The queen did not create the empire – Eugene Weekly


David Dodson does well to lament the evils of colonialism (Letters, 9/22). It seems like a stretch to blame the late Queen Elizabeth for the abuses of the British Empire, however, since the Empire was dissolved during her reign and she seemed quite happy to relate to the former colonies as independent states.

It is even more exaggerated to blame it for apartheid in South Africa, since the system was the work of Afrikaners of Dutch origin. Those of English descent, such as novelist Alan Paton and Anglican monk Trevor Huddleston, were among the system’s biggest critics.

As for the consanguinity of the royal family, it is true that Elizabeth married her third cousin, a prince of Greece and Denmark, but he served as a junior officer in the British navy, did not function as a member of the family royal, and renounced his foreign titles. Their children and grandchildren married commoners who were not closely related. Diana Spencer, like the late Queen Mother, was the daughter of an Earl, but that is not royalty. Both women were beloved by British audiences, in part because they were British commoners and not foreign royalty, as they might have been.

Lawrence N. Crumb



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