Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Elizabeth The Great

As a teenager, Elizabeth and her family withstood Hitler. It was just the beginning of the hurdles the Queen would face throughout her long life. From Royal Central:
There is no doubt that Elizabeth II’s reign will go down in history as one of the most successful and popular in British history. Through Her Majesty’s dedication to this country and to the Commonwealth, she has worked to help redefine what Monarchy is and how, even in the 21st century, it is right for the UK.

Elizabeth II has, by modern constitutional standards, been a bastion of correct practice for Monarchs. This set us wondering – will Her Majesty go down in history as more than just Elizabeth II, could she be… Elizabeth the Great. An elaborate title, yes – but what’s the precedent for using the title ‘the Great’. In this article, we’re going to explore how the title ‘the Great’ is used by historians and whether it could possibly be applicable to our own dear Queen as historians one day look back on such a full and fantastic reign.

To start, only one English or British King has ever been afforded the style of ‘the Great’ by historians and that was Alfred the Great – he reigned from 871 to 899 and his epithet was awarded for defending his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest – by the time of his death, he was the dominant ruler of England (at a time when England was under the system of Heptarchy, with seven major Kingdoms).

Other Monarchs have earned titles through history also based on what they achieved during their reign – King William I is known as William the Conqueror, because as his title suggests – he conquered England and brought it under one Kingdom, something his predecessors had done with the exception of abolishing the Heptarchy in favour of a Monarchy. His other epithet of ‘William the Bastard’ is probably one he would have wished to avoid. The only Monarch English-British history to have been afforded the title of the Great – Alfred the Great. (Read more.)
From Peter Hitchens at First Things:
The monarch, stripped of all ancient direct power, is now remarkably like the king on a chessboard—almost incapable of offensive action, but preventing others from occupying a crucial square and those around it. But what a difficult task this is. I doubt if any human being can now bear the responsibilities of this office: to be silent when you wish to speak, inactive when you wish to act, polite without exception to all your subjects and all your prime ministers. Nor can I see how, in an age when the laws of God are largely scorned, we can realistically expect many in the next generation of princes and princesses to adhere to the rules of Christian marriage, which is both the constitution of private life and the key to all the laws we have. In its subjection of immediate desire to lasting love, it neatly encapsulates the whole principle under which we are governed. Yet who, unless they were brought up in chilly houses, expected to eat austere meals to the last morsel, made to write thank-you letters for every gift, subjected to brisk walks in wind and rain, could ever cope with the public or private demands of monarchy? The Queen, who is now 93, no doubt had such an upbringing. But hardly anyone else living has experienced it. (Read more.)

Meanwhile, Her Majesty is handling the Harry and Meghan crisis with wisdom and aplomb. Yesterday, members of the Royal Family met with the Queen at Sandringham in Norfolk. From The Daily Mail:
Prince Harry had wanted his 93-year-old grandmother, father and brother to let him and his wife keep their royal titles while living abroad and grabbing 'financial independence' to earn their own money using the Sussex brand, which experts say could be worth £400million.  
Ahead of the meeting, the Queen was said to want guarantees that the proposed Sussex business empire wouldn't damage the royal family. William and Charles were expected to reject the couple's demands for taxpayer-funded police bodyguards while in the UK and were concerned about the environmental impact of criss-crossing the Atlantic to carry out royal duties in Britain and across the globe.

Charles is also said to be 'hurt' by Harry and Meghan's decision to quit because he has secretly given them millions to fund their lavish lifestyle and furnish their Windsor home in a show of 'love' for the couple since they married 20 months ago, according to the Evening Standard. (Read more.)
Also from The Daily Mail:
The Queen, who is desperate to chart a way out of the crisis raging through the Family ranks, has ordered courtiers to double down efforts to develops blueprint for the Sussexes future, to be completed within days. In the statement, the head of state broke with protocol to refer to the couple by their first names rather than the 'Duke and Duchesss of Sussex'.

Some experts have decoded this to mean Harry and Meghan could be stripped of their titles, while others have played it down as the grandmother, 93, simply striking a soft tone. Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter said the move was likely to be telling, tweeting : 'I do think it was very striking, particularly in a statement from the Queen. Are they having to give up their titles? This would be an indication they are...'

Reacting to the statement, Queen Elizabeth biographer and royal historian Robert Lacey said the language was an immensely personal intervention uncharacteristic of typical Palace communiqués. He told BBC Radio 4: 'It is remarkably hands-on. I mean it may have been processed through officials but this is the Queen, speaking to her people and speaking about her family, and I think coming right through it is the concern she feels.' 

Speaking to the Times, royal author Ingrid Seward said: 'The first round has gone to the Sussexes. It feels that the royal family are bending over backwards to try and help.' Yesterday's unprecedented meeting represented the first time that Harry, 35, had met with his closest relatives since early November, with the prince and his wife having taken a six-week break in Canada over the Christmas period. Although they arrived back only last week, Meghan, 38, has already returned to the country. Aides have now been set to work to try to come up with a workable solution to the crisis preferably by Friday.

This includes enabling the couple to find a way to become 'financially independent' and not rely on taxpayer funds in the future, as well as acceding to their wish to live partly in Canada for the foreseeable future. Other issues left on the table for further discussion are the cost and provision of the couple's security, particularly while they are spending large swathes of time out of the country. There is also the matter of Frogmore Cottage, the couple's Windsor home lent to them by the Queen, and refurbished with £2.4million of public money. The couple have insisted that they want to keep the property as a base in the UK.

It is clear that despite the Queen's emphasis on the meeting being 'constructive and supportive', the schism between Harry and his family runs deep. The statement failed to hide the sadness of the elderly monarch who has made no secret of the hurt her grandson has caused her in wanting to break away from the institution and choosing to tell the world of his intentions last Wednesday without informing her first. Harry is expected to leave the country to rejoin his family by the end of the week, after conducting what will likely be an awkward engagement at Buckingham Palace on Thursday in front of the media.

Yesterday's 'Sandringham summit' saw Harry arrive at 11.20am, with his grandmother and father already waiting for him. At his side was his newly-appointed private secretary, Fiona Mcilwham. His frail grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh, was earlier seen driving out of the estate and it is not known if the pair, once so close, even met. Intriguingly, his brother William, whose relationship with his brother has become so toxic that many insiders describe it as 'irreparable', did not pull through the gates of the Queen's Norfolk estate until 1.45pm, just 15 minutes before the start of the summit. It is understood that Meghan, who flew back to Canada just 24 hours after the couple's bombshell statement last week announcing they were to stand down as senior royals, was planning to dial in on speaker phone. She is staying at the couple's borrowed mansion on Vancouver Island with their eight-month-old son Archie.

Some in royal circles suggested last night that Harry and Meghan had left the Queen little option but to capitulate to most of their demands to prevent a 'royal war'. The statement's talk of a 'transition period' for the couple between the UK and Canada was said by one aide to be simply a chance for the family to gain breathing space while 'this mess of Harry and Meghan's own making is sorted out'.
The acknowledgement that they will hand over their public funding in order to become 'financially independent' appears to give them the licence to strike commercial deals as part of their 'Sussex Royal' brand, which some experts predict could be worth at least £400million. But senior royals are said to be aghast at this idea of monetising the monarchy and want an assurance from Harry and US-born Meghan that they will treat their positions with respect.

The Queen's decision to refer in her statement to the couple by their first names, an unusually intimate reference, particularly for the monarch, has also sparked speculation that the couple are set to lose their titles. Aides say that this is unlikely as the family is acutely aware of the public backlash when Harry's mother Diana, Princess of Wales, was stripped of her own HRH. Asked if they could remember a time that the Queen has ever issued such an official personal statement about a member of her family, aides both past and present were at a loss to remember one.

The Queen has referred with warmth and affection to her husband, Philip, and the Prince of Wales in speeches and other tributes, and addressed other issues such as her famous 'annus horribilis' in the Christmas speech. Other statements about family affairs have been issued by Buckingham Palace on her behalf, but always by a spokesman. Royal insiders have told the Mail it is clear that she fears for the future of the institution. Although she and Charles are agreed on the importance of a slimmed-down monarchy in the future, Harry and his family were always considered an important part of the line-up. (Read more.)
According to The Tatler:
The Queen’s top advisor is in the firing line following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s bombshell announcement last week, in which they effectively ‘resigned’ as senior royals. The blame is being laid by members of the Royal Family at the Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young’s feet, as the courtier seems likely to become a casualty of the scandal. It is thought that even Princess Anne and Prince Edward - who had sought to steer clear of the drama - have voiced their concerns over Young’s incompetence. ‘All the guns are blazing at Edward Young,’ a source in the royal household told The Times. ‘He has not geared up the system to protect the monarch. Very senior members of the royal family think he should go.’ (Read more.)
More HERE, HERE, and HERE. Share


julygirl said...

As a girl she learned how to emotionally and strategically handle a situation such as this when her Uncle Edward abdicated due to his love for Wallis Simpson a divorcee from Baltimore, Maryland USA! It was a scandal of monumental proportions.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, Elizabeth has always had to bear the brunt of the family scandals.