Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Queer Old Dean

That stooped lady in striking peach is Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. The photo was taken by my friend Nick, from his window at King's College, Cambridge, as the Queen arrived for an event. That is of course her husband, Prince Philip, waiting for her to walk forward. Someone is bowing deeply to her in the doorway.

I am struck by what she symbolizes, even in this quick snap. In her name and the name of her antecedents, evil and dreadful deeds have been done with vigor by men who thought that their love of country and of her, was moral purpose enough. They should have looked deeper within themselves.

When in radical mode during the 17th century, the English Parliament decided to execute King Charles I, and did so on January 30th, 1649, it was not until the morning of the King's execution that the Parliamentarians remembered to pass a law banning any of his heirs from succeeding him: as soon as his head was off, his eldest son would become King under the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings.