The Queen of England
By Glòria Bonet
By Glòria Bonet
Some institutions stand erect thanks to the structure supporting them, prodigies of subtle engineering, like wire bridges or the oldest constitutional republics. Others, on the contrary, are the product of their insides, as if they were a huge teddy bear stuffed inside its furry pyjamas with no skeleton at all. The British monarchy belongs to the second category. It’s not the walls of the castle what defends it against the tides, but its tenants.
The strength of the monarchy is based on the guts of such characters as Henry VIII, Queen Victoria or our contemporary Elizabeth II. In the first case, because he challenged the Pope and created his own church in order to be able to remarry. Victoria, for granting her name to an aesthetic and moral style that ended up colonising the whole globe during her world-record sixty-three-year reign. And Elizabeth II not only because she just surpassed her great-grandmother Victoria when it comes to longevity, but because she’s quite a character in her own right.
Take good note of this, William (yes, you, the one dressed as Prince Valiant minus the wig): the secret is sea collagen for that hand saluting in constant rotatory fashion, and also for those nonagenarian knees able to stand for hours without lowering her guard, not even to flatter the baby.
For the Queen, who no one would dare describe as sentimental, the sign of fatherly tenderness perpetuated by the heir to the throne before the cameras is a more unforgivable weakness than being scolded in public by a bossy granny dressed as Kermit the Frog. The idiot face the poor “daddy cool” is left with after his grandma has scolded him is unmissable!
Elizabeth II knows that a monarch owes him/herself to his/her subjects before his/her own children. That’s why hers have turned out the way they have. But that’s also why she’s still on the throne sixty-four years down the line. Because no matter how close, sensitive and popular a prince might seem, people don’t need a flesh and blood king, but a proud symbol to contemplate from a distance. Dressed as a Disney hero. Or like Kermit the Frog.
PS: Brexit? Europe is a petty thing. The most important one will always be protocol as the subjects’ comfort zone.