This week marks a notable milestone in the history of the British Isles: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God Monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, becomes the longest serving monarch of all of the above.
No doubt this comes as a relief to British schoolchildren who have to memorize their monarchs: the fewer of them the better. In contrast, it's a source of frustration to her son Prince Charles, who has reached retirement age without yet enjoying his first day on the job to which he was born.
Throughout her reign, Queen Elizabeth has been generally beloved by her people, and she has returned the affection. As with Queen Victoria, who previously held the record, most living Britons cannot remember a time without her on the throne. Being a female of royal blood, she didn't serve her nation in combat, but as a teenager in World War II she did serve her country as a driver and mechanic in the Territorial Service, real dirty-hands experience of which she remains proud.
As adored and honored as she is, however, one wonders what the Queen herself thinks of the arc of her reign. While still a mere princess, on her 21st birthday, she pledged to a global radio audience across the British Empire:
I declare before you all that my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.
There is no doubt that she has kept her word to the very best of her ability. Unfortunately, her words ring hollow when you consider that, even before she ascended the throne, there was no British Empire - merely a somewhat loose Commonwealth of independent nations that share her as an affectionate but relatively powerless figurehead.
The measure of this collapse can be seen in her prime ministers. Her first prime minister was none other than the Last Lion, Sir Winston Churchill, regularly voted the greatest Briton in history, whose very life revolved around the Empire and, for a fair portion of that time, it around him. Her current prime minister is the podgily cherubic David Cameron, who came this close to losing Scotland and, with it, the very name of his country, the "United Kingdom."
Consider the contrast with her predecessor Queen Victoria. When Victoria came to power in 1837, England was certainly a significant power, but by her death in 1901 it was the world power on which the sun famously never set. She ruled over the largest empire in world history, covering a quarter of the globe and a fifth of global population.
What is England now? It's a very nice place to live, in many ways better for the common people than it was during Victoria's day. Yet there's something missing, and not just the sense of purpose and power.
England is fast ceasing to be the home of Englishmen. For some years now, "Mohammed" and its variants have been the most popular baby names in Britain. Just this week, Davind Cameron announced that England would accept 20,000 Syrian refugees - some Christians, no doubt, but at least another year's worth of Mohammeds too.
Where once the sceptered isle shared one unitary culture, London and the other large cities are a mishmash of incompatible alien enclaves, in many of which native Britons are not welcome. Under the reign of Elizabeth, not only has England lost its empire, it's passing fair to losing England too.
Which is a great shame, as England is the home of the greatest culture - religious, scientific, educational, aspirational, and, yes, humanitarian - in all of human history. Everything that America has been can be traced back to Britain. Our Founders derived their love of freedom from their rights as free born Englishmen, and their determination to fight for their preservation from the same source. Now, England itself no longer defends these principles.
The thought gives new meaning to the phrase "God Save the Queen" - emphasis on God (not Allah) and Save.
We wish Queen Elizabeth well, and her family, and her country. She has probably done the best job as queen that any queen could do.
But that does raise a perilous question - what is royalty supposed to do? The argument most commonly put forward is that the queen, unlike any politician, has her eye on the next generation if not the next century, and thus will pay far more attention to long-term risks than any normal officeholder. That's one of the reason why the monarch's list of titles includes that of Defender of the Faith - the Church of England is supposed to also be a unifying, long-term force.
By that measure, sad to say, Her Majesty has failed catastrophically. Far from defending the faith, the CofE is patronized by basically no one young and survives only by government subsidy; it's hard to see how long this can continue. Even were the CofE well attended, its bishops no longer believe many of its historic doctrines, leading to extensive global branches of the church agitating for separation.
What's more, you'd think the Queen should be most aware of the incredible long-term hazard of importing millions of violent barbarians and pushing out English-speaking Englishmen. Yet so far as we know, she's said nary a peep against this pernicious policy.
From her seat on the throne, Queen Elizabeth can look back over a thousand years of British royalty, and look ahead for the next three generations of British kings - or so she thinks. But when Mohammed becomes, not merely the most popular baby name, but the most popular adult name, how long can it be before they want a king of the same name and certainly the same religion?
Maybe the country would be better off simply to retire the throne when Elizabeth no longer sits in it - while they still can.
Over the past five years, the editors have been secretly working on a book that summarizes the fundamental viewpoints of Scragged.