I’ve had two instances now of colleagues sincerely offering ‘condolences’ about the death of the Queen and it isn’t even 8:40 am here yet. OK, fair enough, it’s going to be weird for Australians as well and I don’t want to go off at people, so you get the rant here.
Yes, I’m English and I have an English accent but 1. I’m obviously left-wing 2. I’ve never shown even a remote interest in the royal family 3. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve an Irish-Catholic background (which is also a common thing here in Australia – it’s not a weird idea here that people who aren’t obviously Irish might have family and cultural connections to Ireland but people don’t seem to get that just as there are Irish-Americans and Irish-Australians, there’s a hell of a lot of English people of Irish descent).
Less obviously, I’m from South Lancashire, the most Catholically part of England there is. I grew up with people also of Irish-catholic backgrounds and what Catholics there are in Lancashire who are of English ancestry also have a beef with the British Royal Family dating back to Henry VIII. In primary school, we got a very distorted view of British history informed by the apparently numerous number of “martyrs” to Catholicism that died in the general area — a version of history with its own biases (e.g. we didn’t learn much about the prior persecution of protestants in England under Queen Mary’s reign). Everyone in my family growing up were republicans.
Queen Elizabeth dying is more like “your ancestral enemy is dead” than “your beloved national leader is dead”. Now, yes, I’d like to think I’ve moved on from engaging with history in terms of factional loyalties but if I’m going to have to pick sides it’s not going to be the “beloved monarch” one.