It's Always Okay to Criticize Dead Monarchs | Opinion

The following is a lightly edited transcript of remarks made by Kristen Meinzer during a Newsweek episode of The Debate about Queen Elizabeth II and monarchies. You can listen to the podcast here:

If you are in a position like the Queen or in a governmental position, I think that it's always okay to talk about these things. I don't think it has to be off limits [when someone has died]. They are choosing to be in this influential public role that affects culture that affects policy in many cases. They're choosing to be in this public role. And yes, the Queen chose. She could have stepped down. She didn't have to be queen; any monarch has the choice to step away, as we know Edward did.

Remember, the Queen was never supposed to be queen. It was only because her uncle Edward stepped down that she was ever put in line; she was the child of the spare.

Queen Elizabeth II
In this combination photo, Queen Elizabeth II is greeted by school girls waving flags as she visits a school in Lahore, Pakistan, 1997, president Robert Mugabe (Left Inset) of Zimbabwe is greeted by Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Phillip the Duke of Edinburgh, 1994 and Queen Elizabeth pictured in Uganda (Right Inset), 2007. Getty

So monarchs have a choice. They don't have to be monarchs. They can step away from that. But when you choose to be a monarch, when you choose to be a politician, you are also choosing to be open to public scrutiny. And I don't think that we have to wait a certain amount of time for when it's respectful or not respectful to speak about what transgressions they've committed, and what they've done right or wrong. I think it's totally fine at any point. That is part of that job.

Kristen Meinzer is the co-host of The Royal Report Podcast at Newsweek.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.