Chronicle “L’air du temps” – Elizabeth II: impassive is not French

Elizabeth II made neutrality an art. Far from the soothing sermons of our rulers.

Even Kim Jong-un sent a friendly message to Elizabeth II. The whole world bowed. On the part of the Queen, we can speak of a flawless performance. As fragile as a rusk, starched like a collar, shimmering like silverware, it will have survived the decades like a ray of sunshine through a window, immaculate. An ornamental figure almost as old as Noah’s Ark, suspended like a chandelier above the ruins of the Empire, everything glides over it like water over sirens. The colonies may fray, Europe may drift away, a thousand voices vociferate, no one can interrupt his trickle of voices expressing in frequency modulation the immutability of the kingdom. In Rolls or on the back of a camel, she goes ahead, without haste, calm and upright.

Today, his people regard as the celestial vault this cozy creature erected between the past and its deconstruction. All the protocol, the pageantry, the brilliance and the respect which accompany it lead the world to believe that England remains exceptional. The country may no longer rule the Indies but still has a unique class. Elizabeth II reminds us that yesterday counts as much as today. Ideas, culture, customs and rituals – all that Mao called the “four old things” – constitute the cement of his country. Let no one touch the judges’ wigs, the yeomen’s halberds and his carriages. Visceral patriotism is primarily cultural and decorative.

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By her mere presence and the respect due to her, the Queen has never ceased to maintain what France, for example, strives to erase: her uniqueness, her traditions, her soul and her image. She is not the voice of England, she is the color, the faith, the atmosphere, the soul and the memory. At a time when uneducated young savages ignorant of all history prepare to sack civilization, Buckingham resembles the stars which, even if extinguished for centuries, continue to twinkle.

We would have needed an Elizabeth II. We would be more proud of ourselves. And better respected.

Why will we have loved Elizabeth II? Not for what it is but for all that it will not have been: familiar, demagogic, highly touted. She never overdoes it, does not seek to be compatible with the times. In the era of hype and social networks, communicators have never manipulated it. Perched on her family tree, she watches from afar the world of assistants strumming from dawn to night on their smartphones to trigger alerts. No way for her to enter the fray. In its wake with the scent of Floris, time is suspended. Nothing to do with the antics of “people” of lambda leaders who have a point of view on everything, express it every evening on television and repeat the same thing four times in their speeches. In France, they get elected by promising a Jupiterian presidency and, once in business, lead them like Mother Mac’Miche who puts her two cents in all the dishes of the news.

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Elizabeth only intervenes exceptionally. A rare word like lithium is more valuable than a thousand elements of language taken up in refrains. A few smiles, a nod, three words and the royal Bentley drives away to applause. Elizabeth II speaks to her people because she knows how not to express herself. Do not count on her to give her point of view on the wearing of the veil or the teaching of the 18th century in second class. She does not meddle in what does not concern her. Only what goes beyond them unites peoples and that, she feels it.

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Seen from Paris, it is incomprehensible. France, self-proclaimed gold medal for dialogue between civilizations, can no longer find the words when it speaks to itself. The Élysée still shines with all its gilding but its sun no longer warms. By dint of apologizing for what it is, the Republic no longer loves itself. From an elegant, dissipated, gallant, cultured, superficial (but of a very large surface area) and rich nation which fascinated the world, we have made a moralizing country, impoverished and so badly in its being that it proves incapable of seduce the people who settle there. We would have needed an Elizabeth II. We would be more proud of ourselves. And better respected.

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