Subjects of Queen Elizabeth II -- How do you feel about your queen?

I just saw The Queen tonight (an unexpectedly good film, for those who haven’t seen it), and I was struck again by the odd realization that this woman is the sovereign of millions of far flung peoples. So I turn to you, her subjects, for opinions on the woman and the institution she represents. How do you feel about the queen? Do you feel loyal to her? Do you like the monarchy? I’m especially interested in the opinions of her (assumedly) more remote subjects, such as Australians and Canadians (and even more remotely, French Canadians).

It’s a pleasant idea to have someone to greet foreign dignitaries, whip up tourism and be the symbolic leader of the country.

However the Queen makes no decisions (apparently she gives ‘advice’) and it’s not clear a hereditary Monarchy (where males take precedence) is the best system.

As soon as you step away from Her Majesty, the disappointment of her family becomes apparent.
Mother was addicted to gambling.
Husband makes offensive remarks on State occasions.
Eldest son commits adultery before during and after his first marriage. (It’s probable that Elizabeth is hanging on because she doesn’t want Charles to inherit.)
Minor royals pop up and ask for money (Yes, Princess Michael, you know who you are).

As the UK admires the tradition:

  • we should just pay a Monarch, a spouse and the heir (plus spouse). The rest of the family should get a proper job (and no titles).
  • eldest child should inherit, regardless of sex.
  • one castle for residence, the rest should be tourist attractions.

Well, given that I’m not a royalist by a long shot, and I want Australia to become a republic, I like the Queen. Genuinely. I don’t like her in an “oh, she’s a quaint, loveable old lady with a tie to tradition” kind of way, but rather in an objective “as a global statesperson, she’s one of the best (and possibly the most experienced) there is. She’s intelligent, ballsy, and clever” kind of way. The other royals might represent the inbred eccentric stereotype, but not Her Maj. She’s got style. It might well be frumpy, but it’s style nonetheless.

I’ve heard that she occupies the endless rounds of “meet and greet” by asking each person a question, each one different. If the recipient just mumbles and acts awestruck, she smiles politely and moves on, but if they answer intelligently, she’ll give them a few more moments of her time and engage that person intelligently.

I think she’s the best of the Royals. Will be sorry to see her go.

Just a minor point though: although Lizzie is our head of state, I’m not sure I’m a subject. I’m an Australian citizen, and I suspect the two are mutually exclusive - though I’m open to correction on that.

Zombie Oliver Cromwell knocks at my door, I’m joining him.

Though you’re really looking for far-flung views, I’ll give you my 2p’s worth.

On principle, like so many aspects of how the British system actually works, it doesn’t really stand up to scrutiny: heredity sucks; the fawning deference to the royals embarrasses me. I also disapprove of the amount of money they have, and that is paid annually to the institution of the monarchy - in particular, individual payments from the exchequer to the minor royals (the “Civil List”), many of whom do nothing for the country, really piss me off.

Regarding the queen as a person and a professional, I agree with what TLD said about her maj.

As an institution, well, after living many years as an expat, I’ve become a little less republican. I think an independent head of state, particularly one without any executive power*, is a very good idea. And since, by an accident of history, we have that vested in a constitutional monarch, then I guess it’s OK. It preserves our traditional image overseas, and non-British views of our traditions and pageantry are enhanced by it.

*Officially the queen can veto any bill going through Parliament. In practice, if she used it, it’s highly likely that the monarchy would be disbanded immediately.

Well, my first passport, issued in 1961, said that I was an Australian citizen and a British subject. And before 26th January, 1949, I was just a British subject, since no one was an Australian citizen.

However, I believe that we ceased to be British subjects about 20 years ago, though we are still subjects of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, Queen of Australia. That’s what you get from a constitutional monarchy: you can indeed be both a citizen and a subject.

Except Queen Elizabeth has absolutely no real power. She’s a figurehead, especially in Australia since the 1986 passage of the Australia Act, which basically says the Poms can’t tell us what to do anymore.

Of course, I’m rather pro-Monarchy. Let’s face it, someone has to be “in charge”, and having a hereditary King or Queen who can front up at the airport to greet foreign dignitaries, support charities, and generally be relatively harmless, is a great idea.

Besides, some tradition is good. If we forget our past, we end up like hyperactive children, obsessed with things that are big, shiny, and NOW.

I just wish there was still a British Empire. :frowning:

According to my passport I’m a British citizen.

When I was younger I was a staunch republican, but age has mellowed my view. Not that I’m a royalist - the system is in many ways indefensible, and I find the people who collect Royal memorabilia to be deeply strange - but I’ve come to the view that as long as the family are willing to fulfil the role, a constitutional monarchy is not the worst possible model. The Civil List has been cut back (HMQ pays the expenses of the minor royals out of her own income), and the rules regarding succession will be changed as soon as an heir’s first child is a girl. After all, we’ve been quite lucky with our Queens so far.

I hadn’t realised this. Thanks.

BTW, I absolutely love what’s written inside my oldest passport, issued in 1982:

That’ll put the fear of God into those savages!

It’s the not-so-implicit threat of a gunboat being dispatched I like.

I’ve got an Australian passport issued in 1995 that pretty much says the same thing. The first bit’s a bit different, being “the Governor-General of Australia being the representative of Her Majesty the Queen…” but all the “let and hindrance” stuff is identical.

For what it’s worth, I never found it in any way imperialistic, rather just a bit stupid and innocent.

“Hey, we were just about to execute you for those 10 kilos of heroin in your suitcase, but then we read your passport. We had no idea. Sorry about that. Cup of tea?”

Mine- issued in 2003- says exactly the same thing.

I do like the unstated threat that failure to comply will result in the despatch of a Dreadnaught and a couple of battalions of Imperial Troops to teach the offending nation some respect… :wink:

NZ passports have a similar request on them as well, but it doesn’t sound quite as impressive coming from the Governor-General of New Zealand. (“Be nice to our citizens, or we shall taunt you a second time!”) :smiley:

Maybe even a bit about “waving mah private parts at your aunties already!” :smiley:

As a Canadian, well, she gives us a face to put on the money. Other than that, she’s irrelevant. I think the idea is that the “great unwashed” doesnt have the brainpower to vote in an intelligent leader, so we need someone who was vigorously educated and cultured, bred, as it were, to be the intelligent voice of reason for us serfs, in particular us “spawn of criminals” in the far flung regions of the kingdom (queendom?).

Given all the “royal scandals” however, that voice has gotten quieter and quieter. Personally, I think its time to stick a fork in the monarchy, its done. Time to relegate it to the past, convert everything to tourist attractions, and let the family retire in peace. We need to acknowledge that no human being, regardless of race, creed, intellect or breeding, is more “royal” or more “holy” than the rest of us. If the post must remain, then every citizen of the commonwealth should have the opportunity to become " the queen" if not only for a day.

My guess is that Lizzie will live out her time as the last “real” monarch in the true sense of the word, then Charles will have a short reign when he will be divisive because some will see him as a silly old fucker and others will like his flowery style, and then the popular William will take over and quietly and smoothly wind the whole show up. He might leave us with a monarch who has no assent power over laws and just opens the occasional airport or whatnot, and the royal family will be pared down to a tiny handful of people, with all the hangers on shown the door.

Shoot them all and bring on the animatronic replicas.

It will benefit tourism. You can have multiple replicas, so ol’ Queenie can be waving to the tourists at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle at the same time.

The animatronics will also be cheaper to run. Okay, so the initial outlay is going to be a bit steep, but after that all these babies will need is a few squirts of WD40 every once in a while.

Most of the space in the royal residences can be turned into hotel rooms. Queenie and Phil can stop out on the balcony 24 hours a day - or just pop out on the hour, like some regal cuckoo clock.

Shit, make a few Di robots as well. That should please the tourists.

Actually, although I said I’d like Australia to become a republic (and I do want this), I’m with the other “age has mellowed me” people in that I’m not particularly fussed about pursuing it. I like to imagine it’s a purely Australian mindset that “we’d get rid of the Royals, but we couldn’t be bothered. Maybe tomorrow.” I also like the idea of a ceremonial figurehead beyond politics. When we eventually do become a republic, this is why I want the minimalist model for our country, with the president NOT directly elected by the people, but rather just taking over the role of the G-G.

So do I. I propose a lottery be held for all British and Commonwealth citizens, with the lucky winner being the ceremonial Head of State for one year.

Failing that: The Chuckle Brothers can share the job.