Ordinarily, I would not meddle into the affairs of peoples of other lands, especially faraway lands across the great seas and oceans and mountains, but when they made their business the business of the entire world simply because they control the means of information dissemination and inadvertently controlling what others think, when and how, then they courted my trouble.
I knew this madness has reached the market place when The Nation newspapers, Lagos, in its edition of today, Wednesday 24th July 2013, could not think of a more apt photograph to grace its cover except the photograph of the new born English Prince. What has that got to do with us, while I would not quarrel with such photograph in the gossip section of the Newspaper, having it as the sole photograph on the cover rankles my imagination.
I refused to be sucked into that babymania many across the world got themselves into,to me the drama of the last few days is nothing more than a reality show akin to Big Brother Africa which I don’t watch.
Now that she has three heirs waiting for the same throne, shouldn’t the Queen deem it fit to abdicate? Is she not seeing that Prince Charles is already graying? Is she not aware of what has been happening to her peers in other parts of the world in recent times?
Monarchs who rose to the throne in ‘Stone Age’ are now feeling out of place confronting the challenges of the digital age, and they are giving ways to their heirs, except ofcourse the longest reigning monarch in the world today, Queen Elizabeth, if I am not mistaken.
Born 21 April 1926, she is still the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states and their territories and dependencies, and head of the 54-member Commonwealth of Nations. She is Supreme Governor of the Church of England and carries the title of Defender of the Faith for a Church that has gone full circle in recent times in admitting the inadmittable.
On her accession on 6 February 1952, she became Head of the Commonwealth and Queen Regnant of seven independent Commonwealth countries: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon. Between 1956 to 1992, this number reduced with changes and independence of a number of countries but she is still the Queen of 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.
Having been on the throne for 61 years, hers’ is the second longest for a British monarch; only Queen Victoria, her great-great grandmother, has reigned longer at over 63 years.
Her ascension to the throne is by a stroke of luck due to the abdication of her Uncle Edward VIII because of ‘woman issues’ which presented opportunity for her father to become the King in 1936 as George VI.To whom much is given, much is equally expected. As a great grandmother, should she not have mercy on her son and grandson that they too should have a taste of that which she has enjoyed in over three score years? At least she has celebrated her Silver, Golden, and Diamond Jubilees in 1977, 2002, and very lavishly in 2012, respectively.
Even if that is not enough, she should take a cue from others whose reign was even far shorter than hers, such as King Albert II of Belgium who reigned from August 9, 1993 and abdicated on July 21, 2013 in favor of his son Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant. Or even her good friend Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands who reigned from 30 April 1980 and abdicated in favor of her eldest son Willem-Alexander. Even Prince Charles and Camilla went for that abdication party and had a swell time.
Even from quarters where one thought people would hang on to power, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar abdicated recently, he reigned from 27 June 1995 to 25 June 2013 in favor of his son Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani who 33, almost the age of Queen Elizabeth’s grandson. Conservative Asians have also witnessed their own abdication, in 2006, Jigme Singye Wangchuck, King of Bhutan abdicated; he reigned from 24 July 1972 to December 15, 2006 and left in favor of his eldest son, Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck.
Mama Eliza, please I beg you on behalf of Prince Charles, whom I know will not tell you how he is feeling because he is even looking older than you already.