I know commenting on yesterday’s death of Queen Elizabeth II is redundant, but like many other people in the Blogosphere and the Twitterverse, I’ll do it anyway.
I am of several minds about this, and Charles Stross summarizes most of it quite well:
This is one of those things where it’s really hard to separate the person (whom I respect a lot, given the little I know about her as a non-Brit) and the institution (which to me is an anachronism and connected to a lot of bad history). IMO, this would be a good time for the British people to have a referendum on whether they want to keep the institution or not, and the honest thing for Charles to do would be to call for one. I don’t expect it – maybe his son will, who knows.
On the other hand, I am also a fantasy author. Monarchies are a staple of fantasy, and why wouldn’t they be? Magic is real there, and the Divine Right of Kings (or something similar) can be grounded in actual fact instead of just being an excuse to usurp power or wealth or both. From her public face and the lack of scandals around her person (unlike the rest of her family), she looks like the ideal fantasy realm monarch – especially in contrast with the tumult of British politics over the past few years.
I am currently working on the background of a new fantasy book. I don’t know yet whether the monarch will make an appearance, but if he does (I already know it’s a he, not a she), it’s quite likely that he will have some of ERII’s features.
Rest in peace, Elizabeth.