THE QUEEN IS DEAD. LONG LIVE THE KING!
…But what kind of female image is Elizabeth II?
On Thursday, September 8, the news of the death of the Queen of England, Elizabeth II, quickly went around the world, interrupting with an impressive media force the ordinary everyday life of a September afternoon. Immediate reactions due to heads of State or famous people but also the curiosity, sometimes morbid, of ordinary people. After all, the “blue blood” is not for everyone, and in any case, whether we like it or not, Elizabeth II was certainly an important protagonist of the twentieth century. Yet this prosopopoeia celebrating the political and human greatness of the Queen bothers me. I will not go into the merits of geo-political issues but I want to reflect on the image of a woman who, inevitably, Elisabetta represented (even if… twentieth-century England was still an active part of colonialism, with all the violent and racist implications that this “wonderful” page of history brought with it … or not? But in this phase of adoration to say it is sin of lese majesty!).
It may be because I am a teacher by trade but I am firmly convinced that a public image has strong suggestive power and therefore is a source of responsibility for those who represent it but also for those who propose it as a model. But what image was this woman and why should I, a poor common mortal (with wonderfully only red blood) celebrate her greatness or uncritically accept that others do it?
Of course being the Queen of England is not easy but in interpreting her role, re-proposing anachronistic and rigid inherited models, the Queen has completely canceled the woman. By subordinating the affections to the “protocols” she imposed on all his family members the obligation of a life “for the form”, thus depriving them of the possibility of realizing themselves according to their own needs. Just think of the triad Carlo/ Diana/Camilla that has made the history of gossip for twenty years but that, on closer inspection, is terribly tragic, because it is the story of castration of affections, of an impossibility for its unfortunate protagonists to choose how to live and who to love, they had not lived in the Middle Ages!
I have then reminded of the beautiful smile of Lady Diana … the famous “princess of the people”. She can be considered an icon, in my opinion, because after all, with all her fragility, she tried to propose a modern image of princess and woman. She fought to protect her affections and above all she claimed the right to be, live and love, despite the role. Did she do it right? Badly? It doesn’t matter, she did…. And she also allowed herself the luxury of falling in love with Dodi… a Muslim… heart attack stuff in the royal rooms!
Oh yes, I know that on the first days of school I will also end up talking with my students about Queen Elizabeth II … but I will try to tell him another story …