Queen Elizabeth II was buried today. It seems fitting that I write something to mark the day. I’m not a royalist, and never have been, but I appreciate a life well lived, and a life that must have been constrained by endless rules, expectations, and obligations. A life in service. A life not chosen. I’m not sure I could have done it.
I’ve been watching the coverage throughout the day – of the procession through London, the church service, the journey to Windsor, and finally the service in the chapel.
While watching the various high ranked clergy carrying out the procedures handed down to them over hundreds of years, I remembered a moment recreated in the “The Crown” TV series, concerning the televising of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It was the first time any sort of coronation had been televised, and the church was dead against it. In their own words “it would remove the magic”.
At the end of the day, the monarch in a hereditary monarchy is a normal person. The leaders of the church – even back then – knew that all of the pageantry and exhibitionism on show is an act. None of it is real. They were petrified that pulling back the curtain would expose them.
You know the funny thing? Nobody cares. Nobody still cares. People believe that they want to believe, no matter how ludicrous it becomes in the face of the best level of education the world has ever seen.
I do sometimes wonder though – how much longer until people start to open their eyes? Perhaps they don’t want to, and that’s why they don’t.
It’s a bit like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. People know they are made-up, but they continue to go along with the act. I wonder if monarchy and religion are following the same path.