Absent presence: mourning the Queen on Gibraltar National Day

Richard Denis Gerard Irvine*

*Corresponding author for this work

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What does it mean to declare loyalty to the Crown? This article explores the politics of loyalty and the potency of monarchy’s set-apart quality. It does so from the particular vantage point of Gibraltar, a British Overseas Territory which the Queen had not visited since 1954 as the British government sought to avoid reigniting tensions with Spain. Yet under the conditions of this absent presence, a particularly intense form of loyalty has emerged in Gibraltar’s articulation of their relationship with their Queen. Taking as my ethnographic foreground the cancellation of Gibraltar National Day events in the wake of the Queen’s death, I explore how the process of mourning demonstrates an intimacy which also enacts a specific political intentionality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-14
Number of pages4
JournalAnthropology Today
Issue number6
Early online date15 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2022


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