I can’t remember where I read it- consequently, I don’t know if it’s true- but while teaching myself about the dissolution of parliament a few months ago, I stumbled across a webpage that said if the Queen wanted to, she could actually vote.
Despite this, it is highly unlikely that the Queen would ever vote in a general election. However, it did raise an interesting question. Would the Queen have backed the first female prime minister? Did she hope, during the election campaign, that Margaret would triumph and change not only British history, but British future as well?
Margaret herself did not identify as a feminist, in fact, she was quite often seen to be against feminism (but it was the radical 1980s, so I’m sure she had her reasons). Nevertheless, while not being a feminist, or even pro feminist, Thatcher did her fair share for feminism. While many may not like what she did, or like her as a person, her long reign as prime minister normalised the idea of women in power. Women were no longer confined to housework or cleaning or secretarial roles. Women were visible, and women were strong.
Would her majesty the Queen have stood behind Maggie, and supported her as she smashed the glass ceiling of the House of Commons, or would she have opposed? Would the Queen have stood with Margaret, or against her?
While sisterhood and solidarity are key ideals that should be embraced, in order for women to work together for a fairer society, on many occasions women are in competition. Why? For men? For jobs? For everything? Women in the media are constantly pitted against each other, and imaginary feuds between popular culture’s most prominent females are invented in order to heighten this sense of competition and female ruthlessness. Would the Queen has been resentful towards Thatcher’s success?
We’ll never know if the Queen voted for Margaret Thatcher (but I think it’s safe to assume she didn’t vote), but do you suppose the reigning monarch supported this revolutionary politician, or despised her, purely down to her success? I hope the Queen supported Maggie. And I hope women support each other all across the world, because women should not be forced to compete with and resent one another. Because women should understand and care for other women, much like humans should care for other humans. Because there is enough hatred in the world, without petty jealousy and resentment.
So I put it to you, do you think the Queen voted for Margaret Thatcher?