Above: Elizabeth II wearing the Imperial State Crown and hold the Sovereign’s Sceptre and Orb after her coronation day in 1953.
Thirty-five years ago on the Assumption in 1987, while I was yet in the womb, a tragic car accident ended the life of my aunt and cousin. On the feast of the Holy Name of Mary, September 12th, cancer took my other aunt. And on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, September 8th, my grandmother passed away from a degenerative lung disease.
So the Marian feasts of late Summer and early Autumn always bring to my mind and heart the deaths of my family members, hoping for their souls in the hands of Our Lady.
And now I just read the news about Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. One can only hope that Our Lady had something to do with giving her a good death.
Let’s stop and say an Ave and a Requiem Aeternam for her soul.
One remembers the deathbed conversion to Catholicism by King Charles II (r. 1660-1685), which brought about the ascension to the throne of Catholic James II (r. 1685-1688), leading to the so-called “Glorious Revolution” against Catholicism and absolutism, in which John Locke penned the principles which would undergird the American Revolution of 1776.
With the passing of Her Majesty, what is next in God’s Providence? But let us return to this in a moment.
The Monarch and the Monarchy
I must confess that as a lifelong Michigander I have never learned much about Her Majesty’s life. For many years I was lost in America myopia and have only recently – since coming home to the Church – begun to appreciate the ancient structures of nobility and monarchy, though my home State is staunchly republican and equates monarchy with tyranny. One of our contributing editors, Eric Sammons, had this to say:
The loss to the world from the Queen’s passing is incalculable. Even if one does not support the institution of monarchy, we all should realize that figures like Queen Elizabeth are good for the world. She was an example of selfless service for a greater good, of putting duty above personal desires, and of a quiet dignity in the midst of turmoil. These are characteristics that should be exalted in a healthy culture, but are sadly dismissed in our diseased world.
Similar sentiments were already voiced early this year by another of our contributing editors, Charles A. Coulombe, on the occasion of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee:
But what I shall miss most about her when she dies is—well—her. She has been Queen as long as I can remember. Trends have come and gone, regimes risen and fallen, the Church’s hierarchy gone mad, then sane-ish, then mad again—but through it all, she has been there.
In a world that is filled with public figures adolescently obsessed with self, the Queen has been the last adult.
(These two in fact discussed Monarchy recently over at the Crisis podcast:)
In the midst of the political turmoil that has been the revolutionary changes occurring during her long reign, it is undeniable that this institution provides a stability which transcends everything. The Monarchy is the parent of the nation, and the institution of parenthood is embedded in all of us. The institution of Monarchy reflects something of the divine hierarchy of creation itself. Although the Church does not oblige her children to support any particular political system (excluding certain intrinsic evils, like Communism), it is beyond any dispute that Monarchy reflects a truth which cannot be so easily reflected in other institutions of government.
Our Blessed patron of OnePeterFive, Emperor Karl, was obviously a great Monarch. It was in fact the British Crown which helped him when his own politicians turned against him, following the Great War. In contrast to his treatment by the United States and French governments (both anti-Monarchical republican regimes), this was a great act of honour and nobility, especially since these two nations had just been at war. English King George V sent English Catholic Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Lisle Strutt who, in a brilliant maneuvering, saved Emperor Karl and Empress Zita from the clutches of the Austrian Communists and Republicans.
There is something about Monarchy which connects readily to transcendent duty. This is something that Michiganders and others citizens of these United States simply do not see. In merry England, every town and city has the mark of the Catholic Faith which made England a nation – old cathedrals stolen by the Anglicans, beautiful and ornate architecture.
The throne of the Monarchy, as it turns out, was designed by a Catholic. Such beauty immediately lifts the soul to something higher. Something not of this earth:
The Sovereign’s Throne in the Chamber of the House of Lords beneath the painting, The Baptism of King Ethelbert of Kent, which represents the baptism of England herself (designed by a Catholic, Augustus Pugin).
The cities of the States, by contrast, are dominated by concrete, metal and abstract ugliness. We rarely see beauty which connects us with any sort of transcendent duty. The art and architecture of Modernity reflects the triumph of the will not the obligation of Tradition.
The person of the Monarch, whether virtuous or not, stands as a figure of timeless beauty which reflects the authority of God Himself: God is our king before the ages. He has wrought salvation in the midst of the earth (Ps. lxxiii. 12).
What is Next in God’s Providence?
After more than two years of the COVID tyranny, and the Great Reset looming over us with their weapons of mass destruction in Central Bank Digital Currency and psychological manipulation; after Putin invaded Ukraine and China is conducting military engagements to bolster their own economic collapse; now Her Majesty has died.
Of all the Monarchs of the world still living and claiming their titles (if not their sovereignty), was there any Monarch like this one? After Blessed Karl’s violent exile and sacrificial death, are we witnessing in Her Majesty the slow and final death of the last vestiges of Christian civilisation? Vendée Radio had this to say:
Queen Elizabeth II was not the katechon of 2 Thessalonians but I fear that she was (like Benedict XVI) a 'katechonic figure'.
I predict, and fear, there will now be a general sense of unmooring from past ‘certainties’. Things are about to get even more unstable and dramatic.
— Vendée Radio (@VendeeRadio) September 8, 2022
After the death of Her Majesty, we now say Long live the King! for Charles III, who ascends the throne over the United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as the fourteen commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu.
As a Michigander I know nothing of this new Monarch or what sort of man he will be, but I nevertheless give thanks that there remains Monarchy in this Anglophone world, and even in the States the lives of our erstwhile royal family still touch the hearts of hundreds of millions who speak the English tongue from sea to shining sea.
What we know for certain is that the enemies of Christ are awake and alert, and transfers of power and prestige are their opportune moment to do the bidding of the fallen angels. But yet we know that God is our king before the ages, and of His kingdom there will be no end. Therefore we fight with confidence the war against the world, the flesh and the devil.
The death of Her Majesty illustrates the infinite value of a single human soul. Let us, then, sacrifice all for the salvation of one soul, and that will be enough for us.
And let us pray for the return of England and her Monarchy to the Faith.
Our Lady of Walsingham, pray for us!
St. Paul of the Cross, pray for us!
St. John Henry Newman, pray for us!
Timothy Flanders is the editor of OnePeterFive. He is the author of City of God versus City of Man: The Battles of the Church from Antiquity to the Present and Introduction to the Holy Bible for Traditional Catholics. His writings have appeared at OnePeterFive and Crisis, as well as in Catholic Family News. In 2019 he founded The Meaning of Catholic, a lay apostolate dedicated to uniting Catholics against the enemies of Holy Church. He holds a degree in classical languages from Grand Valley State University and has done graduate work with the Catholic University of Ukraine. He lives in Michigan with his wife and five children.