Elizabeth II strengthens her popularity among the British during a new ‘annus horribilis’ | People

Seventy years of reign (which will be fulfilled on February 6) give to build an immune system in which defenses arise from even the most unsuspected places. Who was going to tell Elizabeth II that the most exotic villain that British politics has given in recent years, the ideologue of the Brexit campaign and former adviser to Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, was going to get in the way, almost like a bodyguard of film, between her and the threat of the coronavirus. He himself recounted it in mid-July, in his first interview with the BBC after the stormy abandonment of Downing Street, and in open war, now openly, against the prime minister.

On a Wednesday early in the pandemic, Cummings says he told Johnson, “What if you go see her and you infect her? You cannot take that risk. It’s crazy. ” The conservative politician planned to pay his weekly visit to the queen, despite the fact that government personnel were already in quarantine by then. The meeting between the prime minister and the monarch did not finally take place. And shortly after, Johnson ended up in the ICU seriously ill with covid-19.

Among the majority of British people, Elizabeth II has a barrier of protection that saves her from any hint of discredit or reproach, despite the fact that 2021 has been a year at least as long for the queen. horribilis as was the fateful 1992. His popularity rating stands at 72%, according to the YouGov polling company, more than double what Johnson reaps, at 34%. More than 80% of citizens believe that she has done a good or very good job as monarch, and up to 55% defend that she continues to be the Head of State, “even if she becomes ill enough to be unable to tackle official tasks daily ”.

The one that has just ended has been the year of an offense, with the interview of Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, with the American presenter Oprah Winfrey, in which the couple accused the Royal Family of racist and heartless, and the year of a painful farewell, with the death of the prince consort, Philip of Edinburgh. “A good life consists of both final separations and first encounters,” said Elizabeth II in a Christmas message dedicated to practically remembering the figure of her husband, but with the dialectical ability to convince the British that both she and they They should be more concerned with the future ahead than with the past that they leave behind. “That mischievous and curious wink remained as brilliant at the end of his days as when I first looked at him,” recalled the queen, in the same message in which she encouraged her compatriots to celebrate, in 2022, together with her, the Platinum Jubilee for the 70 years of his reign.

If the solitary presence of the monarch at the funeral for Philip of Edinburgh moved the British, his immediate recovery – with a profusion of colors in his clothes and public events on his agenda – sent a message of continuity and resistance at a time when the that the entire country seemed to be beginning to emerge from the nightmare of the pandemic. His health problems, in that sense, have almost coincided with the rebound in infections, the new omicron variant and a subsequent phase of uncertainty and concern. It was at the end of October that Buckingham Palace had to admit, causing almost more alarm than tranquility, that the queen had spent a night admitted to a London hospital, to undergo “preliminary examinations” that were never detailed. Shortly before, the palace doctors had ordered him to reduce his schedule and take a few days off, and in mid-November he had to be absent at the last minute from such an important and symbolic act as Remembrance Day. from a back injury. “Once you reach 95, not everything is as easy as it used to be. He’s bad enough at 73 ″, his son and heir to the throne, Carlos of England, justified shortly after in an interview with SKY News.

In a subtle and natural way, Elizabeth II has been delegating to the Prince of Wales, and his grandson William, the Duke of Cambridge, tasks of representation at public events. The presence of the second and third in the line of succession is more and more common, and that of the queen is more and more selective. Not so much to enhance the replacement process as to preserve, in a definitive way, the prestige and respect that is poured on the longest-lived monarch in the history of the country. If this has been the year in which Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has ended up being officially summoned before an American court for his murky relations with the pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged abuses against the then minor, Virginia Giuffre, his apartment already Definitive of public life has been decided by his brother Carlos, while the queen in Windsor enjoyed the affection and company of her who was always her favorite son. And if the accusations of racism made by the couple of Enrique and Meghan upset the queen, it was Guillermo who handled the matter publicly, with that statement that his family “is not racist by any means” that he launched before the cameras on a visit to a school.

Elizabeth II has ended 2021 locked up in Windsor, unable to even fulfill the tradition of spending the holidays with the family in Sandringham. It has been a bad year, finished off by the arrival of the omicron threat, but it has not been a dose horribilis that has forced the monarch to veer course to protect the prestige of the institution. Or your own. Even the attempt of a madman, at the end of the year, to enter Windsor with a crossbow to attack it, he stopped 500 meters from where he was. Because 70 years of reign have built a wall of defenses around it.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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