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Queen Elisabeth II has died. How do you feel about that?

How do you feel about queen elisabeth's death? Poll

Elizabeth’s death will spark a multitude of feelings, often conflicting, not just in Britain but around the world. The monarch has been the only head of state that millions of her subjects in the British Isles and the Commonwealth have ever known. Her presence on their coins and bank notes and their televisions has been a constant through generations, an ever-diminishing bit of continuity as the world has shifted away from the dark days of subjection and colonialism. There is no analogous public figure who will have been mourned as deeply in Britain — Winston Churchill might come closest — or whose death could provoke a greater reckoning with the identity and future of the country. Elizabeth’s extraordinary longevity lent her an air of permanence that makes her death, even at an advanced age, somehow shocking. It is with deep sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of the ???????? people, we extend sincere condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth over this irreparable loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

What are your thoughts on the future of the monarchy?

Over the centuries since, that shift has only grown more prominent, leaving the monarchy more a point of nostalgic pride than actual necessity. Charles, or more likely William, may yet find themselves presiding over a newfound surge of devotion to the Crown. But it is all the more likely, and better, in my view, that Elizabeth II be viewed in history as the last of the British monarchs to have any real claim of ruling the British people.

At question is not whether the U.K. will abolish the monarchy once Elizabeth dies. The institution itself continues to enjoy broad support, according to a poll from October. It’s whether — with the U.K. under unprecedented strain from Scottish separatism and the aftereffects of Brexit — any future monarch will be able to provide the same steadying influence as the one whose hand has been on the tiller for more than half a century.

That’s probably the key question: Can it survive long enough under Charles for it to be still intact for them to take it over and do a better job with it? We don’t know. Wouldn’t it have been nice if it could just jump a generation and go straight to them. And does it matter in the end? It does to the Brits a lot. I’ve always felt this placebo effect of the monarchy as a head of state. It’s a very valuable thing, not having a politician or a general as the head of state—as we can tell in the United States. If the head of state turns out to be really wrong, things go down the tube very rapidly. As long as the head of state and the people to whom the people swear allegiance and the person that they look up to is not a politician, a church figure, or a general, there’s a healthiness to it.

What are your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of monarchy?

Arguments against the institution of monarchy have typically been founded on republican convictions that one king in particular, or kings in general, are guilty of an abuse of privilege. (In 1649, Charles I was ousted by Parliamentarians who objected to his autocratic rule, including to his imposition of what was thought to be egregious taxation and his waging of foreign wars; he was tried for treason and beheaded.) A case can certainly be made that the Queen enjoyed excessive privilege, with no fewer than six properties across the United Kingdom, ranging from palace to castle to country estate, and a net worth estimated to be six hundred million dollars. Her favorite escape was to Balmoral Castle, which is privately owned by the Royal Family rather than being part of the Crown Estate. There, guests visiting on a Sunday morning would be treated to the strains of a bagpiper as he played beneath the Queen’s bedroom window; they might also enjoy a post-shooting picnic dinner served from a customized mobile kitchen, where Her Majesty herself would set the table and put on rubber gloves to clean up afterward. Not until the early nineties, under public pressure, did the Queen voluntarily agree to pay, like her subjects, income tax and capital-gains tax. In 1993, the Royal Family found a fresh revenue stream by opening the state rooms of Buckingham Palace to ticket-buying members of the public. One no longer needed to receive an honor from the Queen in order to tread the plush carpets.

The queen was head of the state because the laws of succession made her one. But she was head of the nation because her peculiar political skills, her deliberate blankness and steadfast devotion to duty, and her longevity, made her so well-suited for the task.

With all signs of extraneous personality ruthlessly eradicated, the queen was free to serve as a symbol — of whatever her onlookers pleased, certainly, but also and most potently, of stability. Over seven decades on the throne, she served as a link between the end of an empire and the beginning of a cosmopolitan liberal democracy.

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