It’s Raining on My Parade
As I was getting breakfast for Ginger and myself, the TV was covering the coronation of King Charles III. The one comment most repeated was that it had been seventy years since the coronation of Elizabeth II. Few viewers in Merrie Olde England or America recall both. Fortunately, I was ten years old on June 2, 1953, living in Pennsauken, NJ, and today I’m eighty, living in Crown Point, IN.
My family spent some time at the shore each summer, which I loved. However, we also spent time down on the farm. That was paradise for me. My cousins, Laura and Ethel Reynolds, had a dairy farm.
What were you doing seventy years ago? I was working at my cousins’ farm. They had a tenant farmer named George, who worked the farm for them along with his two sons, Grover and Brady. Grover was the youngest and was in his late teens. Grover took an interest in a young city kid. He helped me understand a dairy farm. I learned to milk cows, which included carrying the fresh milk to the milk house, which was the front of the barn. Grover showed me how to filter the milk before it went into the cooler. We loaded the large milk cans onto the back of the pickup truck and took them to the creamery.
This is a photo of me opening the wooden gate at the end of the lane that led to the pasture. After milking the cows, I’d run down the lane and open it for the cows to spend the day in the pasture.
After working hard in the morning, Laura and Ethel prepared dinner, which we ate at midday. The adults would talk about things during dinner while I enjoyed the meal. Each summer, that scene was repeated until the summer of 1953. That summer, Laura and Ethel had new glassware for drinking iced tea. My cousins had just received a set of glasses commemorating the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
As the adults discussed the lovely new glasses, I thought I needed to express my disdain for English royalty. I don’t remember what I said, but I do recall that my father took me aside after dinner and reminded me that Laura and Ethel were Quakers, which I knew. Essentially, their forebearers came from England. It was his polite reprimand for my anti-monarchy comment, which I accepted and didn’t diss their backgrounds again.
By the time I had graduated from college, graduate school, and post-graduate school, I had learned about the English monarchy. They didn’t like the Quakers. The official name was Society of Friends, a Protestant denomination that started in England in the 1640s. The English persecuted them due to not being in line with the Church of England. Many Quakers came to America to find religious freedom. In 1682, another Quaker, William Penn, set up Pennsylvania under the Charter of Privileges around 1701. If I didn’t understand my disdain for the English royalty during my early childhood, I acquired a valid disfavor for them as an adult.
Queen Elizabeth II and all previous British monarchs never paid taxes until 1992. Forbes estimated the queen’s net worth at her death at $500 million. However, the Crown Estate was estimated to be $19.5 billion, which “includes official royal palaces and the royal collection of art and other assets, including the official crown jewels.” Additionally, the BBC reported that the government pays the royal family around £86 million annually, precisely $99,888,960.64, to assist their various financial needs.
The British royalty viewed themselves as almost divine. The kings and queens of England, when expressing their opinions on important matters, would say, “We….” referencing themselves and God. That hubris is called the Royal We. The British royalty has a holier-than-thou mindset.
Beyond the Royal We, the royals are the super-privileged class. They are better than the commoners. That is racism. However, that racism also extended to skin-color. Ask Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Meghan felt discriminated against because her mother was black. As a result, Harry and Meghan decided to come to America as the Quakers did.
This map contains the countries that the British Empire once controlled.
This is what the British Empire looks like today.
The coronation of Charles III seems both an archaic and antiquated dream of the distant past. A more poetic expression is from Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Macbeth said,
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Macbeth was correct.
Someone overheard Charles say to Camilla, “It’s raining on my parade.”
I wonder what people from former colonies thought about the coronation of Charles III. They wouldn’t have been former colonies had the Brits not seen themselves as superior to them.