The Queen Called a Philistine

Historian says Elizabeth II is uneducated and incurious, even about her predecessors
By Kevin Langbaum,  Newser User
Posted Dec 22, 2007 5:04 PM CST
The Queen Called a Philistine
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II arrives for the 2007 Royal Variety Performance at a theatre in Liverpool, England, in this Monday Dec. 3, 2007 file photo. Queen Elizabeth II became Britain's oldest-ever monarch on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007, beating the record of Queen Victoria. (AP Photo/Anna Gowthorpe,...   (Associated Press)

Queen Elizabeth II is undereducated and lacks curiosity about culture and her predecessors, a British historian charges in an interview with the Guardian. "I think she's got elements a bit like Goebbels in her attitude to culture," David Starkey says. "You remember: 'Every time I hear the word culture I reach for my revolver.'" Starkey, who winds up a 17-part TV series on the monarchy next week with a look at the Windsors, also calls Princess Diana hysterical and destructive but has kind words for Prince Charles.

Starkey complains that the queen seemed more interested in her drink than the art when he showed her around an exhibition, and notes that her references to history rarely predate her grandfather. “I suppose it's this absence of any kind of, to be blunt, serious education,” he says. Starkey suggests it may be time for the monarchy to divest itself of the Church of England. (More Queen Elizabeth II stories.)

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