Aug 15, 2017

Razer: yes, I love the Queen

Of course, a monarchy is ridiculous. But I can't help but love Queen Elizabeth.

Helen Razer — Writer and broadcaster

Helen Razer

Writer and broadcaster

If there is an individual state more maddening than being badly misunderstood, it is to be understood quite well. I felt the pain of insight most recently when Crikey’s correspondent-at-large, Guy Rundle, returned from one of his Europe Goes Fascist tours with a gift: a book containing Cecil Beaton’s glorious portraits of Her Majesty. “How did you know?” I said, elated and embarrassed by the pleasure. “That you would enjoy images of the British monarchy captured by a queer modernist? Because I’ve actually met you.”

It’s true. I am mad for the object of Elizabeth, most particularly as it was offered to us by Beaton from the time before her accession to the day Princess Margaret married that hack Snowdon, who joined the Royal Family with a box brownie and immediately claimed official portrait duties. Snowdon snapped pretty pictures; notably of his wife. But what he did not do was painstakingly tailor an image of a family in tatters to a public ready, following the abdication of Edward VIII, to tear the whole fiction apart.

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7 thoughts on “Razer: yes, I love the Queen

  1. Keith1

    What do you do with ultimate authority and power when no-one can be trusted? Perhaps you give it someone who photographs well and then tell her (has to be a her) she can’t, under any circumstances, use it. It sort of makes sense as long as the photographee is, like, an Eve who will never bite the apple.

  2. Chris Days

    Many years ago in Brisbane I suddenly left my office to go to another building. For some reason I did not go the usual route and came upon a large crowd lining the road. I pushed through to the front and within a minute the Queen was driven past, about 2 meters from me.
    I was so pleased to see her – and most surprised since I had never taken any notice of her – did not even know she was in the country.
    There is something about her that is quite uplifting.

  3. zut alors

    ‘Of course, a monarchy is ridiculous.’

    On the other hand the concept of a certain status transcending money is appealing. Pretty much anything can be bought by the plethora of multi-billionaires these days, including presidency. But the British Crown remains untouchable, above the money market. As does another institution, the Dalai Lama.

  4. Charlie Chaplin

    ” If we cannot uphold cynical affection for a myth of the past as we did in the 20th century, I’m not sure how any utopian hopes for the 21st century can take root.”. Food for thought there, Helen. Thank you.

  5. Graham R

    I seem to recall an article attempting to humanise The Queen around the time of Charles’ birth as gushing that ” she enjoyed watching him being bathed.” What a paragon of motherhood.

  6. AR

    Compared to what political throws up (literally) a constitutional monarchy – like a benevolent dictatorship tempered by assassination – has its attractions.
    Sue “Adrian Mole” Townsend put it well in her “The Queen & I”, about a second Restoration.

  7. MAC TEZ

    I’ve enjoyed the bulk of your writing this year Helen, so too the debates in the comments section your pieces have inspired.
    As for this job application for the Australian Womens Weekly which may well get you a gig there ,err… best of luck with that.

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