(Knighting Patrick Stewart)
I saw this article in the news and thought I would comment on it today. The British Empire was replaced by the Commonwealth and although it no longer an Empire some of the orders given still retain the nomenclature of that bygone era. For example the award the Beatles received in 1965, the OBE, is still called the Order of the British Empire. The desire is to change the name to the Order of British Excellence. It seems that the desire or resistance for the change follows ideological lines. More conservative MPs do not want the change while more liberal MPs favor the change. The thing that surprises me is that the article cites the Queens views on the matter.
It seems Her Majesty is against the change and wishes any changes to be made in the reign of her son, Charles. I cannot say that I blame her. She grew up in the waning days of the Empire and her father was the last British monarch to be titled Emperor of India. Since Her Majesty has been through many changes through her 60 years as sovereign leaving this change to the next generation makes sense to me. I do not mind her holding onto this vestige from the past. I do think it does need to be change since Britain is no longer an empire and I think it would be appropriate for this honor to reflect the current reality.
What does surprise me is that Her Majesty’s views are being made public. Since she is well known for keeping her views to her self and being above party politics I have some skepticism about the article. However, the article does allow me to contemplate the changes that will happen once the Prince of Wales becomes King Charles III. I tend not to focus on the next reign because that would require the death of Her Majesty, something I don’t want to contemplate. But Charles, as King, will change things. Charles seems more warm and open than his mother, at least in the public eye, and I wonder if that is somethingn that will continue once he is King? As the recent PBS special Royal Memories displayed, Charles has a very warm side to him that is down to earth and friendly. I think that is a side he continues to show as king.