(NewsNation) — As you’ve certainly heard by now, Queen Elizabeth II has died. The queen was a venerable and admired leader around the world, and she was the longest-reigning modern monarch, having spent more than seven decades on the throne. She passed away earlier Thursday at the age of 96.
Now, you may have noticed we didn’t do a segment on the show with a royals expert that seemingly every other cable news show is doing.
To be clear, her passing is a loss for many around the world. With all that said, I have to admit that I still don’t quite get the obsession here in the United States with the British royal family.
Even before the queen’s death, all three of the big cable news channels Thursday were on nonstop coverage of the queen just being in poor health.
It’s a big story, no doubt, but literally no other stories were being covered for hours. We live in the United States, not the United Kingdom. The queen’s role, while grand and impactful, is largely symbolic.
The royals have very little actual authority or power. British policy doesn’t change now that King Charles is on the throne.
I get that in the UK when the queen dies, they are prepared to mark her passing with a 10-day long ceremony complete with multiple processions, a 41-gun salute and overnight visitation of Westminster Hall where the public can pay its respects. I get it.
But the obsession here in the United States, not just with the queen who’s earned her stripes as a major international figure, but with future generations of the monarchy, like Harry and Meghan, and William and Kate, and even the late Diana, all just feels bizarre to me.
Look, Americans love the queen. In a YouGov poll taken last year, 68 percent of Americans expressed a favorable view of the queen against the 14 percent who held an unfavorable view.
They aren’t as fond of the new reigning monarch. Charles only has a 34 percent favorable rating.
But why do we here in the United States care so much about the British royals? Is it because as kids we were told tales about queens and kings and princes and princesses? Is it the same reason so many kids love the royals at Disneyland? Or maybe because of all the pageantry associated with the monarchy, the grand parade, the lavish weddings, what the media loves to call the pomp and circumstance?
The queen left a huge mark as a global icon who could charm presidents, who practiced the sort of quiet diplomacy and served as a stoic force of national stability. But that doesn’t explain why her death or the trials and tribulations of her kids and grandkids or great grandkids are the subject of so much ongoing fascination and attention.
But, I appear to be the minority on that. So be it.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author, and not of NewsNation.