On Tuesday April 21, 2020, Queen Elizabeth II turns 94. A milestone that the monarch has decided not to celebrate by canceling all the celebrations including the Trooping The Color parade. A choice that has no precedent in Elizabeth’s long reign and that seems more dictated by a sentiment that pervades the whole of the United Kingdom rather than only by evident imperatives related to public health. On the other hand, this has become, for the English Crown, the new annus horribilis going to undermine 1992 (which had seen the divorce of Charles and Diana and the fire at Windsor Castle “) in the ranking of the worst periods ever.
In fact, Her Majesty, who has, in her 68-year career as a monarch, gone through crises like those of the Second World War (which saw her protagonist for the first time in an “official” capacity with a visit to our country) or internal turmoil following the economic policies of the Tatcherian era (“You know, there’s no such thing as society”), today finds itself having to fight on two fronts. On the one hand, an external front composed of a country crossed by the pandemic wave that did not spare even its Prime Minister (a signal, from a communicative, devastating point of view) and weakened by the long process of political delegitimization to which Brexit he exposed and from a particularly uncertain future, on the other the internal tensions to the royal family starting from the farewell of Harry and Meghan up to the scandal that engulfed Prince Andrew.
However, His Majesty did not abandon his institutional role for a second, despite the age and the enormous stress of this period could amply justify an abdication in favor of his son Charles. On the contrary, Elizabeth II holds the awareness of her responsibilities more firmly than ever: the speech to the nation, the fourth of her entire career, which she gave on Palm Sunday to encourage the British to face the emergency covid-19.
“Abdication is out of the question,” said Penny Junor, a Windsor biographer and deep knowledge of the Crown. Never as in times like these then does the promise made by Elizabeth II on April 21, 1947, during a radio address addressed to the British Commonwealth: “I declare before you all that my whole life, be it long or short, will be dedicated to your service. “
We make his best wishes to his Majesty, confident that, net of cannon fires and parades, he will be able to adequately celebrate his birthday in the company of his family. And his beloved corgi, of course.