Queen Elizabeth's Response To Brexit Is The Most Spendidly British Reaction
Britain's uncertain future and resulting financial dip doesn't seem to have its queen too worried. Queen Elizabeth's response to last week's Brexit was calm, cool, and sarcastic, proving that British humor is an truly unstoppable force. During a meeting with deputy first minister for Northern Ireland Martin McGuiness during a trip to Belfast on Monday, after Her Majesty was asked how she is handling the Brexit mess, she quipped, "I'm still alive!"
The shocking vote came right in the middle of the Queen's 90th birthday celebration, which she is celebrating with special trips to the four corners of the United Kingdom. A majority of people in both England and Wales voted to leave the European Union, while Scotland and Northern Ireland both solidly voted to remain. Because the votes split so heavily along national borders, rumors have sprung up about Scotland triggering a referendum to leave the UK — its second in three years. However, that might not solve the problem. Though Scotland wants to stay in the EU, its budget deficit is currently too high for it to be accepted into the union.
There's potential trouble brewing in Northern Ireland as well, which could have been a motivation for the meeting between Queen Elizabeth and McGuiness. Following the full Brexit tally, McGuiness declared that "the British government has forfeited any mandate to represent the economic or political interests of the people" of Northern Ireland, since they voted to remain in the EU. McGuiness' reference to the vote at the very beginning of his meeting with the Queen could indicate that the one-on-one was about Northern Ireland's future in the UK. No official announcements have been made yet.
The Royal Family has stayed fairly silent on the Brexit thus far, in keeping with its longstanding tradition of largely staying out of political affairs. Although they generally have 65 to 80 percent approval ratings, the royals did not use their position to advocate for either position (and didn't even vote) in the Brexit controversy. Prince William gave a speech in February which some viewed as a veiled plea to British politicians to stay in the EU. Kensington Palace quickly issued a statement denying any preference for either position. Now, as the pound falls to record low levels and could reach dollar parity before the end of the year, the Royal Family has a delicate position to maintain, as the country seeks guidance not readily available from its turbulent leadership.
Although the situation is a little grim at the moment, the famous British sense of humor never fails to survive in a dark moment. Clearly, the Brexit didn't affect some of the best parts of the UK — the jokes and the Royal Family. God save the Queen.