Queen Elizabeth continues to hold Canadians’ affection. The rest of the royals — not so much

Queen Elizabeth continues to hold Canadians’ affection. The rest of the royals — not so much

By Shachi Kurl, President

When Canadian monarchists fête Her Majesty on the achievement of her 96th birthday, they’ll do well to put some extra oomph into singing the anthem, prayer and exhortation for God to save the Queen. Not only may these be the sunset years of Elizabeth II’s life, they could also well be the sunset years of monarchy in this country as we know it.

In Canada, among those who stop to think about her (far fewer than those who used to) the Queen is part head of state, part everybody’s grandma. She’s held the title for 70 years, which means nearly four generations in this country have known no one else but her as sovereign. Some of my own earliest memories include a smiling lady in blue with all sorts of medals signing a piece of paper in a very grand setting, which my parents assured me was a very important moment.

As public opinion towards her children and grandchildren has plummeted in Britain and around the world, “Her Madge” has enjoyed something of a personal affectionate renaissance. Little wonder, when one’s immediate relatives, de facto colleagues and future face of “the firm” represent a cabal of entitled pashas in waiting and settlers of lawsuits over accusations of sexual assault (paid for with mummy’s wallet). We grieved with her when the Duke of Edinburgh, her husband of 73 years, died last year. We saluted her stoicism in laying him to rest, virtually alone, under strict COVID rules. Many of us marvel at a lifetime of indefatigable execution of her duties. Indeed, soon-to-be-released data from the Angus Reid Institute finds she is the most popular senior member of the royal family now.

Warmth towards the Queen however, does not necessarily translate into enthusiasm for the continuation of an institution long-term. Indeed, those same data show the monarchy’s lack of personal relevance to Canadians by a margin of two-to-one, and ambivalence over what happens when the great lady slips the surly bonds of this mortal realm.

For the rest of this piece, please view it on the Ottawa Citizen’s site where it was initially published.

Image – DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique A. Pineiro


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