Am I alone in thinking that this country feels even more patriarchal now that we’ve got a king?
My name contains eight words, and 57 characters, including a comma. I was planning to write a series of essays for this blog about how the different parts of my name came to be, in the hope of inspiring those of you who may be struggling to choose a name. It seemed logical to me to begin at the beginning, go on till I came to the end, and then stop, but events have kinda taken over. You see, my middle name is Elizabeth.
Now, to be clear, I’m an anarchist. Not only am I against an unelected head of state, but I don’t even think there should be a state. I took my middle name after my mum’s first name, because I wanted to pay tribute to her having gone through pregnancy and childbirth for me. But she is named after our ex-queen who has now ceased to be, because her parents were staunch royalists – so I’m kinda accidentally named after the late monarch, see? And, well, names are funny things. When Queen Elizabeth died, it hit me harder than I had always imagined it would, because a certain twinge of empathy was triggered somewhere deep inside me. My mum came into my room in tears, and we hugged.
I’m very envious of my parents’ generation. They were born safely after the War, and it looks like they’re going to die just in time to avoid seeing climate change really kick off. Instead, they got to live under the reign of QE2 – the most prosperous and peaceful time that Europe has ever seen. My A-level chemistry teacher once began a lesson on entropy by scrawling on the blackboard: “EVERYTHING RESOLVES TO SHIT”. Like it or not, we’re all Charlesians now, and we must face the inevitable onward march of time, with whatever it may bring.
But I also wonder how many more monarchs will succeed him before, as all things eventually do, the Crown comes to an end? It’s true that unprecedented changes have taken place since the 1950s, but the same was true of the reign of Victoria. All the signs are that bigger changes yet are on the way, and whether the latest coronation is an omen of good or ill is up to us.