Monday, May 14, 2007

The Queen Has a Terrible Job

I commend Stephen Frears' excellent film, "The Queen." Helen Mirren won a well-deserved Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth trying to cope with reality when ex-Princess Diana died. I have never favored monarchy, and few monarchs grow on me up close. Still, I have to feel for Elizabeth Windsor (or whatever of her many last names she might pick) who was supposed to be a minor royal, when all of a sudden she was stuck as a young woman with being princess, then queen. She has been truly dutiful for decades, stuck in an endless round of official tasks, few of which are intrinsically important. And the difficult kids. And the ungrateful press. And snippy foreigners who don't like monarchy anyway.

At one point in the film, Elizabeth's husband, Prince Philip, says that Diana should have done her duty as a royal wife and overlooked Charles' inevitable mistress. The Queen gives her husband a small pained look. That is another ugly requirement of the job.

Queen Elizabeth has a terrible job.

3 comments:

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D-rew said...

I'd say the queen's job is simply much more a roller coaster than most. Very high highs (she does get to do some pretty neat stuff) and pretty low lows (as noted). I'd aim for lesser royal personally, most of the benefits with little responsibility.

Gruntled said...

Even the lesser royals are in a position not designed to produce good character. I think it is very beneficial that they have a tradition of military service. What they do after that is hard to structure well.