When you have been doing your job for 70 years, you earn the right to delegate some of your duties to underlings and sit out certain meetings. This isn’t an official rule that’s written anywhere, just my own common-sense opinion seemingly shared by England’s head of state. Queen Elizabeth, age 96, reached her Platinum Jubilee (Jubbly, in official merch parlance) this weekend, celebrating with four days of activities: a birthday parade, a concert at the Royal Albert Hall, a Big Jubbly Lunch, and a pageant that wound through the streets of London on Sunday to close out the celebrations. The queen sent a hologram of her younger self (or something like a hologram; it’s not fully clear how the royal holographic bureau achieved this effect) to preside over the latter ceremony. It waved dutifully to the crowds from the same solid-gold carriage that escorted her to and from her 1953 coronation — a spooky and powerful image, I think you will agree.
Some viewers did not agree, describing the decision to promenade a hologram queen as “very weird.” Personally, I find it creative and smart. A hologram (or whatever) is a much more convincing solution to getting out of a work obligation than the also good papier-mâché head this website has previously endorsed, and we support it. These events do have a tendency to drag, as illustrated by Prince Louis’s outbursts of impatience throughout the weekend, and one perk of being the longest-reigning monarch in British history is getting to opt out of onerous obligations. A long ride in a notoriously uncomfortable carriage meets that mark, particularly if you are a nonagenarian. Also the queen’s coronation — the first to be televised — signaled an appreciation for technology, so in that sense, the hologram sort of fits. And! The queen previously refuted allegations that she is old with the reminder that “you are as old as you feel.” If she feels 27, the same age as the smoke-and-mirrors queen who materialized in the carriage, good for her.
Plus the queen made plenty of other appearances throughout the Jubilee despite “episodic mobility issues” absolving her of the more taxing (or boring) bits. She ignited ceremonial beacons throughout the U.K. with a little tap of her orb Thursday. She assumed her central position on the royal balcony for the Trooping of the Colour, impervious to Louis’s screams. She had tea with Paddington Bear, finally letting the public in on the secrets of her tiny house purse. (Per the queen, it contains a marmalade sandwich — in addition to the reported meat hook and menagerie of animal tchotchkes.) Though sending out a hologram risks adding fuel to the death rumors that plagued the queen these past few months, she did take an unscheduled step onto her balcony to greet the crowds. See? Still alive, thanks.