This week, much of the world has joined with Great Britain to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. In addition to the parades, concerts and other festivities, many celebrities have sent the Queen their messages of support, including former First Lady Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama posted a message of congratulations to the Queen on 70 years on the throne, writing:
“Congratulations to Her Majesty The Queen on a remarkable 70 years! From welcoming a nervous First Lady to Buckingham Palace to the extraordinary warmth she extended to our entire family, I feel deeply honored to have spent time with Her Majesty over the years.”
But what seemed like simple well wishes received a mixed reaction online. Some tweeted their support of Mrs. Obama’s message, including @miksic_gmai who wrote, “Talk about dignity and grace. Michelle you too are a shining example for us all.” Others, however, were less enthusiastic, including @antedelopean, who replied, “We fought a war a couple of hundred years ago so that we wouldn’t have to give a sh*t about this stuff.”
It’s true that the Queen has spent most of her life in service to her country, including serving in World War II as a mechanic and military truck driver. But it is also true that throughout history, England has forced its language, culture, and religion on most of the world to increase its own power and people are finally letting their feelings of loathing be heard loud and clear.
Prince William and his wife Kate got an earful while on a tour of the Caribbean in March. During a meeting, Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness expressed his country’s plan to cut ties with the British monarchy.
“There are issues here, which as you know, are unresolved, but your presence gives us an opportunity for those issues to be placed in context, to be out front and center, and to be addressed as best we can. But Jamaica is, as you would see, a country that is proud of its history and very proud of what we have achieved. And we’re moving on, and we intend to… fulfill our true ambitions and destiny to become an independent, developed and prosperous country,” he said.
The issue of race and the royal family came front and center after the Queen’s grandson, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021. During the two hour conversation, the couple spoke candidly about concerns from within the family about how dark their son Archie’s skin would be, the lack of support the couple felt from the institution and the negative impact it had on Meghan’s mental health.