I guess it is sort of strange to complain about a heavy emphasis on business and economics in a story published at BusinessInsider.com.
Nevertheless, I found myself wanting to know more after reading the recent feature that ran with this headline: "The death of Queen Elizabeth will be one of the most disruptive events in Britain in the past 70 years." Yes, I sense a religion ghost here.
I have read several reports about the planning that is going on behind the scenes, as British leaders brace themselves for this seismic shift in their culture. There are so many details to describe and, yes, lots of them are linked to economics and trade.
England's currency will need to change, along with all passports. God Save the Queen will, of course, return to God Save the King. Police uniforms will be tweaked. Old questions will resurface about the status of the monarchy and the British Commonwealth. The public events linked to her death will cost billions of pounds.
Check out this overture. It may even help to read it out loud, to get the reverent tone right:
Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of this Realm and of Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, is not going to live forever.
Since ascending to the throne in 1952, the monarch has seen 13 prime ministers serve Britain and lived through another 13 US presidents. She's now 92. At some point -- not for many years yet, we hope -- Queen Elizabeth II's reign will come to an end.
But what happens then? For at least 12 days -- between her passing, the funeral and beyond -- Britain will grind to a halt. The chaos will cost the UK economy billions in lost earnings. The stock markets and banks are likely to close. And both the funeral and the subsequent coronation will become formal national holidays, each with an estimated economic hit to gross domestic product of £1.2 billion to £6 billion($1.6 billion to $7.9 billion), to say nothing of organisational costs.
Yes, that's a lot of money and that's part of the story.
However, there are even larger issues lurking in the background that, frankly, have to do with history and national identity. Might religion be in there somewhere? Let's keep reading:
... To focus on the financial disruption doesn't begin to describe the sheer magnitude of the queen's death. It will be an event unlike anything Britain has seen since the end of World War II. ...
The deaths of Princess Diana and the queen mother both brought on waves of public mourning and hysteria. But that of Queen Elizabeth II, due to her longevity and fundamental place atop British society, will be on a whole new level.
Most British people have simply never known life without the queen. ...
Flags will fly at half-mast, and Britain will go into shock
Go into shock? This sounds, to me, like there are issues linked to this loss that are larger than mere economics.
The question, for me, is rather simple: What are the factors in Britain's sense of history and national identity that will linked to this sense of "shock" and "grief" that is expected to overwhelm the land when this queen passes from the scene? In what ways will this trauma be linked to some of the cultural issues that helped fuel the BREXIT uprising at the polls? Will some generations be affected more than others?
The mourning process, funeral, burial and subsequent coronation will all be framed in symbols and language that are both Christian and uniquely British. We also know that, to this queen, the moral, cultural and religious side of her identity was strong and linked to her sense of self and duty.
While England changed, she remained the same -- a "simple Christian" who lived an extraordinary life. That is part of her story. Her strong faith was part of England's past.
Note the wording of the proclamation used when Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne, as quoted in this BusinessInsider.com piece:
"Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to His Mercy our late Sovereign Lord King George the Sixth of Blessed and Glorious memory, by whose Decease the Crown is solely and rightfully come to the High and Mighty Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary:
"WE, therefore, the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of this Realm, being here assisted with these His late Majesty's Privy Council, with representatives of other Members of the Commonwealth, with other Principal Gentlemen of Quality, with the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Citizens of London, do now hereby with one voice and Consent of Tongue and Heart publish and proclaim that the High and Mighty Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary is now, by the death of our late Sovereign of happy memory, become Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of this Realm and of all Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to whom Her lieges do acknowledge all Faith and constant Obedience with hearty and humble Affection, beseeching God by whom Kings and Queens do reign, to bless the Royal Princess Elizabeth the Second with long and happy Years to reign over us."
How will that change? Is there a sense in which Elizabeth II marks the end of an age in British life, and not just in terms of the decades of her reign? Is that part of what some Brits will be mourning?
In other words: To what degree is the changing nature of religious faith in postmodern England part of this story? Is this queen the last shoe to drop?
Here's another sample of the ramped-up language used in this feature:
Throughout this period, there will be a massive outpouring of public grief. It won't just be sombre dress and a minute of silence at sports games -- it'll be a punch to the gut of the national psyche.
"Psyche" is a good word. But how about "soul"?
Maybe this long, long, long feature needed at least one or two paragraphs of material addressing the religious issues linked to this coming storm?