A friend of mine just visited Amersterdam and saw Anne Frank's house. He mentioned that while hiding in a secret section of her father's office building in Nazi-occupied Holland, the Jewish teenager pasted pictures of American celebrities and a young Queen Elizabeth on the walls of her room to cheer herself up. The photos are of Elizabeth as a princess, when she was a bit younger than Frank (Frank was 15 when she died in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp). Frank also posted photographs of the Dutch royal family, some of whom were then exiled in Canada, Greta Garbo, and the Lane sisters. These mementoes in the shuttered room shows that Princess Elizabeth, like Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, symbolized resistance, hope and freedom at the western world's watershed moment.
Caption for the above photo: In this hand out image made available Friday Aug. 29, 2008, Anne Frank's room is seen, in The Secret Annex at the Anne Frank House museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Spokeswoman Annemarie Bekker says it has restored 52 photographs of celebrities that the Jewish teenager pasted on the wall of her room to cheer herself up while in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. The museum says the fading photographs and wallpaper will now be safe for at least several decades without further intervention. Bekker said that the photos, have been placed behind climate-controlled glass. The photos were removed in October 2007 for the restoration, and facsimiles hung in their place until last month. (AP Photo/ Anne Frank house Museum, HO)
Anne Frank's photos of Princess Elizabeth. Image Sources: AP via USA Today.
As the memories of World War II fade from living memory, Elizabeth's reputation has changed. For a woman of power and someone constantly in the public eye, she has remarkably little control over how she is perceived. The run up to 2012's Diamond Jubilee, the 60th year of her reign, saw republican protests in London (below).
British republicans outside Buckingham Palace protesting the invitation of Crown Prince of Bahrain to Jubilee events (May 2012). Image Source: BBC.
Once one of the figures synonymous with freedom and resistance against tyranny, Elizabeth has become associated with tyranny in the wilds of the Millennial Internet. This is especially true on the Web in the United States, where local history often equates monarchy with oppression.
After all the time that has passed since the American Revolution, it is odd that American history and American schools - let alone Hollywood - have not revisited this question, firstly because there was a Civil War in early modern England (which Marxist historians labeled the 'English Revolution'), in which King Charles I was executed in 1649; and over the course of the 17th century, the English - long before the Americans or the French - famously and intensively hashed out the question of republican versus monarchical powers bounded by democracy. After England became a republic from 1649 to 1658, the country restored monarchy. Elizabeth is one of the best representatives of the tradition that followed (see my posts on that tradition here, here, here and here). It is all the more strange, therefore, that Queen should have named her first son and heir Charles.
Secondly, the United States retained the Common Law and the understanding of commonwealth, on which British monarchy is founded (although there are different kinds of commonwealths). Commonwealth provides for hierarchy in society, based not on undue exercise of power from above, but on mutual responsibilities and duties up and down the social order. America has also arguably taken that system and merely replaced the monarchy and nobility in real and symbolic terms with the President and the country's political, business and celebrity classes. Commonwealth is the cultural historical reason for the compulsion American celebrities feel to become involved in charitable causes, once they are established public figures.
Elizabeth's reign began with scandal (1953-1955): her glamorous younger sister, Princess Margaret, chose not to give up her royal title to marry a divorced man, Peter Townsend; Margaret reportedly suffered life-long personal unhappiness as a result. In 2004, it was revealed that the scandal originated more from the British government, Commonwealth leaders, clerics and the establishment media, than from Elizabeth's personal disapproval. The Queen and Margaret were misinformed by the government about the constitutional consequences of Margaret's marriage to a divorced man, largely because the affair too closely echoed the earlier scandal that had brought Elizabeth's father to the throne in the first place. Image Source: The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor.
Divers investigate IRA bombing of Mountbatten's boat, Shadow V, following his assassination in County Sligo, Ireland. Image (1979) © Victor Patterson.
An iconic photo of Diana without Charles at the Taj Mahal (1992). This was one of the events which painted a picture of a loveless, anti-familial monarchy and turned people against the Queen after Diana's death in 1997. Image Source: Iconic Photos.
Be that as it may, Queen Elizabeth, celebrates her Jubilee today, which is a triumph, considering monarchy reached a nadir in the 20th century and the British Empire finally collapsed as Elizabeth ascended to the throne on 6 February 1952. Her coronation took place on 2 June 1953. She has managed in that climate to establish a fairly smooth and successful reign, barring her sister's romantic life; the assassination of Mountbatten in Ireland; and serious problems in the 1980s and 1990s arising from the estrangement of Princess Diana and the ever-troubled, yet-still-surviving Duchess of York.
In the 2006 movie, The Queen, Diana's death is associated symbolically with the Queen's encounter with a stag which is later hunted down. In fact, the Queen surrounded by mounted stag's heads becomes that film's cinematic metaphor for a long legacy of such sacrifices. The film delicately repaired the image of Elizabeth's role in the monarchy's late 1990s' mess.
The long process of imperial collapse, constitutional evolution, and the Irish Question aside, most of the Queen's royal problems reflected social and cultural change after the Second World War. The royal story from 1936 to 2011 revealed a massive change in religious and moral views of family and divorce. Similarly, Elizabeth's reign has also been rocked by shifts in the boundaries between public and private lives. By 1992, these troubles had become a baptism by fire for Elizabeth and the rest of her family, as the increasingly modernized and democratized monarchy became a vehicle for celebrity in the modern and Postmodern media.
The sufferings of the Queen's daughters-in-law arguably paved the way for the extremely popular wedding of Prince William to a middle class girl (see my posts on William and Kate, here and here). The Queen, therefore, is a pivotal figure between the Victorian past, a neo-Victorian revival from the lavish excesses of the 1980s to the Post-Postmodern Web communities of the 2010s.
Elizabeth is the second-longest currently living reigning monarch, after King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand. She also enters the ranks of the world's longest-reigning monarchs, although she is twenty years away from approaching the top of that list. On 10 September 2015, she would surpass Queen Victoria as the longest reigning British monarch. On 6 February 2022, she would celebrate 70 years on the throne, a Platinum Jubilee. On 26 May 2024, "she would [at the age of 98] surpass Louis XIV of France as the longest-reigning monarch in European history."
Young Queen Elizabeth with Corgi. Image Source: Lisa Hildebrant.
While the royal family has shown some Internet savvy recently, they face another uphill climb and more gigantic social changes. The Internet's response to Elizabeth over the past ten years ranges from Photoshop joshing, usually involving corgis (as above), to crazy conspiracy theories. Queen Elizabeth takes her place in the mythology of 2012 apocalypses. Her Jubilee in 2012 supposedly reveals her membership of the secret Illuminati plot to bring in a New World Order. These online rumours point to the body of a poor murdered 17-year-old girl on Balmoral Estate, discovered this year, as a ritual sacrifice. Incredibly, Elizabeth is judged by 2012 conspiracy chatterers to be a half-human, one of humanity's leaders partly descended from jinn, reptiles or ancient aliens. This wild belief reveals extraordinary fringe suspicion of power by descent, and a popular Millennial fear of conventional authorities in general. That fear is fueled by the tech-driven Communications Revolution.
Below, a pyramid of today's times, proving that people will rationalize and believe anything - and when I say anything, I mean, anything. At the bottom are the "un-thinking, hard-working, law-abiding, tax-paying, god-fearing death slaves." In online conspiracy communities, the more insane the contention is, the more likely it will be taken as the barometer of sanity against what is evidently sane.
Monarch Illuminati. Image Source: Philosopher's Stone.
One Diamond Jubilee official photo, above, has been interpreted on the Web in terms of Illuminati-driven messages and symbols. The conspiracy theorist at Just Wondering stresses the temporal power imbalance embodied in worldly monarchy expressed in this photograph. But the writer, 'Zen Gardner,' is further fascinated by some typical Millennial tropes, namely, the Doppelgänger and the split between real and virtual realities; the writer also betrays the common concern for apocalypses and end-of-the-world upheavals; these are Millennial cryptics for power shifts and governmental and political evolution, which are intuitively anticipated because of the huge impact of the Internet:
Incidentally, Zen, 'V' stands for 'five,' not 'six.' Zen Gardner goes on to consider the 2012 Olympics to be another sign of Illuminati plots."Man this is freaky. This is Queen Elizabeth’s official Diamond Jubilee photograph, believe it or not. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I stumbled upon it.
Talk about implying the interdimensional while staring at humanity with complete disdain. This is just disgusting. You sure know who she reports to as well. The Knights Templars’ cross insignia is on her chest (reflected, so twice) and is the dominant image on her crown.
Notice anything else? What does the reflected garter-type ribbon form? A giant V which stands for the number six and has many other inferences, from alien control to freemasonry.
Just the overall portrayal of abject opulence and the arrogance of presumptuous power is enough to make you sick, but flaunting your occult control takes it to the next level, just where they like to communicate.
But let’s talk about that mirror image.
The Perfect Double
To be honest, that’s a pretty amazing shot. I still don’t see how you can get a total double image with a perfect profile in the mirror while shooting from apparently head on but I guess they can do that. But it’s so lucid you don’t know if you’re looking at the reflection or the original in the foreground. It plays with your head. ...
The occult implications of this 'Jubilee' photo are many. Mirrors have been used for divination, psychic power and to peer into other dimensions. They played a major part in ancient lore but only get slight attention in fantasy films or tales of fiction today, and are often associated with evil. They are also a prominent symbol for mind control where they symbolize the alters created in subjects that are manipulated by their handlers.
One other thing.
A common belief amongst many cultures is that dreaming of or seeing one’s reflection was also considered an omen of death. Is that why she’s not so happy, she’s picking up on it? Or is she being set up and this is another Illuminati ceremonial portrayal at work letting their minions know what the plan is?
After all, if Prince William is gonna make his move to stardom starting this year, as many predict, something’s gotta give in the chain of command.
The weird connections continue. You knew we’d get to the shapeshifting element and this will walk us right into it:
A doppelganger is the ghostly or in some cases, a physical double of a living person. The term has, in the vernacular, come to refer to any double or look-alike of a person, most commonly in reference to a so-called evil twin, or to bilocation. Alternatively, the word is used to describe a phenomenon where you catch your own image out of the corner of your eye. In some traditions, seeing one’s own doppelganger is an omen of death. A doppelganger seen by friends or relatives of a person may sometimes bring bad luck, or indicate an approaching illness or health problem.
The doppelgangers of folklore cast no shadow, and have no reflection in a mirror or in water. They are supposed to provide advice to the person they shadow, but this advice can be misleading or malicious. They can also, in rare instances, plant ideas in their victim’s mind or appear before friends and relatives, causing confusion. In many cases once someone has viewed his own doppelganger he is doomed to be haunted by images of his ghostly counter-part. Other folklore says that when a person’s doppleganger is seen, the person him/herself will die shortly. It is considered unlucky to try to communicate with such a doppleganger."
I think it is safe to say in her journey from World War II - when she bravely and selflessly drove an ambulance during the London Blitz and worked as an auto mechanic - to the present day, Elizabeth could never have foreseen becoming the subject of this level of apocalyptic gossip. In a way, these rumours are beyond malicious because they are so unhinged, yet bizarrely rationalized for the populist altruist. These comments do not reflect anything about Elizabeth. Her private relations, connections, feelings and thoughts remain an enigma, for to bear power is to be alone. But what is said about her on this Jubilee tell us a lot about how the world around her is changing.