Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RANTS!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 30/09/22

Throne Over?

Greetings crown-cravers, scepter-strokers, orb-osculators and flag-frotterers everywhere! How's it been for you this last couple of weeks? Enjoy the pomp and cirumscription of your beloved Empress finally being separated from her crown jewels (a fate which nearly befell to me once; I slipped climbing a fence)? It was quite a show, wasn't it? I mean, what with The Queue separating out the mere serfs from nth-rate television celebrities, a crying English footballer who wasn't Paul Gascoigne, the sound of the Bishop of London praying to her god for him to 'endure' the royal family (well, that's his job and it's his own fault for volunteering for it), and the final sight of Betty's Big Box dropping down into its requisite hole like an old picture-house Wurlitzer, only without the strains of Happy Days Are Here Again but, rather, followed by a piper playing a lament (so called because that is what people tend to do when they hear it).

Well, at least you can have a little break now, as your new Lord and Master has scuttled off to his northern colony with his floozy.

(And how do you like your new Queen, by the way? You know, Mrs Parker Knoll, the lavishly-upholstered recliner? Quite a jump-cut from having a Queen who hadn't shared so much as a duvet with her husband in over fifty years to a condign adultress, isn't it? Well, you get what you're given; after all, monarchy - to amend an old movie tag-line - means never having a say; sorry! I'm sure you'll cope: Philip and Holly will be able to reassure you).

As for the rest of us, how are things now that we are morphing from the Elizabethan Age into - as one wag on Twitter put it - the Charlatan Age?

I was surprised that the old oaf decided that he was going to call himself Charles III after all, considering that he had 'let it be known' (monarch-speak for, "One wants it, and one wants it now!") that he wished to be styled after his last forename in commemoration of his stammering, pussy-whipped grandfather. Perhaps his late mama had 'let it be known' (monarch-speak for, "No, one fucking doesn't!") that she didn't approve of her papa being memorialised in such a way. Either way, we may count ourselves fortunate that we will not be required to endure the Georgeness of King Mad.

Because that, it seems, is what we're getting for our money...and land...and denial of democratic legitimacy. Charles Philip Arthur George's impertinent crabbiness, his footling pseudo-new age posturings, his interfering obstinacy and his appalling handwriting were well enough attested to during the long decades of his eager anticipation of the Top Job. It does appear that he will at least be consistent now that he is head of the syndicate, the corona di tutte corone, as evidenced more than once by his insolent behaviour towards his flunkeys during the official interregnum. That Elizabeth may have also behaved in a similar way towards her servants is a distinct possibility, of course. But everything was done - on her part and the part of her media managers - to make sure that such conduct was never on show to the plebs. Charles Philip Arthur George seems either not to care whether his strops are visible to his subjects, or else that there are after all some subversives in the Household who - possibly out of a desire for revenge for slights past - perceive advantage in the public seeing what they are being landed with; namely, an entitled, elderly fart who exhibits all the psychological and character weaknesses which are to be expected of the nanny-raised.

For here is a man-child who has been groomed [disambiguation needed] for the job for his entire adult life and, now that he has had it given to him, obviously does not see any reason to moderate his conduct either to provide a plausible impression of seamless transition or to at least conform to expectations. He will be what he is, what he always has been.

So, things have changed. The styles, the manners, the whole personality of the monarchy will be altered in ways which are not all apparent as yet, but may well become so within the next year or two. The disjuncture between the hyper-genteel, sedate, even ascetic image of Elizabeth and the more interventionist tendencies of Charles - and his far more visible flaws - is likely to give fits of the vapours to many of the more staunch and set-in-their-ways monarchists who will see the new approach as either being unseemly and undignified or of being in danger of yanking the antimacassar off the throne and revealing the monarchy's true nature.

But at the same time, nothing has changed. Having had a lot of fun with - and having expressed so much appliquéd outrage at C3's expense down the years, the corporate media have already fallen in line with the required hyper-respectful tones (that the State media have done so too is, of course, a given), although how long that will withstand the emergence of his assertiveness on those concerns close to his heart is a moot point at this time. It would not take much for the likes of the right-wing scum press - freed from their need to show the cloying deference which they always felt obliged to show to his mother - to start to snipe at him were he to become as outspoken on, say, the environment as he has been heretofore.

What has also not changed is the arrogance of English monarchical power. Within hours of finally getting his banana-like digits on the Big One, he had appointed his thoroughly vacuous elder son to be the 'prince' of a country which isn't even a principality, and without even so much as informing its elected government, let alone consulting it. That this has not gone down particularly well in these parts has been a rather heartening experience which shows, amongst other things, how the grip of the Crown of England upon the sentiments of the inhabitants of its oldest colony may be slipping more than a little, especially when one takes into account that His Majesty's Progress in our capital city was accompanied by rather more and rather louder cat-calling than was evident elsewhere.

(One also has to chuckle at the statement that Willy has been tasked with 'making the monarchy more popular with young people'. How can he get down wid da kidz when he's a forty-year old baldy with three brats?).

Given this, given the fact that the Kingdom of which he is now Supreme Leader is losing its United nature more (and more visibly) with every passing week, and given the economic and social cataclysms which seem at present to be galloping at speed in our direction, will the English monarchy survive for much longer?

I'm afraid that I have to say that it almost certainly will. The English establishment has survived for this long because it has the power and the reach and it knows to use them. Indeed, the process whereby this utterly underwhelming old git is to be re-imagined as a serious, dignified and even dynamic figure has already begun in and through the state/corporate media. Add to this the generations-old belief amongst particularly the Anglified portion of the population of this failing state that it doesn't matter how far the land slips down the league of global significance, how decrepit and oppresive life gets for an increasing percentage of the public, how raddled, tawdry, vicious and corrupt its politics become, everything will be just fine if you Put Out More Flags, and one can see not only Charles' coronation - the build-up to which will be a barrage of affirmatory candyfloss and that re-writing of reality which remains the only creative thing the English establishment and its attendant media are capable of nowadays - but also the sight of William V approaching from over the not-too-distant horizon, his hereditary chrome-dome glinting in the light of the decaying star of post-imperial national self-delusion; a delusion, moreover, that no amount of what they now call 'lived experience' is likely to shift in the near future. Indeed, it may well be that the king will be presented - like his mother always was - as a unifying figure in times of 'national' tribulation (such tribulations being never too far away, even if they have to be concocted).

Nonetheless, it is possible to perceive that at least some of the spell of deference, self-abasement and obsequiousness which has lain like a malign enchantment over so large a proportion of the populace since the beginning of the 'New Elizabathan Age' (and before) may be in a state of terminal decline isomorphic with that of the State it represents. Whether that turns out to be the case or not, the next few years are likely to be far more toothsome on this point - and many another - than the bland diet of bowel- and brain-blocking saccharine-laden stodge dished out to the plebs for the previous seven decades.

Footnote: I've just noticed that - taking the Rants, Raves and Not A Blog items together, this is post number 1793 on this site.