Peter Tatchell: The Queen Has Turned Her Back On The Gay Community
Via The Guardian:
Ever since the public relations blunders at the time of Princess Diana’s death, the Queen has gone to great lengths to be more in touch with the mood of country. She presents the monarchy as modern, compassionate and inclusive; often referring to the value of a diverse multicultural, multifaith society.
On one issue, however, she remains curiously out of step with public opinion. Whereas most of us now welcome and embrace lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, the Queen has never done so.
While I doubt that Elizabeth II is a raging homophobe, she certainly doesn’t appear to gay-friendly. Not once in her 60-year reign has she publicly acknowledged the existence of the LGBT community – or gay members of her own royal family. The Queen has turned her back on queens.
While she has spoken approvingly of the UK’s many races and faiths, for six decades she has ignored LGBT Britons. Judging from her silence, it seems that we are the unspeakable ones – the people she cannot bare to acknowledge or mention in public. Why the double standards?
Regardless of whether these omissions are a reflection of the Queen’s personal views or the result of advice from her courtiers, as monarch she bears ultimate responsibility. Her silence sends a signal of exclusion and disrespect.
Astonishingly, since she became Queen in 1952, the words “gay” and “lesbian” have never publicly passed her lips. There is no record of her ever speaking them. Even when she announced government plans for gay law reform in her Queen’s speeches, she did not use the words lesbian or gay. Apparently, mentioning LGBT people is beneath the dignity of the monarch.
The Queen visits many charities and welfare organisations. But never in 60 years has she visited a gay charity or welfare agency. She has, for example, ignored deserving gay charities like the Albert Kennedy Trustand Stonewall Housing, which support homeless LGBT youth. Although she is a patron of many good causes, none of them are gay or serve the gay community.
Defenders of the monarchy point out that many royal staff are gay men. This is true. So what? Having gay staff wait hand and foot on the Queen is proof of nothing, apart from the fact that she likes well-groomed male servants. It’s the equivalent of rich racists claiming that they can’t be racist because they employ black staff to clean their homes.
Besides, there’s solid evidence of regal prejudice. Gay staff in the royal household used to be banned from bringing their partners to the annual Christmas ball at Buckingham Palace; whereas heterosexual staff were always invited to attend with their partners. This homophobic discrimination was exposed by the LGBT human rights group OutRage! in 1995. It was only after a protest outside the palace and the ensuing bad publicity that the royals dropped the ban.
When there are major tragedies involving the loss of life, the Queen often visits the site and the victims in hospital. This did not happen when neo-Nazi David Copeland bombed the Admiral Duncan gay pub in Soho, London, in 1999, killing three people and wounding 70 others. At the time, it was the worst terrorist outrage in mainland Britain for many years. To most people’s surprise, the Queen did not visit the bombed-out pub or the hospitalised victims.
I wanted to give the Queen a chance to put her side of the story, so I contacted her press office. I asked them whether the Queen has ever uttered in public the words gay or lesbian? Did she use these words in any of her Queen’s speeches when announcing the government’s gay equality laws? Has she ever acknowledged the existence of LGBT people in any public statement? Has the Queen ever visited a gay charity or welfare agency? Is she the patron of any organisation serving the needs of LGBT people?
The Queen’s press office failed to respond. I rest my case. The monarchy is homophobic – if not by conscious intent, then by default.
As head of state, the Queen is supposed to represent and embrace all British people, not just some. How much longer will the LGBT community have to wait for royal recognition and acceptance?
Photo Of The Week: The Duchess Of Cambridge Catherine Middleton & Prince William At A Canada Day Celebration
“My title is a lot older than yours, Philip,”
Implying that her own family was older and more aristocratic than the House of Windsor, this is an alleged reply by the Princess to Prince Phillip’s warning a year previous her infamous divorce to Prince Charles: “If you don’t behave, my girl, we’ll take your title away.” (According to Tina Brown).
On her father’s side, she was a descendant of King Charles II of England through four illegitimate sons:
She was also a descendant of King James II of England through an illegitimate daughter, Henrietta FitzJames, by his mistress Arabella Churchill. On her mother’s side, Diana was Irish and Scottish, as well as a descendant of American heiress Frances Work, her mother’s grandmother and namesake, from whom the considerable Roche fortune was derived.
The Spencers began as untitled farmers but eventually became close to the British Royal Family for centuries, rising in royal favour during the 17th century, though Diana’s branch of the family did not receive its earldom until the late 18th century, when John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer received the title in 1765. Diana’s maternal grandmother, Ruth, Lady Fermoy, was a long-time friend and a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Her father had served as an equerry to King George VI and to Queen Elizabeth II.
Gays’ touch? Well, Sir Elton John and David Furnish attended the ceremony, and the bride’s dress was an Alexander McQueen. PS: The little girl on the left (Grace van Cutsem) stole the show.
Photo Of The Week: Prince William & Catherine, Duchess Of Cambridge
Gays’ touch? Well, Sir Elton John and David Furnish attended the ceremony, and the bride’s dress was an Alexander McQueen.
PS: The little girl on the left (Grace van Cutsem) stole the show.
HM Queen Elizabeth II Turns 85
As the world prepares for the Royal Wedding, a first celebration must be acknowledge: The Queen of England turns 85 years old today.
For those who ignore it, she’s not just the Head of State of the United Kingdom (which includes four countries: England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland) but also is the Constitutional Monarch of sixteen independent sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: Canada (I should know, she’s on the $20 bills), Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica,Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Kitts and Nevis. In addition, as Head of the Commonwealth, she is the figurehead of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations and, as the British monarch, she is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
For many, this symbolic influence is a reason to be worried about, and perhaps not because of Her Majesty directly, but because of what the Britain’s Monarchy System represents (given that it is founded on the principles of the values of Henry VIII). In the United Kingdom, both Royalists and Republicans (and by Republicans, I mean it in the British context and not in the American, these Republicans, they do read other books beside the Bible) I’m sure wish The Queen a longer life as nobody waits with excitement the Coronation of the next in line to the Throne: Prince Charles. Christopher Hitchens explains why:
For Prince William at least it was decided on the day of his birth what he should do: Find a presentable wife, father a male heir (and preferably a male “spare” as well), and keep the show on the road. By yet another exercise of that notorious “magic,” it is now doubly and triply important that he does this simple thing right, because only his supposed charisma can save the country from what monarchists dread and republicans ought to hope for: King Charles III. (Monarchy, you see, is a hereditary disease that can only be cured by fresh outbreaks of itself.) An even longer life for the present queen is generally hoped for: failing that a palace maneuver that skips a generation and saves the British from a man who—like the fruit of the medlar—went rotten before he turned ripe.
So, there’s nothing else we can hope for Her Majesty but: Long live The Queen!
Prince Harry’s Interview By GMA
There’s a BrokeBack Mountain joke at the beginning.
Dan Savage writes:
You are welcome to write to me anytime, princess, and I will respond to your question privately and keep our correspondence in strictest confidence. All I ask in exchange are some nude cell phone pictures of your future brother-in-law.
Your humble servant,
Click here to see what Dan Savage is talking about.
HM The Queen Elizabeth II Sends Save-The-Date FAX For Royal Wedding
The Huffington Post:
Queen Elizabeth II sent out the save-the-dates for Prince William and Kate’s wedding to Europe’s sovereigns…by ye olde facsimile machine, the Daily Mail reports. A Buckingham Palace courtier told the British newspaper, “Faxes have been used before for large-scale events. They are an efficient and polite way to inform people as quickly as possible.”
But it’s not totally the dark ages over in London. Of note: the Royal Engagement was announced on Twitter and the Queen has both Facebook and Flickr pages.
Gold-embossed and handwritten invitations will be sent out to the 1,800 guests next month, according to the Mail, but thanks to the fax, some attendees are already confirmed for the nuptials of the year — like Greece’s King Constantine, his wife Queen Anne-Marie and their eldest son Crown Prince Pavlov, Serbia’s Crown Prince Alexander and his wife Crown Princess Katherine and members of the Romanian monarchy.
Royal Wedding! (Royally Screwed?)
Savage Love reports:
Savage Love reports:
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton—his long-time girlfriend, and the first commoner to marry an heir to the English throne since the 17th Century—last weekend. The engagement ring? The same blue sapphire and diamond ring that William’s father presented to William’s mother, Princess Diana, back in 1981.That ring seems kinda jinxy to me. It’s the Hope Diamond of engagement rings—beautiful, but cursed.But, hey! Royal wedding!
I’d be worry if carrying that ring… but, hey, it’s mom’s ring, so it could work out the other way around, right?