Monday, September 7, 2015

Finally, some recognition...

In a stunning upset, Queen Elizabeth II has been voted Britain's most popular monarch. Which, ok, not much of an achievement, right? I mean, by definition there can only be only one monarch at any given time, so it's not exactly a crowded field.
Yes, congratulations, you came in first in a one-person competition.
"Oh come on, all I said was that I'm
not a corgi person. I don't dislike
them, they're just not my favorite."
Of course, the poll was actually asking respondents to vote for their favorite monarch of all time which is certainly a longer list but some of these people beheaded their spouses so the bar is kind of low. Elizabeth II came in first with 27% of the votes, more than a quarter of those polled. And it helps that as the current Queen she could probably have you executed for failing to vote for her. Don't believe me? The U.K. has an unwritten constitution which if I understand politics (and I don't), means that the law is based on custom and precedent, and historically the monarchy can be a bit burn-at-the-stakey where dissent is concerned.

Anyway, in the same way that The Empire Strikes Back is better than A New Hope, Elizabeth's prequel, Elizabeth I, came in second with 13% and bringing up the rear is Queen Victoria who would find absolutely nothing funny in the phrase 'bringing up the rear.' 
You know as someone who basically ruled a quarter of the planet and 400 million
of its inhabitants for 6 decades, you'd think she could a least manage to smile for photos.
Ok, second best...
Speaking of Queen Frowny Pants McFrumpington, First of Her Name, she's about to be shoved off the longest reigning monarch pedestal she's enjoyed since her death after 63 years on the throne. On September 9th of this year, young upstart Elizabeth II will punch the clock on her 23,227th day as the United Kingdom's official money-face. At least, I assume they make her punch a clock, it might be a sign-in sheet or something, it really doesn't matter. The point is, this is an amazing accomplishment. For 63 years she's performed her role as Queen with grace and dignity, and is beloved by millions around the world. Also, she has what is probably the greatest collection of hats of all time. 

On the other hand, it's not exactly like she's working in a coal mine. I mean as jobs go, being a figurehead monarch is kind of like being an indoor cat.
Huh...did you know they had pictures of
cats on the internet? Well, now you do.
Above: Kate hoping a horse will throw a shoe
into the stands and bring her one step closer. 
I'm not trying to diminish the cultural significance of the monarchy or anything, but her job is kind of a pointless relic of the dark ages but without the threat of usurpation. This is the 21st century, it's not like Kate Middleton can off her grandmother-in-law and seize the throne for herself. Hell, she can't even sunbathe without French tabloids showing up. The Queen is surrounded by doctors and bodyguards, and the physical expectations mostly involve waving. Do you know how long it's been since the Spanish have sent an armada?

Still though, 63 years is a long time to do anything and a really long time to do something without pissing people off. Maybe Elizabeth II's real achievement is making it this far relatively free of scandal and controversy. Sure there was that was the Princess Di thing, but Helen Mirren made a movie about it and everything turned out ok. She even got an Oscar for it. Helen Mirren I mean, not the Queen. I'm pretty sure Best Monarch isn't a category.
You know, if Hillary Clinton could talk Helen Mirren to playing her
 in a movie, maybe everyone would shut up about the email thing...

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