Queen Elizabeth II, the not-quite-just-a-figurehead monarch of Great Britain, has just become her country’s longest reigning potentate.
“She passes Queen Victoria, her great-great-grandmother,” the AP reports, “who was on the throne for 63 years and 7 months.”
This should mean almost nothing to Americans. A curiosity at best, alongside other eccentric British institutions, like cricket and pub cuisine. Americans fought and won against King George III, and we don’t have kings any longer. Or queens.
Britain’s prime minister dutifully predicted that “millions” of Britons would celebrate the “historic moment.” One of the most irreverent (and unpopular) things I ever wrote pertained to Her Alleged Majesty, and the weird, atavistic yearnings still focusing on celebrity sovereigns.
We have enough problems with non-sovereign celebrities in America — as well as with way-too-long-serving politicians.
I’m for term limits. I approve of them on our presidents (thank you, 22nd Amendment), work to place them on our legislators, state and congressional, and have suggested placing term limits on U.S. Supreme Court justices, too.
If we still had an old-fashioned monarch — as Alexander Hamilton wanted — then I would be for term limits on monarchs as well. I wouldn’t know how to implement them — it’s not exactly a live issue for me — but perhaps L. Sprague de Camp’s imagined five-year reign, leading to a beheading, could be considered.
Meanwhile, back in American reality, we have a lot of work to do. At least we aren’t saddled with a musty old . . . monarch-y.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.