We’re awash with anniversaries and this year, an annus horribilis for the dazzling array of stars who’ve fallen from the firmament [Prince being the latest], entwines co-incidences. This day is the Ninetieth birthday of Elizabeth II and this year, the 400th anniversary of the demise of a poet who delighted Elizabeth I: there seems something astoundingly connected, neatly folded, meshed even.
When Republicans chant that a Monarchy is a constitutional anachronism which ought to be abolished, the alternatives posited seem somehow deficient in pomp, solemnity, awe-striking ability. Let’s face it: countries require a figure-head and foisting that crushing responsibility onto a normal human being, ill-prepared for devoting themselves to a life of duty, has been proven over and over as an omni-shambles.
However one feels about who is or isn’t Queenie, it is possible to ponder on the steadiness her course has charted. It links with all who came before. This anchoring provides stability. Taking for granted that seam through history tears at the fabric of who we are. And as Lear says to Gloucester “through tattered clothes great vices do appear”.