In 70 years of reign, has the sovereign taken a stand in favor of women’s rights? His attitude towards Meghan Markle and the employees of Buckingham Palace as well as towards the accusations of sexual assault against his son Andrew prove the contrary.
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Elizabeth II, whose jubilee the British are celebrating this week, is she an ally of feminism? When this question is asked, an anecdote is often quoted. In 1991, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia visited the Queen in Balmoral, Scotland. Saudi women are then not allowed to drive. Elizabeth II decides to take her visitor for a ride and she gets behind the wheel, as she always does. Surprised, his passenger even found his driving a bit fast. This story is enough for some to make the sovereign a convinced feminist. Actress Olivia Coleman, who plays the Queen in the series The Crownsays of her that it is even “the ultimate feminist”.
An assertion that does not really stand up to the facts. No really not. No decision during his reign proves it. The silence of Elizabeth II on all social issues has also been applied to feminism. For Dr. Ed Owens, historian of the monarchy, there is a recent case which shows that this fight is not that of the queen: “Meghan Markle has always been a feminist. She has strong opinions on gender equality. The royal family tried to silence her because it does not fit with the image of the ideal family within the British monarchy which feels more like the 50s than 2020.”
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During her 70-year reign, Elizabeth II found herself in a man’s world and she did nothing to change that. On the contrary according to Marc Roche, the author of the book The Borgias at Buckingham, “She is uncomfortable with women. She has never had a female private secretary.”
“In the palace, women are all in subordinate positions. Decision-making positions are held by men. Elizabeth II is anything but a feminist.”
The queen does not fight, ever. No more to advance the cause of women. She prefers the establishment, the irremovable monarchy and her family. As evidenced by the support recently displayed for his son, Prince Andrew, accused of sexual assault on a minor.