The sun never sets on the British Empire

The reign of Queen Elizabeth saw the complete disintegration of the British empire, the mighty Royal Navy reduced to a handful of ships, Scotland on the verge of leaving the United Kingdom and London’s financial center moving to the continent. Only the collapse of the Soviet Union rivals it in great power failure. Yet the monarchy continues in pomp like it still rules half the globe. People fete her like these past seventy years have been a royal triumph. Imagine trying to explain this to Queen Victoria. Two fifths of the world, willingly or very unwillingly, was under her rule. Elizabeth has a fractious Britain, a chunk of Ireland, a smattering of mostly tiny islands about the globe, and Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders who just can’t seem to part with Dear Olde Mum. Glorious indeed. I don’t get it. Must be an English thing.

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