“not everyone is happy to be a subject”

Marr’s rhetoric approaches the pornographic, describing the Queen’s writing-desk as “glossy with royal history” whilst the camera zooms in in soft focus. I confess that when they played the archive footage of the young Queen, looking piercingly into the camera, some early 1950s reelman getting a bit creative with the close-up on her plump lips articulating, in that gorgeously nasal trill, the desire “to serve”, I too had the unthinkable thought. I scrubbed it from my mind with hot tea, because I’m British.

“We don’t live in a Tory country or a coalition nation — governments are merely lodgers, ” says Marr, obsequiously describing the point of all this panting and groaning: the desperate notion that royal pomp and circumstance can bring together a country which is, in reality, only growing more divided, and the idea that the burgeoning representative crisis in Britain doesn’t matter because an unelected aristocracy is actually in charge. That this is supposed to be comforting says much about the state of the nation. Whether or not the Queen herself is a lovely old lady with a fantastic array of hats is beside the point. This is not history. This is masturbation, and Britain is in too much trouble right now to sit around playing with itself.

Read More | “Enough of this royal deference” | Laurie Penny | New Statesman