Thursday, 10 May 2007

The Queen of Hearts

I saw a report on TV of the State Banquet given by President Bush in honour of Queen Elizabeth II. In his tailcoat and white tie Bush looked like a constipated stuffed penguin. The Queen looked so old.

We forget that she is 81 years of age - though it does seem she has been around forever. When she ascended the throne on 6th February1952 two of the Wartime leaders were still in power: Joseph Stalin in the USSR and Harry S Truman in the USA. The third leader Winston Churchill didn’t return to office as Prime Minister until October 1951. George W Bush was 5 years old and as for Tony Blair, in 1951 he wasn’t even a twinkle in his father’s eye, (how most people wish that had remained the status quo).

She has been around a long time, during which there have been eleven US Presidents and she will soon accept the resignation of her twelfth Prime Minister (Harold Wilson served two terms).

Anyone who has been in the public eye for over eighty years is bound to have been the subject of a wide range of comment - from adoration through apathy to hatred. The Queen attracted the greatest barrage of criticism in respect to her relationship with Princess Diana. She has been accused of hating Diana. That is absolutely incorrect; the Queen neither hates nor loves anyone. When she became Queen she had the equivalent of an “emotional lobotomy”. She decided that the only way she could survive as Queen would be to become emotionally dead. Why did she do that?

We are all the product of our nurture. Historically the Royal family has always been emotionally dysfunctional, none more so than in the Twentieth century. The Queen’s grandmother Queen Mary was “a cold fish” who if not ruling the country ruled the Royal Family with a rod of iron. She was so remote from her children that she did not notice they were being abused by their nanny.

But the greatest influence on the Queen was her father George VI, the man who should not have been King. He became King in 1936 on the abdication of his brother Edward VIII. He was extremely shy and suffered from stammering. For him public speaking was a nightmarish burden. The strain of office undoubtedly contributed to his premature death aged 56. The young Princes Elizabeth was very close to her father and witnessed the effect being King had on him.

Queen Elizabeth II has one guiding unwavering belief, that it is her Devine inescapable duty to rule. Irrespective of her health or events surrounding her private and public life, her first and only duty is to act as Queen. So when she became Queen she relinquished all personal feelings. But the emotional coolness only applies to humans, she loves dogs and horses, so she can‘t be all that bad.


No comments: