Something that many don’t know about me is that I’m Welsh (despite living in the US). Being Welsh gives me a very interesting relationship with Britain and the monarchy.
The United Kingdom provides us with a lot of good things, but Britain has also traditionally treated us pretty poorly at various times and under various reigns.
Still, it has made me quite upset at a visceral level to see how much the Internet and Twitterverse appears to hate the Queen and her family personally. A lot of what I see revolves around either colonialism or misunderstandings perpetuated by the media rags of the day.
While I definitely agree the Queen and the royals in general should have done more to give reparations to those who suffered under British colonial rule, I don’t agree she should shoulder all or even most of the blame.
Under the reign of her father and herself, many of the former colonies became independent republics. And it’s not like the Tories in power for the majority of her reign would have approved appropriate reparations anyway. I do wish they would have done more for Africa, and hope to see the new King doing work on that.
While the royals have done some pretty terrible things in their time, they’ve also done a lot of good. They are all big proponents of helping the climate, and the younger royals especially take after Lady Di in wanting to help the impoverished.
Speaking of Diana, let’s not forget that in her capacity as a royal, she helped to destigmatise HIV/AIDS at a time when many others in high places were happy to let those suffering from the disease rot.
Could they do more? Absolutely. Are they as flawless or squeaky clean as they’d like you to believe? Not even close.
But I highly disagree with the level of vilification happening online in the wake of the Queen’s death. I mourn her and the legacy of good things that she has done, while still acknowledging she was a flawed being and there were things she should have done that she did not.