OPINION: I do not care about the Queen of England

Queen will go down as enabler of racism, imperialism, pedophilia

Vice+President+Cheney+arrives+at+Jamestown+Settlement+with+Queen+Elizabeth+II+and+Prince+Philip.

COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Vice President Cheney arrives at Jamestown Settlement with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip.

KESTRA ENGSTROM, Evergreen Opinion Editor

When Queen Elizabeth II passed away last week, a blanket of mourning fell over not just her country, but seemingly the world.

The late Queen ascended to the English throne in 1952, and throughout her 70-year reign, she remained a stoic, purportedly untouchable figure; and as the world warns us, “do not speak ill of the dead,” Elizabeth is afforded yet another layer of impenetrability to criticism by her death.

I think that is bullshit.

For seven unfathomably long decades, Elizabeth was the head of the monarchy. She represented far more than herself.

Regardless of how selfless or kind she may have been as an individual, Elizabeth devoted her life to upholding an institution built on the back of slavery, colonialism, discrimination and even incest. The British monarchy is an abhorrent institution, and death does not absolve Elizabeth Windsor of her role in upholding it.

Any British royal is automatically a candidate for intense scrutiny for their history of imperialism; despite leading the country through the end of the colonial era, Elizabeth was no exception.

The Queen has continued to withhold stolen artifacts from former British colonies, from sculptures and other artifacts on display in British museums, according to History.com, to jewels that the Queen herself spent her life wearing, according to Vice.

The former British colonies these pieces were stolen from have been asking for their artifacts back for centuries, and Elizabeth spent her life enforcing their oppression by refusing to return their history.

The family itself has also been rocked by scandal – and not just some divorces and tabloid rumors. Members of Elizabeth’s family have been credibly accused of racism and pedophilia for years.

Elizabeth’s subjects revered her dedication to controversy avoidance throughout her life. However, when the controversy you are avoiding discussing is your son’s alleged involvement in a major sex trafficking ring, silence is not an acceptable stance.

The things that Elizabeth chose to protect her family from throughout her reign are also extremely questionable when put under a microscope.

When her son Andrew was accused of raping underage girls, Elizabeth was up in arms; but when her daughter-in-law and, twenty years later, her granddaughter-in-law pleaded with the crown for mental help or protection from the merciless British media, according to Newsweek, the late queen had nothing to say.

On top of the imperialism and sex crimes, the royal family has also been plagued by yet another silent (or not-so-silent) killer: racism.

Elizabeth’s own husband, the late Prince Philip, was one of the most vocal in the family.

According to the Washington Post, in 1986, Philip told a British student in China that if he stayed there much longer, he would go home with “slitty eyes;” in 2002, he asked a group of Indigenous people in Australia if they “still throw spears at each other;” he also told the Nigerian president that he looked like he was “ready for bed” in his traditional robes.

The family’s racism has only seemed to grow with the marriage of Elizabeth’s grandson Harry to actress Meghan Markle, who is half-Black and half-white.

Princess Michael of Kent, who is married to one of Elizabeth’s cousins, proudly wore an extremely racist blackamoor broach to meet Markle back in 2017, when she and Harry were engaged, according to PageSix.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, Markle also revealed that a member of the royal family had speculated to her about what color skin her son Archie (who she was pregnant with at the time) would have when he was born, according to NBC. Although she did not name the perpetrator, Markle did say that this speculation came from a high-ranking member of the family.

Regardless of Elizabeth’s direct involvement in any of these scandals, her silence when she was alive is deafening, and death does not absolve her of accountability.

Queen Elizabeth will go down in history as a bystander and an enabler, who refused to stand up in the face of racism, imperialism and pedophilia.

Mourn, sure … but let us not pretend that Elizabeth was without flaws.

And one more thing – with her portrait filling every billboard and screen in the western world, with the entire world being put on hold in order to mourn (including surgeries and appointments for cancer patients, by the way), I never want to hear a single word about Kim Jong Un and propaganda in North Korea from anyone ever again.