Andrew Morton: Queen Elizabeth’s reign is ‘effectively over’ because of the pandemic

State Opening of Parliament

While palace staffers are still playing it by ear for scheduling this fall and winter, it’s widely believed that Queen Elizabeth probably won’t have any public events for the rest of the year (beyond this weekend’s Trooping mess). She’ll still be in lockdown in Windsor Castle, posing for odd Photoshopped pics and riding her horses. I don’t begrudge her or any senior citizen their cautious approach to their own health and safety – I really do think it’s better for the Queen to stay in some state of lockdown until Christmas and beyond, because no one knows when all of this is going to “end.” But even though it’s the right thing to do, it’s also leaving a PR vacuum. Much like Donald Trump hiding in his baby bunker, the Queen f–king off to her castle for the foreseeable future is bad optics for the monarchy. Which leads me to these comments by Andrew Morton:

The Queen’s reign is ‘effectively over’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the virus ‘practically putting Charles on the throne’, a royal biographer has claimed. Andrew Morton, author of Diana, Her True Story, which exposed the failed marriage of Charles and the Princess of Wales in 1992, said coronavirus has ‘done more damage to the monarchy than Oliver Cromwell’.

It comes after it was reported Her Majesty, 94, may remain in self-isolation ‘for months’ and never return to regular frontline royal duties as the government continues to ease the coronavirus lockdown over the coming weeks. The Queen has put all her public engagements on hold while she resides with her husband Prince Philip at Windsor Castle.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Morton claimed: ‘It’s terribly sad but I can’t see how the Queen can resume her job. The COVID-19 virus isn’t going away soon and will be with us for months if not years.’ He added that it would be ‘far too risky for the Queen to start meeting people on a regular basis. She has always loved getting out and meeting people but she can’t take the risk. The brutal truth is that her reign is effectively over. COVID-19 has done more damage to the monarchy than Oliver Cromwell. Corona has practically put Charles on the throne.’

Royal biographer Morton, 66, previously told The Sun he fears the Queen, whose schedule is not expected to resume until the autumn, may never be able to return to her regular duties and will most likely be seen on TV or video links rather than in public. Last month a spokeswoman for Buckingham Palace said the monarch continues to be ‘busy’, conducting a weekly audience with the Prime Minister by phone and receiving her daily red boxes of Government papers.

[From The Daily Mail]

I mean, what is the bigger danger for the Queen or the Crown? The idea that Liz wouldn’t be able to do any public events for a full year, or the idea that people might start to wonder why they have a f–king monarchy in the first place? That’s the thing, and that’s where Liz’s best interests don’t align with the Crown’s best interests. She needs to do what she needs to do to stay safe and healthy. But the Crown needs a monarch to lead them through some difficult moments or else the Crown will face even further irrelevancy. I’m not saying the de facto Charles Regency is the thing which would save the Crown, but Morton isn’t wrong here.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (C), followed by Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (L), Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (2L), Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales (centre R), Britain's Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (2R) and Meghan, Duch

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Reunite With Prince William and Kate Middleton for Final Royal Engagement

Photos courtesy of WENN, Buckingham Palace, Avalon Red.

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58 Responses to “Andrew Morton: Queen Elizabeth’s reign is ‘effectively over’ because of the pandemic”

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  1. Gina says:

    Isn’t Charles kind of old too? Shouldn’t they be worried about his health? He’s over 65.

    • Becks1 says:

      He’s 71, but he had COVID 19 earlier this year, and I think the current theory is you cant get it twice.

      • Ang says:

        This is untrue. You can get it more than once.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Ang – thanks, I wasn’t aware if that had been confirmed one way or the other (that you couldn’t get it a second time.)

      • Storminsteacup says:

        You can get it again in the form of a relapse. I’ve been told like pneumonia once you’ve had it it’s in your system and can return if you get run down or your immune system gets compromised. You cannot ‘catch it’ again from someone else.

      • Kkat says:

        You can also get a different strain than the one you had. There are two main confirmed strains L and S and a possible 3rd strain.

    • Maria says:

      He’s already had the virus, but as he is doing a lot more than his mother, she should just abdicate for the sake of the monarchy. What’s left of it anyway.

      • Ainsley7 says:

        She’s had him taking over more and he ousted her people in favor of his own awhile ago. I don’t think she’s as with it as her PR would like us to believe. The trouble is that, Charles’ people are clearly not up to par. It’s been one mess after another since they took over. So, the Queen stepping down may not help very much in terms of saving the monarchy’s image.

    • Seán says:

      Actually it has neither been proven as true or false. A quick Google will show you that scientists are still unable to confirm whether contracting COVID-19 and fully recovering brings immunity or not.

    • Jaded says:

      Being over 65 isn’t a poor health or death sentence, I’m 67 and healthy as a horse.

      • Betsy says:

        I think people are speaking specifically to the complications and death rates from covid for people over a certain age.

    • Tessa says:

      I hope it takes a while for William to be King. Cannot stand him.

      • Dee says:

        Maybe this nonsense will be dismantled before William ever becomes king. There are plenty of celebs to cut ribbons and watch parades.

      • MarineTheMachine says:

        I too hope the monarchy is dismantled before Willy The Buffoon ever seats on the throne!

  2. OriginalLala says:

    It’s not just the *optics* are that bad, it’s that is *is* bad.

    It’s a pandemic and while people are out of work, dying of the virus, struggling to survive and protesting systemic racism in her country, she retreats to her literal castle, keeps silent on life-or-death matters, and throws herself a hugely wasteful birthday event.
    She is so out of touch it’s a disgrace.

  3. Becks1 says:

    I do think this pandemic, combined with Sussexit and Andrew, is a big problem for the monarchy. People realize that the monarch doesn’t actually “do” anything, that the royals all escaped to their country mansions or palaces very quickly and then stayed there, that one of the most popular royals was bullied out of the family, and that that same family shielded a sex offender.

    If I was a Brit I would definitely be wondering what the point of the royal family was at this moment.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      Liz, Charles and Will escaping to their country estates during a pandemic is pretty much akin to the court of Charles II escaping to Oxford during the plague of 1665, which was really hard on London. Though in Charles II’s defence, the plague was a lot more virulent and hygiene standards were low + people lived very closely at court.

    • minx says:

      This notion that they do charitable and ribbon-cutting “work” and in exchange get to live a pampered lifestyle is ridiculous.

  4. BonnieT says:

    I would never say we ‘needed’ this pandemic (frontline worker here as a registered nurse and have seen firsthand the devastation to individual health and families, as well as the struggle it has put on mental health, the economy and education). But a lot of old world ‘institutions’ and systems have been exposed for what they truly are- useless at best for some, dangerous and antiquated for others. At one point, a monarchy needed to be established to protect and defend a country’s interests but what place does it have in the 21st century? I say let it die with Liz’s reign.

    • BonnieT says:

      Also because I have no actual idea and would love to know- does anyone have an idea on what it would take to abolish a monarchy? Especially one as powerful as the British monarchy.

      • Nana says:

        @Bonnie, if it were to happen in an orderly way, and not via a bloody uprising or revolution…. Then as I understand it, it would definitely not be straight forward – like a series of major steps, probably starting with a referendum. And after what just happened with the Brexit referendum and campaign, it would need to be managed much much better so that it wasn’t as divisive.
        The monarch is the head of state, as well as the head of the Commonwealth and the Church of England – and probably other institutions as well, so that’d have to be dealt with. I’m not sure where that would leave the aristocracy either and whether that would be abolished, along with all titles (and then another question would be, what would happen to the parliamentary structure, ie: the house of Lords)?
        And finally I imagine there’d have to be legislative changes and the abolition would have to be debated in parliament…
        Yep – from the outside, hard to see it happening in William’s lifetime atleast – maybe a Brit can comment.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        So far, there’s been no European monarchy that has been abolished peacefully – and the British monarchy in particular would be quite difficult to abolish because Britain doesn’t have a written constitution + the RF’s property is also tangled up with the State and then there’s the Commonwealth and the Church of England.

        That is IMO the strongest reason why the British monarchy won’t be abolished democratically unless there is a vehement and overwhelming public demand for it. It would be a lengthy, expensive and divisive process (because the royals would fight it tooth and nail) and I don’t think that the political establishment is interested in doing this work, especially when dealing with the effects of the pandemic and Brexit are going to be more pressing.

        In my country, Denmark, it would probably be much easier since we have a written constitution and a very firm separation between the RF’s private property and the public property that they have use of.

        The British monarchy survives on the apathy of the public and the byzantine relations between Monarchy and State as well as the inbuilt inertia of an institution that is a 1000 years old.

      • Dee says:

        If you slowly reduced the funding, the perks and the free residences, this would sort itself out. Members of the royal family would eventually find their own employment and you’d soon be down to just a few symbolic duties taken care of by a descendant or two. Start opening up vacated royal properties as museums and public venues to make them pay for themselves.

    • Esme says:

      Italy’s monarchy was voted out in a referendum… At the end of ww2 and a civil war, where the monarch fled to safety leaving half the country under German occupation. And even that referendum was a close run thing.
      I think it would be difficult to vote the Windsors out, they will probably slide progressively into ever more irrelevancy.
      Their public funds will be curtailed, the prestige of associating with them will fade, thir scandals will not be ushered up… a bit like what’s happening to the Catholic Church globally.

    • Lizzie says:

      Defund the monarchy. Much easier than abolishing the institution.

  5. Tiffany says:

    So not the *checks notes* bullying, racist campaign against her granddaughter in law and great grandson that she allowed to continue, taking away her grandson military titles and charities for spite, funneling money and staging photo ops with her rapist son or having a ton of men possibly be exposed to a virus during a pandemic because she wanted to see them match and be entertained on her ‘birthday’.

    So it will be that she is in isolation possibly for the remainder of the year.

    Okay then.

    • MA says:

      Don’t forget the pedophilia, racism (see: Nazism) , and shady financial dealings implicating The larger family… including the Queen’s hiding of funds Offshore.

  6. RoyalBlue says:

    i agree she is on her way out. her only purpose at his point is decorative. they are likely already in the process of planning a fancy ceremony to hand it over to Charlie and Millie as we type. Nothing will cause plebians to forget their misfortune like a grand ceremony full of pomp, grandeur, rich people dressed up in fancy clothing and a vulgar display of opulence. all paid by the taxpayer of course.

    • NatureLover says:

      That’s what I don’t understand. What does the royal family actually do, besides live off of the tax payers? As long as they desolve it before Dippy Wil has a chance to be king, I am in favor for it. Though, I do think that Charles will be a good King, his rein will be short due to his age.
      I looked into it further and found this interesting article!

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @NatureLover – Per the author and historian A.N. Wilson, The monarch does not have job but the crown has a constitutional function. The person that wears the crown performs the constitutional functions.”

      Everyone else (except the heir in training) in the BRF are just PR exercises that really started-up during WWI by George V. Some current members of the BRF do PR really well such as Anne, The Princess Royal. The rest have different degrees of PR success which is subjective depending on how you view the BRF.

  7. Mara says:

    That comparison with Oliver Cromwell is almost hilariously absurd. How is an old Queen reducing her appearences due to fear of illness remotely the same as a King being publically executed in his prime, the British public gaining a precedent of life without monarchy? Not to mention the monarch’s heir hiding up trees, being chased into exile and only allowed back as figurehead with a whole range powers being given to Parliament and the dynamics of British power shifted forever?
    Any royal commentator who compares the impact of Cromwell with Covid 19 on the monarchy should resign immediately out of pure shame.

    • El says:

      Thank you, I also thought it was utterly absurd, but thought that perhaps I was missing something else. What a ridiculous comparison to make.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      It couldn’t help laughing when I read the hyperbolic comparison – a pandemic and a monarch in isolation is not comparable to a civil war ending in the trial and execution of the monarch.

  8. Izzy says:

    It’s not so much the pandemic itself but her complete lack of leadership throughout it that has pretty much ended her reign. She was useless and looked it. She JUST did her first Zoom last week! GMAFB.

  9. Sean says:

    Question: How can one “reign” when they don’t actually govern anything or hold the ability to pass laws?

    • BayTampaBay says:

      QEII signs every bill passed by parliament into law.

      • Sean says:

        Seriously? I thought the RF was purely a traditional, remnant of the past type deal. I didn’t think they actually did anything as far as law making or actual ruling.

  10. Giggles says:

    Personally, I would love to see Charles regency start now.

    • Tessa says:

      I don’t. Because if he does, then William will clamor again to be Regent.

    • Game says:

      I’d like to see William and Catherine regency start now. That’s the future and hope for Great Britain not another caretaker for another 20 years.

      • AMM says:

        Wills and Kate are in no way ready to be King and Queen. They are two of the least working royals, and their very few patronage’s still suffer despite them not being overloaded with work. Despite being younger and healthy, they have done less than Charles, Camilla and Sophie during lockdown. Kate’s been a duchess for over 10 years and still can’t give a speech. It would be a disaster to give them a crown at this point.

      • Tessa says:

        William makes coronavirus jokes, he plots against his own brother, he and Kate and the kiddies had the photo op of flying commercial to trash Harry, he and his wife are both workshy, and he has a bad attitude overall. She is very lazy and self entitled.

  11. BUBS says:

    “COVID-19 has done more damage to the monarchy than Oliver Cromwell.”
    But I thought the other guy said COVID has been good for ALL the royals EXCEPT Harry and Meghan!!! These people can’t ever get their stories straight!!!

  12. Minnie says:

    This is off topic, but why is Charles’s face so red? It seems more so now than in previous pictures.

  13. aquarius64 says:

    I think COVID and Andrew’s mess are not the only things that end the monarchy.
    There is a story out that the queen and Philip are going to keep a closer eye on Will and Kate so they don’t make mistakes like other younger royals. The Queen is announcing to the world she has no faith in the 2nd in line.

  14. Jules says:

    Ok that Game of Thrones photo is creepy AF… decked out in gold and all their jewels, it is truly disgusting how wealthy they are.

  15. LunaSF says:

    At this point I don’t see her as the harmless old lady. She is protecting a rapist, has this huge platform to say something, literally ANYTHING about BLM and race issues and nothing. She is complicit and needs to go. I told my husband I Would not be surprised to see some Royal properties torn down by the owners aka the tax payers if protests Keep going on in England. Obviously I don’t want to see any of these lazy royals hurt but even Will and Kate must realize this cushy life can’t go on while the little people suffer.

  16. Lily says:

    Well this is going to be good. Like I expected, the Q’s reign is likely over ( which is why she probably had her special – maybe last- trooping the color by herself while London was on racism fury), Charles is old wont be able to be seen so much, and so we now get to the part where we must foresee that lazy willy and Katie Keen might have bigger responsibilities from now on. And Harry’s gone, with Meg. LOL Who would’ve thought that KARMA was gonna hit that bad? Let’s see more of those CEO hours. The ones who are so wotk shy are finally going to be the ones working their asses off. I can’t wait LOL

  17. Awkward symphony says:

    The covid crisis and massive social unrest is forcing people to rethink their acceptance of this colonial institution. You just have to look at how little attention her silly ceremony received. All of the comments under bbc & itv were questioning their importance & most were asking what monetary help they were giving to nhs.
    The British population has changed so much over the years and it’s most evident in the protests. Its also only time before they realise how much this family benefited from the slave trade. Hopefully that will trigger a response to defund or reform the taxpayers funding they receive. I agree that that will take care of them as they’ll force none key figures to pay their own upkeep which will eventually decrease their hold on the public.