Gold-piano owner Queen Elizabeth just can’t help it – she’s getting more political in her old age. The first signs were perhaps her subtleties about the Scottish independence referendum back in 2016, which she seemed to indicate (in her own way) that she hoped Scotland would not vote for independence. Then came the Brexit vote just a month or two later. In the lead up to that vote, there was widespread speculation that the Queen was pre-Brexit, because she wanted Britain to focus more on commonwealth alliances rather than European alliances. She really did leave the impression pre-vote that she was pro-Brexit or, at most, utterly ambivalent about the European Union. Then the Brexit vote happened and everything blew up rather spectacularly. The Queen was dispatched to calm nerves in Scotland, and Buckingham Palace arranged with Prince William and Kate to travel to some European countries and act as some kind of “Brexit ambassadors,” shoring up alliances. It’s been two and a half years since the vote. And the Queen has some sh-t to say.
Is Queen Elizabeth weighing in on Brexit? The monarch, 92, spoke out on Thursday about “considering the needs of others” and “coming together to seek out the common ground” in a speech that is being seen as a veiled reference to the Brexit debate.
U.K. citizens voted narrowly in June 2016 to leave the European Union. The exit date is now set for March 29, but efforts to come up with a plan governing the U.K.’s future relationship with Europe have resulted in tension and divisions among the country’s political parties.
Members of the royal family — especially the monarch — typically steer clear of political discussions to remain politically neutral. And while the Queen didn’t mention “Brexit” directly in her speech, her comments during her annual visit to the Women’s Institute in Sandringham on Thursday are being interpreted as a plea to put an end the the Brexit debates.
“Reflecting on a century of change, it is clear that the qualities of the [Women’s Institute] endure. The continued emphasis on patience, friendship, a strong community-focus, and considering the needs of others, are as important today as they were when the group was founded all those years ago,” she said. “Of course, every generation faces fresh challenges and opportunities. As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture,” she continued. “To me, these approaches are timeless, and I commend them to everyone.
This… is not the “political” rhetoric I was expecting from the way people were freaking out about it. I thought Her Maj waltzed into the Women’s Institute in another EU-flag-inspired hat and demanded a mulligan on the vote. No – she’s being extremely vague and we’re living in a sad time when someone who owns a gold piano can’t give a speech about being nice to people without everybody screaming about how she’s super-political now.
For what it’s worth, royal reporter Richard Palmer says that the Queen’s speech was written by herself and her people, and it wasn’t at the direction of Downing Street at all.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.