So Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands is going to chuck in her crown on her 75th birthday. Embarrassingly, I’d forgotten that The Netherlands still had a monarchy. Sorry, ma’am! I remembered that there was a lot of kerfuffle when she got married to a German prince called Klaus and when anarchists threw flower bombs at their wedding procession but apart from that I hadn’t really noticed the comings and going of the Dutch royal family. People in Britain, monarchist or republican, are usually patronisingly sneery about the Dutch royals thinking they can’t really be that royal because they use bicycles to get round Amsterdam. Well, I never saw Beatrix on a bike when I was over there but then again, I wasn’t mixing in royal cycling circles. Now, of course, there’s another sneer over here. If she was really royal she would know that you can’t abdicate unless you are a naughty Richard Nixon in ermine.
We won’t be seeing the British Queen on TV announcing her abdication even though she is now 86 years old. She doesn’t ride a bike either, horses are her preferred method of transport. She says that she will never abdicate, unlike her disgraced uncle, King Edward VIII, who went so he could marry “the woman I love.” She has the man she loves and he isn’t even German or divorced or Roman Catholic. Well, he’s no more German than she is – Prince Philip is more Greek than anything else. Anyway, she was never the kind of gal to put her private life ahead of her royal duty because she really believes that God put her on the throne and wants her to stay there. That’s where the real royalists are coming from too.
In The Netherlands there must be a media frenzy about the prospect of their brand new monarch, the first Dutch king since the 19th. Century – what is it about the Dutch and their queens? So we will all have to get used to the idea of King Willem-Alexander and, I suppose Queen Máxima or will she be called Princess Máxima? You may have read about them in the newspapers, they’re the ones who built a luxurious holiday villa in a region of Mozambique which is known for its extreme poverty. Lucky for some, I guess. The press went wild over it and so they had to sell it last year. Now they’ve just got a large Greek villa for all those royal holidays. I wonder if they’ll take their bikes, Greece isn’t as flat as The Netherlands. Well, we’ll have to get used to them joining the exclusive monarch club, Until now they have just been plain Prince and Princess of Orange.
I don’t know why that made me think of lemons just as I was going to mention Prince Charles, the British heir to the throne and his second wife, Camilla – “the woman I love.” Charles is just gonna have to wait until God decides that he doesn’t need Queen Elizabeth on the throne any more. She will probably reach a remarkably old age then – one of Methuselah proportions. If we’re going to be stuck with a monarchy, let’s hope so.
No, whether you like the monarchy or not, Queen Elizabeth II is going to stay full-square on her throne until God calls her to new duties in the other place. That makes sense to me. After-all why have an antiquated constitutional system with a hereditary monarch, consecrated in a cathedral, crowned, anointed in oils and required to swear oaths before the altar, if you don’t think it’s a God thing? If you’re monarch, you signed up for it, you just have to stick it out.
This divinely appointed monarch thing has been going on for centuries and the other Queen Elizabeth, the First, sat pretty rigidly on her throne too. That’s the thing with God’s appointmentees, if they’re healthy enough, we just have to get used to the idea of old people on golden thrones.
Having said all of that, I still wish Ex-Queen Beatrix a happy retirement but God will be very cross at her letting the side down.