God Save the Queen

Source: Power Line

Queen Elizabeth II, a jeep and truck mechanic during World War II, crowned during the second premiership of Winston Churchill, was the last living link to the senior leadership of World War II, even as Mikhail Gorbachev’s passing last week represented the last link to the senior figures of the Cold War (with the partial exception of Lech Walesa, who is still with us).

I got to see the Queen once in person, in an unusual scene that I did not fully appreciate at age 14, on my first visit to London in 1971. I was among the very large crowd lining the Mall as a formal procession of the Queen, riding in a parade of fully liveried horse-drawn royal carriages, made its way down the Mall to Buckingham Palace. The occasion was the official state visit of Japan’s Emperor Hirohito, on what I think was his first trip outside of Japan since the end of World War II. I noticed that the large crowd was nearly silent as the Queen and the Emperor rode by. I thought it odd that no one cheered or applauded. It seemed more like a funeral.

I don’t recall exactly how it came about, by my father, a WWII veteran of the Pacific theater, fell into conversation with a Brit, who said, “He’s not welcome here.” Coming less than 30 years after the end of the war, this seems a typical British understatement.

The New York Times reported:

LONDON, Oct. 5—Emperor Hirohito of Japan was greeted by the largest crowds of his European goodwill tour today when he arrived in Britain for a three‐day state visit.

But there were few cheers, and the crowds were curiously quiet, considering their size. Many seemed unsure how to respond to a wartime enemy, now returned to Europe after half a century as a symbol of a friendly but somewhat enigmatic nation.

Tens of thousands jammed Parliament Square and lined Whitehall and the Mall as the Emperor and Queen Elizabeth II rode side by side in an open carriage from Victoria Station to Buckingham Palace. . .

There was only one incident during the day when a man threw his coat at the Emperor’s carriage on the Mall. The man was sent by the police for medical examination.

However, there have been a number of letters printed in newspapers from veterans with bitter memories of Japanese militarism. A survivor of a Japanese prison camp placed a wreath inscribed “With vivid memories of the treachery and inhumanity of the Japanese” on the monument to Britain’s war dead in Whitehall.

The biggest stir arose over the disclosure that Earl Mountbatten of Burma, former Supreme Allied Commander in Southeast Asia, who accepted the Japanese surrender there in 1945, would not attend tonight’s state banquet at Buckingham Palace. Lord Mountbatten pleaded an undisclosed “prior engagement.”

Queen Elizabeth will be regarded as a chiefly a ceremonial figure, and while narrowly true, she might well go down as the last modern monarch under whom the constitutional royal prerogative was used for the last time. In 1975 Britain’s governor-general of Australia John Kerr dismissed the very left wing Australian socialist prime minister Gough Whitlam, who might be regarded as a down-under version of Salvador Allende. It was a highly controversial move, and Kerr claimed that he did not consult or inform the Queen before his decision ahead of time, which may be true, but seems doubtful. In any case, I doubt that power, a legacy of the old imperial order, will ever be used again.

And now we’ll have to put up with the nitwit King Charles III. Here’s what we might have to look forward to, according to Vox:

At the COP26 climate conference last year in Glasgow, Scotland, Prince Charles warned world leaders that they must adopt a “war-like footing” to deal with the global threat of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Charles has made similar pleas since — and in the years before; he has championed environmental causes since it was a bit unusual for someone in his public position to do so. And now, he may be among the most prominent figures to take up the cause, as he ascends the throne following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II.

Oh goody.

Meanwhile, you can expect a lot of lefties to react to the passing of the Queen with their usual class and grace. So far the early leader in the sweepstakes is Uju Anya, a professor of “applied linguistics” at the University of Pittsburgh:

Prof. Anya has 85,000 followers on Twitter.