2 June 2022
By Tim Koch
Tim Koch on the woman who plays the role of Queen even better than Helen Mirren.
On 6 February 2022, Queen Elizabeth II became the first British Monarch to celebrate a 70-year reign. In the UK, the Platinum Jubilee four-day holiday is to run from Thursday, 2 June to Sunday, 5 June in line with the Queen’s Coronation on 2 June 1953.
While it is difficult to put a logical argument for the anachronism that is royalty, a recent YouGov survey found that the Queen was “liked” by 75% of the 1363 British adults interviewed (13% were “neutral” and 9% “disliked” their monarch). As well as the UK, Elizabeth II is Queen of Canada, Australia and New Zealand and also of eleven Caribbean countries that have become independent since her accession.
While there is republican sentiment in all fourteen of the Queen’s commonwealth realms and while many are led by anti-monarchists, only Barbados has recently replaced the Queen as Head of State (though it looks as though Jamaica will soon follow). A recent tour of the Caribbean by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge highlighted anti-royal sentiment in the region.
What are euphemistically called “the Old Commonwealth” countries of Australia, Canada and New Zealand may be the last to sever royal links. Australia held a referendum on the matter in 1999 but 55% voted against change (a result possibly distorted by divisions in the republican ranks).
Keen to take the opportunity to make their next head of state a native of their own country, some republican movements may step up their campaigning when the 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth breathes her last. However, they should remember that the Monarch cannot die: “The King is Dead. Long Live the King!”