The Queen’s Burial: Middle Ages live on TV

He immediately declared himself, after 73 years of waiting, ready to assume his heavy destiny: the inheritance of a fortune of 370 million pounds (420 million euros), certainly modest in view of the greatest fortunes in the world. which number in the tens of billions. But if you add the 3 billion pounds (3.5 billion euros) of crown jewels, it becomes more serious. Over 315 properties, parks, buildings, castles and thousands of hectares of agricultural land. What worries for poor Charles, who has done nothing with his ten fingers until today, insurmountable if he did not have the help of an annual salary of 86 million pounds (99 million euros) at the expense of the British taxpayer for minor daily hassles.

Modest, we are told, under her neon hats, the deceased had a sense of duty and honor. So much so that when an Argentinian dictator had dared to touch the Falkland Islands in 1982, his majesty, from the height of his already 30 years of reign, could not let the affront pass, and had to bless the military intervention (decided by Margaret Thatcher) and decorate the heroes: cruisers, aircraft carriers, 28,000 men, 30,000 tons of ammunition, 480,0000 tons of fuel to replant the Union Jack on these stony islands where there are only tiny shrimps and inedible. But if the Argentine dictator cultivated nationalism there to stifle discontent, the British crown wanted above all to save the lost honor of his late empire. It was well worth a thousand deaths.

What would it be like if we touched on Cayman or Bermuda, these tax havens, distant but still an integral part of the kingdom, where the royal family is accustomed to placing a hidden part of its fortune, as revealed by a few years ago the paradise papers ?

And French television to show us on a loop these English men and women who come piously to lay flowers on the gates of Buckingham Palace, forgetting those, much more numerous, who cannot pamper the royal family any more than the new Prime Minister who takes herself for a reincarnation of Thatcher. Forgetting those whose strikes against low wages and soaring prices have made the news in Britain in recent weeks.

Fortunately, from the other side of the world comes a bit of fresh air: from South Africa where until recently, during her first 40 years of reign, the Queen, like her predecessors, supported the regime of apartheid; of Kenya, where we remember the 100,000 dead and 300,000 thrown into prison, during the repression of the Mau-Mau revolt, from 1952 to 1960 when Elisabeth, all dashing, had just arrived on the throne… and other countries of the globe where the happy memory of the ferocity of the empire of which she was the crowned potiche remains.

“As I write, our stories continue to be erased [écrit dans The Gardian l’écrivaine anglaise Afua Hirsch, de mère ghanéenne]. During his reign, says the BBCthe colonies “won their independence” but no mention of those who were imprisoned, killed in the struggle. […] I will never forget visiting the Independence Arch in Ghana. This nation was proud to have been the first black African people to break free from the empire, and here is the physical focal point of this freedom: an arch bearing a symbolic black star. When I looked inside, I found a reality check: a plaque dedicated this freedom to none other than Queen Elizabeth II. I understood this to be a lesson that even in our freedom we are not free. We are expected to be grateful to have been colonized. »

But that won’t prevent TV from serving us for days on end with its nonsense to the glory of royalty and from giving us a layer of it in a few months, when the happy heir will receive the crown from the hands of an archbishop. , swearing on “the four swords”, crown jewels, to keep alive the Church of England.

God Save the Queen, the King and the London Stock Exchange.

Olivier Belin

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The Queen’s Burial: Middle Ages live on TV

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