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After a worse-than-expected profile at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, Queen Elizabeth sped across the country on the royal train, attending ancient ceremonies in Edinburgh, inspecting the troops and quietly attempting to stop the UK’s disintegration – and even horseback riding.
You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to believe the palace is trying to tell us something.
The Queen is maybe 96 years old. Maybe she lost her husband last year. She may have a bewilderingly complex cast of unruly and wayward family members to keep tabs on. She may even have had COVID earlier this year.
But she’s fine, thanks. Oh, and she’s not going anywhere any time soon either.
Of course, as Palace insiders always point out (with a sometimes slightly contrived tone of boredom), the Queen has been saying exactly that as loud as she can herself for the past few months.
On the anniversary of her accession to the throne in February, she said it bluntly: “On this anniversary, I joyfully renew the promise I made in 1947 that my life will always be dedicated to your service. ”
Similarly, in her message of thanks at the conclusion of the anniversary celebrations, she said, “I will remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability.”
It’s not their fault if their subjects don’t listen, but it’s not entirely their fault either, for fine words of intent can never be compared with the concrete reality of the spectacle of living, breathing, royal flesh.
The queen, who loves the phrase, “I need to be seen to be believed,” is self-aware of that fact.
There is no doubt, however, that the Queen’s high-profile visit to Scotland this week, which has already included two public appearances, surprised almost everyone.
Earlier in the year, the Palace specifically canceled the Queen’s attendance at all of the summer’s garden parties (all of which are held in London, with the exception of a Scottish garden party which is held in Edinburgh). A source told The Daily Beast that the current plan is that she will not attend tomorrow, Wednesday’s Scottish garden party. However, if she did appear at an investiture ceremony on Thursday – for Scots honored by the Queen – which has not been ruled out, it would certainly be a major national news event.
What is undeniable is that this week’s events represent a very significant new message in the big Windsor mime show – especially considering it was only two months ago that the Palace announced that no one should be disappointed when HM it would be I am not physically able to wiggle onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace at any time during the anniversary celebrations.
The idea of her taking a trip to Scotland and attending public engagements two days in a row would have been considered deeply fantastic at the time.
However, contrary to all expectations, Her Majesty quietly boarded the royal train at Windsor and Riverside station on Sunday evening, along with her youngest son Edward and his wife Sophie.
First commissioned by Queen Victoria and still retaining a distinctly Victorian atmosphere, the luxurious train steamed through the night to Edinburgh, and the Queen was apparently well enough rested to make her way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Scotland capital to attend what is known as the “key ceremony” (where she is given the keys to the city) with Edward and Sophie in tow.
A brief meeting followed with Scotland’s Republican First Minister Nicola Sturgeon – no doubt a particularly sensitive matter as Sturgeon called a new referendum on Scotland’s independence from Britain the next day. It is an affair of the Queen’s heart; On the eve of the last Scottish independence referendum in 2014, the Queen broke precedent, telling tourists gathered outside a church in Balmoral: “I hope people will think very carefully about the future.” (The result went in her favour in favor of the Union.)
Of course, one can argue that the Queen is doing one last farewell tour of Scotland, but insiders really think the Queen is faring much better than many feared. A well-placed source, for example, told The Daily Beast that recent reports that the Queen had been riding again in recent days were indeed accurate. It remains to be seen if she will be present at the Braemar Gathering’s ‘Highland Games’ on September 3, a traditionally high-profile royal day.
The joy with which Her Majesty’s return to visible public life was received is a double-edged sword; it reminds one that in order to be legitimate as a monarch, she must be truly visible and physically present.
Those still campaigning for her to abdicate or for her son to be regent might argue that this week’s events speak for her; No one seriously envisions a return to regular public duties for the Queen and the physical performance of her basic duties in Scotland this week is a relevant reminder of how weakened the monarchy is when those basic duties are either not performed, by a proxy be executed or delivered via Zoom.
https://www.thedailybeast.com/queen-elizabeth-it-appears-is-back?source=articles&via=rss Queen Elizabeth, it seems, is back