The Queen is Dead, Long Live the Prime Minister?

JANE BARLOW//GETTY IMAGES

I’m all for rousing conversations about the impact of colonialism and the role of the monarchy. BUT … let’s not get into such a tussle over the monarchy that we forget the real change in power that also took place in Britain this week – the new Prime Minister.

Whether you mourn, celebrate, or don’t care about the death of Queen Elizabeth II, you should be very concerned about the rise to power of Margaret Thatcher II aka Liz Truss.

If she destroys the British economy that will hurt working people throughout Europe and here in the US. If she goes bonkers over Northern Ireland, keeps refusing to say England is an ally to France, doubles down on Brexit policies, botches anything further with regard to Ukraine, or so forth – this will matter.

If King Charles does almost anything a prototypical monarch would do, it won’t matter. If King Charles gets his hands dirty in politics by pushing for environmental policies and shows that the monarchy can evolve even while the Conservative Party is stuck in the 80s … that would be interesting.

Yes, the jewels and assets should be returned. Yes, yes, yes. We are a silly lot for being so enchanted with a monarchy our ancestors died to escape. In my case, I was sad and when I gave it some thought, I realized I was sad because this is like the last bit of the 20th century falling into the abyss and 30 of my 51 years were in that century. It is a significant shift, not just a transition in power. It matters to me.

But pay attention to the Prime Minister.

Further readings Who is Liz Truss, the U.K.’s new prime minister?

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