IF you lost a child in a grocery store among the cabbages and lentils, it would be understandably worrisome. If you lost the same in a large multi-level department store, it would be panic time. But if you lost an empire, as has happened during this monarch’s reign, how could you possibly excuse it, never mind celebrate it?
But since Elizabeth II ascended the throne, we have seen millions of people, whole countries, economies, militaries, cities, highways, harbours lost to British rule. Nigeria, Cyprus, Malaysia, Rhodesia, Malta, Guiana, Burma, Jamaica, Ceylon, Tanganyika, Ghana, Singapore, and others have gone.
Today the remainder of the British Empire, the source of all those silly CBEs, MBEs. OBEs (themselves the rarely merited product of croneyism and favouritism and the cause of so much snobbery and class-divisiveness), is about the size of half of Eastmoor Estate and is still at times the cause of death, violence and destruction.
What sort of record therefore is that? The Plantagenet and Tudor dynasties lost parts of France and that was a major calamity in those days but, hey, hasn’t Elizabeth Windsor really beaten them hands down?
Instead of a royal jubilee, shouldn’t there really be a time of mourning and sadness? A period of regret and nostalgia for the great loss of Empire over which the sun never set, a spectacle unmatched since the days of the Persian King, Darius III, or the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte?
And if any people should think my questions treasonous or irresponsible or offensive, shouldn’t they be asking themselves what century they should be living in?