Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Elizabeth II
Elizabeth II, Queen of England, recently (April 21) celebrated her 80th birthday. I thought it might be appropriate to write about her today.

I must admit that I have mixed feelings about the English royal family. As a monarchist, I have natural feelings of respect and admiration for Elizabeth. As an American, I think that we should never have rebelled against Britain, and would rather have Elizabeth as our queen than George (W. Bush that is) as our president. On the other hand, I am a Catholic, and the English royal line has had a very bad history since Henry VIII created heresy and schism by divorcing his wife (Catherine of Aragon), breaking from the Holy Catholic Church, ignoring the supremacy of the Supreme Pontiff of Rome, and declaring himself the supreme head of the Church of England. Even today it is illegal for the monarch to convert to Catholicism (I commend the Prince of Wales for his support of a bill that would have repealed this antiquated and unjust law in Britain, and I condemn the House of Lords for voting it down).

I also have ill feelings towards the English royal line and English society as a whole for historical reasons (even though I have English blood, among others, running through my veins). English society itself has a certain latent anti-Catholicism, most apparent in its view of history. The English have traditionally revered Elizabeth I and abhorred Mary I. They portray Mary as vicious, bloody, and murderous for her treatment of Protestants during her reign while she attempted to restore Catholicism to her nation, but say little if nothing of the terrible acts of both Mary’s father and half-sister (Henry VIII and Elizabeth I). Thousands of Catholics were persecuted and murdered during their reigns (many being innocent priests, monks, and nuns who had the “audacity” to remain Catholic after the king made it illegal), Church property was confiscated and used for purposes of the state, and those Catholics who weren’t killed had to worship in hiding and secret. But the British don’t like to talk about the crimes of Henry and Elizabeth, just about the crimes of Mary.

There is also the fact that Britain waged war against Germany, my fatherland by adoption. I have written earlier about Kaiser Wilhelm II not being the monster many make him out to be (a common attitude even today in Britain), yet it was the British kings Edward VII and George V who worked against the efforts of the Kaiser at maintaining peace. Germany may have started the war, but this was at a time when the Kaiser had lost control of his ministers and generals, but I digress.

I have often tried to imagine myself living in Britain (I must admit, I have a rather schizophrenic relationship with the British, sometimes loathing them, sometimes loving them). It would be glorious to have Elizabeth II as my queen, a woman I could look up to who embodied everything that is British society and culture. It would grieve me so, however, to know the fact that she is my queen yet degraded to the office of official puppet, for that is what she is, a puppet of parliament. It would also hurt to know that she is hated by many of her subjects. She should be the one who makes and executes the laws in Britain, not a bunch of bureaucrats in the House of Commons. Let her take her rightful place in British society and government. Let her be adored by her subjects.
As I said, I have mixed feelings about the English royal line, and British society as a whole. But I find myself coming to no other conclusion than this: better to be ruled by a Protestant queen than by some bureaucrat from Texas. God Save the Queen!!

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