Social Question

chinchin31's avatar

Why are people getting so emotional over the Queen of England's Death?

Asked by chinchin31 (1863points) 2 months ago
21 responses
“Great Question” (8points)

If you really think about it the Royal family became wealthy because they were good at colonialism, imperialism and slavery. Is that something positive? What exactly are they sad about? What exactly are they going to miss?

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Zaku's avatar

Not everyone is fixated on those issues, and not everyone associates her with those properties of the history of Britain before she was around.

She was a likable person from various perspectives. And as with many likeable celebrities, and for some, particularly monarchs, they vicariously associate with some of them, or at least feel sentimental attachment toward them. Compared with the overall group of politically-related celebrities, certainly Elizabeth II is not one of the least admirable or likeable ones, for many of us. And it’s not like her being queen was her choice. She became queen unexpectedly as a young woman, and did what was expected of her. She’s almost fairy-tale like in that aspect.

And even for those who are fixated on the evils of the British Empire, not only her, but her royal family house, the house of Windsor, was created in 1917, and so did not have much to do with creating the British Empire, and Britain had abolished slavery about 1833–1840. At most, Queen Elizabeth II had some role in defending the Commonwealth, but overall, she oversaw the greatest reduction in what remained of the British Empire since it rose (not that she had much say in the matter at all, because the British monarch is a symbolic position).

Zaku (28647points)“Great Answer” (10points)
Kropotkin's avatar

People imagine they’re in a relationship with the queen, who was one of the wealthiest humans on the planet, with an arguably unparalleled status and prestige.

This parasocial relationship makes people feel they’re part of something greater than themselves, because on some level they recognise that their own lives are worthless and pathetic.

I think this is the basic mechanism for any sort of celebrity worship and fandom, though I admit haven’t read much literature on this particular topic.

All people look for means of boosting their self-esteem, in the UK, the options are rather limited for most people, because it’s a miserably classist nation, with high levels of inequality and poor social mobility, where most of the ordinary and relatively poor population are kept hopelessly demoralised and hooked on football, long-running soap operas, celebrity worship, and often worshipof the nation-state and the monarchy.

What really struck me was the euphoria of the people who queued for over 12 hours to see her coffin. One woman descibed it as the greatest moment of her life, and even better than giving birth to her own children.

Of course, the media plays a huge part in promoting all this and indoctrinating people, and the British media is, I believe, the most effective propaganda system in the world. It is the most viciously partisan, obsequious, relentless propaganda arm of the British ruling class.

HP's avatar

It’s a rare event, like Halley’s comet or the eruption of Krakatoa, she was a big deal, because she was the monarch to witness the end of the empire. Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.

JLeslie's avatar

Most people alive today have only known Queen Elizabeth to be ruling monarch. She is a staple of the UK. Change is difficult for people.

In recent years she seemed quite congenial and relaxed. That’s how I perceived her anyway.

Most people aren’t focused on the distant past. Even when people have difficult relationships they mourn the passing of someone.

I think there’s an emptiness for some people.

ragingloli's avatar

Collective mental illness, in my opinion.

jca2's avatar

On the positive side, there’s a woman who was working until 2 days before her death, as seen in the photos where she met the new Prime Minister. So here she died at age 96 and worked until age 96. It really was a feat.

HP's avatar

If you can call it work.

jca2's avatar

Whatever. I’m sure when she as old and frail and feeling weak and shitty, and knowing that her days were numbered, the last thing she wanted to do was get dressed up and paraded out for photos with the new MP. I respect that with the realization that not everyone might, and that there are things about the UK and the monarchy that are far from perfect or ideal.

canidmajor's avatar

@HP A long time ago, on this site, a former jelly declared that being a server in a restaurant wasn’t real work, “After all, how hard can it be to carry food?”

You sound as clueless as them. Whether or not you approve of the monarchy, or how wealthy they are, or even what they do, the Queen kept up a demanding schedule for seventy years. That is work.

Unless, of course, you believe that it isn’t that hard “to carry food.”

janbb's avatar

Many people are getting very emotional about the Queen’s death; many others aren’t. The ones you’re hearing from are the emotional ones.

I’m not particularly moved by her death since she was 96 but I do agree she worked hard throughout her life and carried out her duties with dignity.

chyna's avatar

The royals are like a secret society that most people will never know or be a part of. Children are brought up hearing and watching stories about princess and prince’s having a magical fairytale life. We eventually realize that it’s not true, but there is a certain fascination that remains with some of us even in adulthood.
Americans looked at John F. Kennedy’s death in the same ways. He was America’s version of a king.
The Queen seemed a bit attainable to people because of her sense of humor, love of horses and dogs. She was living the fairy tale.

HP's avatar

I view her fate as worse than work. She was in effect a bird in a cage. Or more like one of her corgis in a nonstop dog show with no competition. She alone wears the blue ribbon for 50 years. 50 years of forced smiles and repetitive tricks on command. Roll over, speak, knight this one, a peerage for that one, wave at the adoring mob. The kids were here and the funeral repeat was running while we played scrabble. I asked the girl if she remembered her little girl answer to “what do you want to be when you grow up?” And her answer? “OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!”

KNOWITALL's avatar

She’s like the nation’s grandmother over there, from what I read and heard.
Like @chyna, similar to the JFK/Camelot afmiration of my mom’s generation.
It’s always seemed a bit kooky to me, too, as KFK was certainly no saint.

jca2's avatar

My guess with JFK was that in addition to being rich (which intrigues a lot of people), he was handsome, and dying young gives celebrities a kind of ethereal quality (like Marilyn, James Dean, etc). Blondie song: “Die young, stay pretty.”

eyesoreu's avatar

The Royal element is largely irrelevant when it comes to the outpouring of affection for her.
It’s coming from a warm place of life long memories for a woman who dedicated her life to serving her country.

A woman who had the unenvious task of taking on such a gigantic role in an age where women were meant to stay at home to cook & clean.

A woman, who died at 96, working til the end…that emotion is simple, kind human nature.

All else misses the point entirely.

Kropotkin's avatar

I want to add that people’s perceptions of the queen are just that. Practically no one knows who she really was, what her personality was, whether she was actually a nice person or not, how much work she actually did, what her life was really like.

Almost everything presented to the public is stage managed and carefully cultivated to evoke a certain image and emotion.

All else misses the point entirely.

Smashley's avatar

@Kropotkin – My favourite bit was when the understudy and his semi-turned-mega-celebrity wife decided to take their company private, and are now openly marketing their own off-label brand of monarchy. But goddamit, the monarchy is just so spectacular and important and symbolic to the plebes that you have to pay attention.

Inspired_2write's avatar

Queen Elizabeth II was an example of a female who aspired to the most high position that demanded that at an early age that she adhere to very strict training to prepare her for her final role as  the Monarch to the World.

All this in an age of women who commonly were expected to be a stay at home wife and mother.
She exemplified her abilities to do just as best as a man and thus reinforced that idea to women in the world to aspire to greater roles and dreams of professions that were only male dominated at that.

Her example of, If men can do it so can we as women, aspect,Not surprising then Womens Liberation occurred and in the present many became leaders in the world and CEO’s whereas in the past this was frowned upon.


I personally met her when she came to our Town and was about 2 feet in front of her when a
British couple ( Tourists) cut in front of me and the Queen  asked them where they were from, and after finding out that they were from London, England she calmly stated that they could see her in London but the people here in Jasper rarely do, so she asked them politely to move to the back and let  us come forward.

I heard the whole conversation and thus admired not only her honesty but her diplomatic and gentle way of conveying that. I appreciated her kindness.
She demonstrated that throughout her lifetime and thus many can relate to her personally.

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