In her Christmas message, the Queen spoke about poverty – a message that was utterly undermined by the opulence of the surroundings in which she delivered her speech.
Rather than expressing solidarity with those of her subjects who are currently suffering extreme poverty, the monarch of the fifth-richest country in the world – who enjoys enormous personal wealth – seemed to be rubbing their noses in it.
I understand we are supposed to forget our differences this Christmas…….. pic.twitter.com/hj0EGrn4Xn
— Pauline Lane (@Antonineone1) December 25, 2018
She seems to have joined Emmanuel Macron in this ill-advised behaviour, and look how well the French people have responded to his antics – they spent weeks rising up in protest against him.
101 on how not to give a speech to your impoverished citizens on ‘overlooking the differences’. pic.twitter.com/bbqmgXmsbf
— Nicola James 💚 #GTTO (@NAJ562) December 26, 2018
Perhaps the fault lies in poor advice but the Queen didn’t have to accept it.
The fact that she did means she holds ultimate responsibility for the backlash from the public, including tweets like these:
I liked the bit where she was sitting on a gold chair in a gold room with her gold fire guard and gold clock in front of a gold mirror beside the gold piano writing with her gold pen next to the gold picture frame wearing her gold bracelet talking about poverty #QueensSpeech pic.twitter.com/gnKiW9Vz8Q
— 𝕄𝕒𝕣𝕥𝕚𝕟 (@Tech_FTW) December 25, 2018
Nothing says I have more in common with the lower classes like sitting infront of a golden piano in a luxurious palace, funded by the taxpayer, while millions are starving in the freezing streets. #christmas #QueensSpeech pic.twitter.com/g7AELzqak6
— Jack Turner 🌹 (@JacketPotato97) December 25, 2018
The sarcasm makes a perfectly valid point. A person as rich as she is has no grounds on which to lecture the poorest in the country about respecting people whose lives are different or putting aside our differences in the national interest (which is a Tory slogan if ever there was one) – the Mirror‘s Kevin Maguire tweeted, “Privileged wealthy hereditary monarch bunged £76m a year, sitting in front of a golden piano in the palace she’s billing taxpayers £369m to tart up, kills satire by lecturing the nation to pull together.”
Some pointed out that Her Majesty doesn’t practise what she’s preaching:
The queen, who insists Kate & Camilla curtsy to her, says we should treat all people with respect.
— Mr Ethical (@nw_nicholas) December 25, 2018
The brickbats just keep coming. Much criticism concentrated on the golden piano behind the Queen:
The Queen talking about self sacrifice in front of a massive golden piano there pic.twitter.com/pHUQ0zTkeE
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) December 25, 2018
The Erard grand piano was bought by Queen Victoria in 1856. She and Prince Albert installed grand pianos in the private apartments of all their residences, where they would play arrangements of overtures and symphonies and sing together.
The current Queen shows no sign of any such leanings, so one might be justified in asking why she needs to hoard such a valuable item, while taking tax money that could be used on programmes to help those in poverty and using it to make her palace pretty. Is that really the decision of a responsible leader?
And is it any surprise, therefore, that her speech has led to renewed calls for the abolition of the monarchy?
Mark Adkins makes good points on this:
The problem with having #TheQueen as head of state is not just that she is unelected. It is the whole class system she represents that puts ‘breeding’ above all else. This world view helps justify racism, snobbery and the demonisation of the poor. A Republic is long overdue!
— Mark Adkins (@MarkMyWordsJCPM) December 25, 2018
Amazingly, in the face of the astonishing insensitivity displayed in this year’s Christmas message, there are still people who disagree.
But I bet they’ll all laugh at the following response, as much as I did:
— The Agitator (@UKDemockery) December 26, 2018
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