Queen Elizabeth’s Jubbly ‘draws protests & apathy’ in Commonwealth countries

On Friday, Buckingham Palace announced that Queen Elizabeth had traveled to Balmoral ahead of the Platinum Jubbly. It was extremely strange timing – she left Windsor either on Thursday or Friday, and she was originally supposed to stay until Wednesday (today), they claimed. But the Queen booked it back to Windsor on Tuesday, mid-day. Part of me wonders if she fought back against her aides’ plot to keep her away from Prince Harry and Meghan. Another part of me just thinks it’s completely bizarre that people thought it would be a good idea for the Queen to travel all the way to Balmoral just for four days, and that the trip was taken under the guise of it being “restful” or “restorative.” Meanwhile, the Platinum Jubbly celebrations are going down like a lead balloon all around the Commonwealth. Some highlights from Yahoo’s “In Commonwealth, queen’s jubilee draws protests and apathy.”

Colonial history: “When I think about the queen, I think about a sweet old lady,” said Jamaican academic Rosalea Hamilton, who campaigns for her country to become a republic. “It’s not about her. It’s about her family’s wealth, built on the backs of our ancestors. We’re grappling with the legacies of a past that has been very painful.”

The Windrush scandal: But Britain’s image of itself as a welcoming and diverse society has been battered by the revelation that hundreds, and maybe thousands, of people from the Caribbean who had lived legally in the U.K. for decades were denied housing, jobs or medical treatment — and in some cases deported — because they didn’t have the paperwork to prove their status. The British government has apologized and agreed to pay compensation, but the Windrush scandal has caused deep anger, both in the U.K. and in the Caribbean.

The Cambridges’ Flop Tour: A jubilee-year trip to Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas in March by the queen’s grandson Prince William and his wife Kate, which was intended to strengthen ties, appears to have had the opposite effect. Images of the couple shaking hands with children through a chain-link fence and riding in an open-topped Land Rover in a military parade stirred echoes of colonialism for many. Cynthia Barrow-Giles, professor of political science at the University of the West Indies, said the British “seem to be very blind to the visceral sort of reactions” that royal visits elicit in the Caribbean.

The Queen has never acknowledged or apologized for many brutal inhumane things that happened during her reign: “From the start, her reign would be indelibly stained by the brutality of the empire she presided over and that accompanied its demise,” said Patrick Gathara, a Kenyan cartoonist, writer and commentator. “To this day, she has never publicly admitted, let alone apologized, for the oppression, torture, dehumanization and dispossession visited upon people in the colony of Kenya before and after she acceded to the throne.”

What will happen when King Charles is in charge: “Many of the more uncomfortable histories of the British Empire and the British Commonwealth are sort of waiting in the wings for as soon as Elizabeth II is gone,” royal historian Ed Owens said. “So it’s a difficult legacy that she is handing over to the next generation.”

[From Yahoo]

“Many of the more uncomfortable histories of the British Empire and the British Commonwealth are sort of waiting in the wings for as soon as Elizabeth II is gone… So it’s a difficult legacy that she is handing over to the next generation.” This is what I keep thinking about too, and why I’m convinced that all hell will break loose once QEII dies. The courtiers keep telling people that the Queen is spending her last months/years cleaning up various messes and family squabbles, and I think that’s true to some degree. She cares more about cleaning up Andrew’s mess than she does about ensuring that Charles keeps the Commonwealth together. Anyway, this is just a reminder – it’s not just British people who think this whole Jubbly thing is a tacky mess. The Commonwealth countries are watching and judging too.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and Instar.

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