals are formulaic, but funerals for royalty are especially so. Before mass media, it would have been very important to get the word out to the people about the new monarch, and to parade the previous one's coffin through the streets. These days, I'm not convinced that's all necessary.

    I think that, to some extent, the person the Queen was got somewhat lost in all the pageantry surrounding what the crown means and represents (or has represented in the UK's history).

    Personally, I am much more affected by learning about the person who died, rather than being asked to respect them merely for the job they held. I think the person is more important.

    On the other hand, from the huge public turnout to watch the funeral procession go past, I guess that the British public feels like this is all an appropriate way to mark the Queen's death. People have a right to mourn and remember in the way they feel they need to.
     
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  5. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    She lived a luxurious life while the people benefit nothing from the monarchy system.
     
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  7. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    It was historically about the new king taking the place of the old one and I expect that the emoting that has happened this time is very much a function of the revolution in communication we have lived through for the past century or two.

    There is less actual power play going on in this transition and the soap opera element of the monarchy comes to the fore.

    Call me cynical ,very cynical when it comes to that lot.

    Clearly they are not as cynical as me or like Lizzy's father they would have recognised the awful prison they live in and cashed in their chips for a better life as an ordinary person.

    Elizabeth herself seems to have had great fortitude ,(and seeming ability along with personal charm) and was able to keep her head above water but surely she must have wondered whether she had not been dealt a very hard hand.

    Actually one of them was more cynical than myself.Anyone remember Dissembling Diane?
     
  8. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    The British people do not need the monarchical system(it is only a constitutional monarchical system) to prosper (or not)

    The decisions of consequence are taken by the elected political representatives (and the various powerful interest groups)

    The (constitutional) monarchy is more or less a side show -although it showed its value in Spain when standing up for democracy against the generals (of course we know "Saint" is not the most democratically minded among us in this forum and do would probably not see that in a good light)
     
  9. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    Can UK have a referendum to decide to abolish monarchy system and take their properties under government and distribute the money to people?
     
  10. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps at home in the UK this is true but abroad in the former colonies, now Commonwealth Members, not so much so.
    By maintaining a harmonious and peaceful co-existence amongst member states certain gains in prosperity for all is achieved.
    Queen Elizabeth had the unenviable role of furthering the de-colonization her predecessors started around 1929 (British Commonwealth of Nations) then onto the modern version of the Commonwealth in 1949.
    One of her primary missions since her coronation was to nurture and guide the Commonwealth through it's various transitions.

    The postwar Commonwealth was given a fresh mission by Queen Elizabeth II in her Christmas Day 1953 broadcast, in which she envisioned the Commonwealth as "an entirely new conception – built on the highest qualities of the Spirit of Man: friendship, loyalty, and the desire for freedom and peace".[24] Hoped-for success was reinforced by such achievements as climbing Mount Everest in 1953, breaking the four-minute mile in 1954, and a solo circumnavigation of the globe in 1966 ~wiki
    Her role in the foreign affairs arena regarding matters to do with the Commonwealth was significant as will Charles III role be.
    Not to mention being the head of the Anglican Church. ( Church of England - 110 million adherents as of 2001)
    According to wiki, today King Charles III is King to 15 member states (realms including Australia) and not King to 41 other member states.
    Issues such as citizenship, passports, money, political systems ( Westminster), national security, human rights etc and the ongoing management via CHOGM are all very relevant I think.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
  11. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    Of course.Or a political party could put that kind of a proposal in its manifesto at the election (it is called democracy)
     
  12. geordief Valued Senior Member

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    You claim the monarchy had a beneficial effect on the Commonwealth but the Commonwealth has no need in principle for a monarch in order to exist as a group of nations with common interests.

    Or do you see the monarchy as the glue that holds the Commonwealth together?

    Surprised that you seem to suggest that decolonization was in any sense an unwelcome thing.Why was her role "unenviable"?
     
  13. Saint Valued Senior Member

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    I am a Malaysian, we were British colony for more than 150 years.
    Now we are one of the Commonwealth countries, but we are an independent sovereign country,
    we do not feel anything related to British anymore.
     
  14. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    I tend to believe that the task of winding up an empire and transforming it into a functioning commonwealth would have been and still is fraught with issues. For example the harm done via colonization to indigenous peoples etc. Suffice to say many "crimes were committed in the name of the Monarch as colonization was undertaken. The amount of angst directed towards the monarch for those "crimes" is what I was referring to.
    A bit like the unenviable challenge that faced Gorbachev with the winding up of the USSR.
    Keeping in mind the incredibly complex legal issues involved in transition, including possible reparations etc. the need to remain a-political throughout while being at the center of all the politics. Having to deal with the historic legacy her family has inflicted due to colonization. (remember we are talking about her actual family's legacy) certainly would not be a task I would aspire to.
     
  15. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    At the moment the monarchy is very important to the ongoing "decentralization" of the Commonwealth. Of course in taking that role, the monarchy become less and less important. I would anticipate that Charles III will see the monarchy become irrelevant to the ongoing health of the commonwealth during his tenure as King. aka : most non-republic member states, if not all will become republics (including Australia)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
  16. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    From a general public POV sure. Here in Australia most common citizens have no particular interest in the monarchy. Even though our governments are established under it's auspices.

    It is when you get into the higher legal questions such as the foundations of government, constitutions etc that a monarchy or not becomes relevant.

    For example at the moment elected members of government are sworn in by the governor general or proxy (monarchy) to take their seats in government.

    Oath of office:
    I, (name), do swear that I will well and truly serve His Majesty King Charles the Third, His heirs and successors according to law, in the office of Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia, and I will do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of the Commonwealth of Australia, without fear or favour, affection or ill will. So help me God![3]

    Oath of allegiance:
    I, A.B., do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria, Her heirs and successors according to law. SO HELP ME GOD!​

    Armed forces:
    I, (name), swear that I will well and truly serve His Majesty King Charles the Third, His Heirs and Successors according to law, as a member of the (insert Royal Australian Navy , Australian Army , or Royal Australian Air Force ) ... and that I will resist his enemies and faithfully discharge my duty according to law. SO HELP ME GOD!​
     
  17. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    It is interesting that Malaysia is currently a Federal Constitutional Monarchy that models the Westminster system. ~ wiki
    Current King : Abdullah of Pahang (2019~)
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2022
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  18. Quantum Quack Life's a tease... Valued Senior Member

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    Perhaps a rhetorical question can provide insight:
    How do people (politicians, military etc) who have sworn allegiance to the ruling monarch pursue a republic agenda?
     
  19. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Though, as I understand it the king is elected for a term of a 5 years or so at a time, by the "Rulers" and/or "Governors" of the various states that make up the Federation. I can't seem to find out whether these Rulers and Governors are themselves elected, or selected by some other means. Either way, the principle is the same as the British system: a Head of State distinct from the head of government and outside party politics.
     
  20. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, this was a state funeral and as such was a formal affair marking the transition of the monarchy as well as the life of the late Queen. But the scale of it was also intended as a mark of respect by the nation for the person, as well. When Charles dies, it won't be as grand and not so many foreign dignitaries will want to come.

    I find myself reflecting on what it was about the way Elizabeth interpreted the role of the monarchy that earned it this place in the respect and affections of so many people. On paper the monarchy is fairly powerless and no more than an ornate piece of decoration for the country, to pull in the tourists. And she had to preside over the dismantling of the Empire and the diminishing of Britain's role in the world after the war. Yet she somehow played a role in establishing what is now called the "soft power" of the UK, as the ultimate ambassador for the country.

    My other reflection is on the significance of ritual and public performance to human beings. Yesterday was theatre, used to convey some quite powerful emotional and psychological messages.

    I found it all much more interesting than I was expecting.
     
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  21. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Is that the case in Malaysia? You have a monarchy too.
     
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    You are either surprised, or, for whatever reason, feel like stating the bleedin' obvious. The UK is littered with ceremonies and procedures that literally date back centuries. We are big on tradition, and unlike some more "recent" countries, we have quite a bit of history that the traditions have lasted through.
    The state opening of parliament, for example, goes back over 500 years. In fact a good chunk of procedures in our parliament date back centuries. And in our courts. We tend to cling on to traditions for state things unless there is an overriding reason to change or even drop them. But if they serve as a flourish to what might be achieved by a far simpler process, but it has history behind it, and everyone has done it before, why change it?

    If you want ancient customs then there is the daily horn-blowing in Ripon, which dates back to the 900s or so. There may be older ones that also, literally, date back centuries.
    The monarchy itself is not necessary. Every republic and dictatorship has shown that. No tradition is necessary, I'd argue.
    I'm not sure mass media has made it any more or less important to parade the coffin. People have always wanted to attend in person the funeral of someone they respected. Parading the coffin from church to burial place affords people that opportunity. As does the lying in state before that. Mass media doesn't remove that want that people might have. So mass media has zip to do with anything, I think. It does allow people with only a modest interest to watch and be informed.
    Is it necessary? No, nothing about a funeral is.
    Well done for stating the obvious again. Or at least obvious to someone in the UK.

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    There were, and are, and will be for a long time, tributes to the person the Queen was. TV has been and will be littered with documentaries about this or that, trying to uncover the "real person" and all that gumph. Individuals who attended the ceremonies would also have their memories of the person, even if it was just as someone who smiled and waved at them back in 1960.
    Then get yourself in front of a TV and gorge yourself on all the repeats of the hundreds of hours of tributes that british TV had over the past 10 or so days. And keep an eye out for all the others that will eventually come out, each trying to look at the Queen (the person) from another angle to any that have gone before.
    It's the appropriate way to mark the passing of a monarch who has sat on the throne for 70 years, and by all accounts done a fantastic job of not rocking the boat, and actually helping unite. Whether it will be appropriate for future monarchs, time will tell. If Charles III drops dead tomorrow, for example, there'd be something - as tradition likely dictates - but almost certainly not on the same scale.
    And it's not just the British public turnout that suggests it is/was appropriate, by the way, but the 4+ billion estimated viewers around the world.

    The best part about it all is that one's involvement, for 99.99% of the country (not including children who have to follow their parents), was entirely voluntary. Attend in person... or don't. Watch on tv... or don't. Listen on the radio... or don't.
     
  23. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    They do benefit, even if they don't understand it. For example, from a purely economic point of view, the monarchy is thought to add nearly £2 billion to the UK economy, due to both profit from their estates and indirect effect on industries like tourism etc.
    But then there are more intangible benefits that some might think the monarchy provides: a focal point for tradition, stability etc.
     

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