While browsing the news this morning, I saw a piece in Britain’s Daily Mail detailing Queen Elizabeth II’s recent hospital stay for what seems to have been a relatively minor stomach bug. The story relates her good care at the hands of the staff of King Edward VII Hospital, and her good health as she returns home to Windsor Castle.
What really caught my eye, though, was not the story, but the included pictures. Several candid shots show the Queen as she leaves the hospital supported by a nurse wearing a blue uniform and red belt, all held together by one of the most interesting belt buckles I’ve ever seen – here’s a close-up:
Why exactly is this nurse, whether a member of the hospital’s staff, or a personal aide to the Queen, sporting a pentagram and Masonic square and compass symbol on her belt buckle? That’s a tough question, with a wide number of potential answers, each of them a bit disturbing.
The meaning behind the pentagram is typically culturally dependent, but the square and compass symbol of the Free Masons is one-of-a-kind, and there seems no logical reason that anyone associated with the English monarchy would so blatantly boast of such allegiances, even if only for the sake of public perception.
Speculation is all we’ve got to work with here, but I’d be curious as to the thoughts of others regarding this odd photograph. Conspiracy craziness aside, is there some deeper meaning behind this nurse’s uniform, or does she simply have bad taste in belt buckles?
UPDATE: A Masonic Twitter follower called @StenayNL sent me a link to this document, a history of the Masonic hospital system in England with a particular focus on the exact belt buckle in question – he then promptly called me a populist non-journalist and blocked me, apparently for fear of differing opinions. In any case, it doesn’t do anything to answer the question as to why the Queen is being treated by Mason-sponsored medical doctors, but it does shed some light as to the origins of the symbolism in this context.