From the September, 1980 issue of High Times comes a letter to Queen Elizabeth II, who turns 95 on April 21.
An Open Letter to Queen Elizabeth II
TO: HRH Queen Elizabeth II Windsor, Buckingham Palace, London, England
FROM: The editors of High Times for and on behalf of the people of the United States
When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to choose between maintaining a corrupt and incompetent chief of state, or replacing him with a proposed successor who is demonstrably just as corrupt and incompetent, it is manifest to all intelligent persons that the principle of government by the people is no longer practical on this continent.
Nations, like individuals, change and grow by an often painful process, of evolution. The Colonies, in our phase of adolescent rebellion, saw fit for a time to shun the benevolent guidance of an older, wiser mother country. Now, as this prodigal nation approaches her mid-life crisis, we find ourselves consumed in a search for roots, values and ritual.
Our grievances against the individuals who have proposed themselves for election as our leaders must be stated: They have dismally failed to restore to our nation a sense of belonging. They have offered no effective remedy for the intolerable burdens of inflation and unemployment; in fact, each and every one of them proposes only to intensify our meddling in the affairs of sovereign nations, thus increasing the likelihood of global nuclear holocaust without the consent of the holocausted.
All these candidates, while making a great show of mutual antagonism, actually represent mercantile interests, that, through an organizational oversight on the part of our somewhat rambunctious “founding fathers,” have usurped the power of the citizenry and now tyrannize the land.
It has progressed to the point where we the governed can no longer in conscience consent to government by the consent of ourselves. We Americans must have the integrity to admit that the world had best regard this nation as an unsafe place for democracy.
In view of the aforesaid grievances and in the interest of international order and common sense, WE THE PEOPLE do by these presents heartily apologize for our insolent and sullen behavior of 204 years ago, and beseech your Royal Majesty to resume your rightful rule over these dominions.
We submit, that by assuming your hereditary title to America, your Majesty Queen Elizabeth II may indeed stand to gain a bit for England. Besides our real estate holdings on this continent, which abound in such natural resources as active volcanoes and inactive though industrious Cuban refugees, we can offer the crown an exotic array of dependencies nearly comparable to the British empire of old: Puerto Rico, Guantanamo Bay, Midway, Guam and Bikini Atoll (slightly the worse for wear).
It may be of interest to your home subjects that we Americans have central heating, late-night television, various Beatles and Stones (to complete your set), and some of the weakest labor unions in the English-speaking world. True, we have many Irish here, but ours seem less belligerent.
The burden of state should not weigh too heavily on your Majesty’s shoulders; two or three days a week being about all the government we can handle. Your son HRH Prince Charles could be sent here as colonial governor; thus furnishing his Highness with an apprenticeship in preparation for eventual ascendancy to the throne.
HRH the Prince, we are sure, would be easily persuaded to take up residence in the New American Colonies. Your Majesty Queen Elizabeth II need only draw his attention to the top-grade marijuana that is now abundantly produced here, so that no one on this side of the Atlantic has to roll joints out of loose tobacco and cheap Moroccan hashish.
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, having come to our senses, herewith resist the lure of liberty and recognize Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen of England, as our rightful and only lawful sovereign. We pray that you will hear our case with compassion and that your judgment be not swayed by your nation’s decolonialists led by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. That bitch.