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Affection for British monarchy is misplaced | READER COMMENTARY

King Charles III and members of the Royal family join the procession of Queen Elizabeth's coffin from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral, in Edinburgh, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. (Andrew Milligan/Pool Photo via AP)

Much of the coverage of Queen Elizabeth II’s life since her passing assumes the legitimacy of the monarchy itself and ignores the fact that — without a single vote from the British people — Elizabeth had the power to influence the destiny of the world (”Queen Elizabeth’s coffin leaves Balmoral Castle for London,” Sept. 11).

In the late 18th century, a colony of the British Empire fought a war to challenge the notion that monarchs have a God-given right to govern. Going forward from that war, the people of the United States established a republic, believing that it is the natural right of a people to govern themselves. One hundred and seventy-nine years later, I was born a citizen of that republic and having since learned what a monarchy is, I do not celebrate the lives of monarchs.

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My great-grandfather came from what was essentially a developing country in Europe. The empire that at that time ruled a quarter of the globe allowed the population of his country to starve, while the corn that could have fed them went to waste. Like their American counterparts, the Irish people believed they had a natural right to govern themselves. They, too, fought and won a war of independence against the British Empire, and like their American counterparts, established a republic.

Monarchies are not the stuff of fairy tales or fairy tale queens. A queen is not some Jungian Great Mother charged with protecting her international flock. The wealth of an empire is not amassed by protecting anyone but by seizing someone else’s country, skimming off its wealth and oppressing its people.

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Rather than honoring a woman whose life’s work was to sustain an empire and the House of Windsor, we might celebrate the lives of developing women who have sustained their families and their family names in spite of that empire and others like it.

— Maureen Martindale, Towson

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