A Very Fond Farewell

It’s hard to call it unbelievable when a 96-year-old mortal shuffles off, but Queen Elizabeth II’s final departure has had a peculiar effect. Hoping to have the feeling articulated without sentimentality, we asked on a couple English friends (Charlie Cooke filling in for Peter and London Calling’s Toby Young) to discuss her importance, and what her death means for the Commonwealth.

We get into Charles III and the future of the monarchy; wonder whether the public ethic and sense of mission will die with the Queen; and contemplate the idea that Britain’s ironic humor may be what holds the whole thing together. Plus, Charlie approves of Ron DeSantis’ “Thank you, Governor” ad; and Rob finds something amusing about mayors up north making statements that sound oddly similar to Greg Abbot’s and Doug Ducey’s with regard to immigration surges.

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There are 7 comments.

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  1. EJHill+ Podcaster

    Programming Note: As you may have noticed we had previously announced “El Rushbro,” David Limbaugh, as our guest on today’s podcast. Unfortunately, there was a mixup between us and his publishing house on the time of taping. We will endeavor to reschedule our old friend to visit us sooner rather than later. Of course, with the news of the day being what it was we were delighted that Toby could stick around for an extended spot.


    • #1
  2. J Ro Member
    J Ro

    Perfect guests for this historic occasion. Well done everyone. 

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  3. Leslie Watkins Inactive
    Leslie Watkins

    Apparently it had been raining pretty hard, but right before the palace announced the death of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, a double rainbow formed above Buckingham Palace. It reminds me of Mark Twain coming in and going out with Halley’s Comet and Adams calling out Jefferson’s name on Independence Day, the day they both died in 1826. Legend, meet greatness.

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  4. RufusRJones Member




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  5. RufusRJones Member

    If you saw the “ice houses” they display at the Minnesota state fair, you wouldn’t believe it was real. Big screens. Couches. Satellite TV. Stoves. They have a hole in the floor for the fishing lines.

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  6. Al Sparks Coolidge
    Al Sparks

    I’m an American, and I’m mildly embarrassed at how much I know about the modern British monarchy. I do have an online subscription to The Telegraph, and I’ve picked up a few things. In addition, I’ve read biographies of Queen Victoria, Queen Mary of Teck (Queen Consort to George V and Queen Elizabeth’s grandmother).

    During the discussion of what would happen if the UK were to rid itself of the monarchy, there seemed to be some confusion as to what would happen. There was speculation that an elected president would outshine the prime minister. I’ve done a quick check of the presidents of Italy, Israel and Germany. Those presidents have a mostly ceremonial position, involve themselves in the picking of a new prime minister when there’s a vacancy, just like the UK’s King, and are generally elected by their parliaments, not a popular election. It would be likely that that would be the way the UK would go if they chose to go republican. They might go wild and try to emulate France, but I doubt it.

    Someone said that the republican’s assume that if they succeeded in getting the UK to go to a republican form of government, they would get all the property of the monarch, and he included Buckingham Palace. That’s probably not the case with Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle which are considered the property of the Crown Estates. On the other hand, the Balmoral Estates are not a part of the Crown, and are considered private property, though things could get sticky since it’s also a part of a national park. Also, the monarch does pay taxes, mostly voluntarily, but supposedly the UK has pretty stiff inheritance taxes that I suspect aren’t being paid when Balmoral transfers (transferred?) over to King Charles. So I would not expect the ownership of Balmoral to survive intact from a former monarch who would be a private citizen, to the next person in line.

    The estates of the Dukedom of Cornwall, which Prince William automatically received from King Charles as heir apparent would also probably be transferred to the government, and aren’t considered private property. This dukedom is special and the typical dukedoms don’t have those kind of privileges anymore.

    On the Commonwealth of Nations, some members have King Charles as head of state, most don’t. As for King Charles status as the head of the Commonwealth, It was only automatically conferred upon him because they agreed to do it a few years ago. Prince William does not have privilege, and he will have to earn it from them. There are some member nations that don’t want to give it to him, from what I’ve read in The Telegraph.

    When I read the day to day routine of the Royal Family, I conclude that it has to be a grind. Their normal routine is to make appearances at charities. They essentially raise funds for them. So really, their day to day is to make pleasant conversation with people most of whom will remember that one meeting with them for the rest of their lives. So if they have an off day, it’s going to disappoint a lot.

    I also think it’s a waste of mostly intelligent people talents. Elizabeth would have been happy being a moderately well off woman with some horses, which is the life she would have had the opportunity to lead if King Edward VIII hadn’t abdicated (and if he had had children).

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  7. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks

    Al Sparks (View Comment):
    I do have an online subscription to The Telegraph

    I like that paper, but only know it in its print form, because that’s what my hosts take. It’s big and wide, like the papers of yore. 

    • #7
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