“Elizabeth II is elusive and that’s exactly what the British want”, an exclusive journalist decrypts

“Elizabeth II’s genius is that she never said anything and we don’t know what she’s thinking”, explained on Monday, May 30, journalist, Franceinfo Marc Roche, author of the book “Les Borgia Buckingham” published by Albin Michel. The British will celebrate 70 years of their queen from June 2 to 5. “immutable” and is still popular.

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“This is truly incomparable. This is an extraordinary event”He gives assurance. “He is great. He is the last great character of our times and at the same time, he is completely absent”he points out.

Franceinfo: What French event can the Queen’s birth anniversary be compared to?

Mark Roche: It is incomparable. The only great French event we can compare to is the Great Parade, the great celebration of the Napoleonic-era revolution, which also inspired the birth anniversary of King George III in 1809. Otherwise it’s really incomparable. This is an extraordinary event.

What is the relation of the British with their queen today?

Most of them only knew him. It is also a symbol of duty. She sacrificed everything, especially her family life, in charge of her personal life, because she was unwilling to rule when she ascended the throne. She was 25 years old and today she is a symbol of the unity of the country, while there are centrifugal forces that are multiplying in the noble family across the sea, in Scotland, in Northern Ireland, but also in the Commonwealth.

It marks the fixed point in the upheaval. We saw it during crises and Brexit and pandemic where it boosted the morale of the population. It has no power and yet it plays an important role in the national life.

Is he more popular than the rest of the British royal family?

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far more popular. The latest survey gives them 90% approval. It is followed by Prince William, not Prince Charles, with 65%. Prince Charles is still at 50%. Many politicians, including Boris Johnson, would love to have that popularity rating. You should know that today’s three prominent figures, staunchest of royalty, are all very popular. As for the institution of monarchy, it is not disputed and the republican movement is extremely minority and confined to a few intellectual elites.

How to summarize the reign of Elizabeth II in one word?

irreversible. Elizabeth II’s genius is that she never said anything. And so, we don’t know what she’s thinking. She is above bias and so this is a big factor in reconciliation, precisely because no one is able to understand what she is thinking. She is elusive. That’s exactly what the British want.

And yet everyone is talking about him…

He is legendary. It is the last great character of our time and at the same time it is completely absent. I met him many times. In 30 years of England, he always asked me the same questions. “How long have you been here, Mr. Roche. Do you like being there? Doesn’t the weather bother you that much?” I could not understand the slightest political thought.

“The only time he said to me was ‘Mr Roche, I hope the French vote well’. I was in the newspaper ‘Le Monde’ at the time and we made the front page. ‘The Queen chooses. Jacques Chirac ‘.”

Are the British worried about his health?

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He has mobility issues. But we are not in the regency of the state. Because although most of the representative duties have been transferred to Charles and William, regency is expected only if she loses her mind. We are far from there. He is very cautious. Despite back problems, he has kept two privileges, namely an audience with the prime minister every week, when no one else is around, and signing all official documents.

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