I am a proud socialist, left winger, and Northerner and I will celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee with pride, pride because if nothing else she has been faithful to her calling and also that she fulfils a role that a politician could not and an apolitical representative Head of State that can unite this country and be ‘our face’ in the world political arena, The Queen has also managed to achieve a longevity for a Head of State that is enviable, having held the post without killing political opponents to keep the position. I am happy to swear allegiance to the Queen and her Country, a pledge I could not make to a political figure, whether it be Prime Minister or President.
A lot of people do not share my point of view, and here is not to argue the point, but suffice it to say that in my opinion the Queen, or generally the Monarchy, fulfils the roles of the American Constitution, Bill of Rights and the Republic in unifying a culturally diverse population around a common cause to create and cohesion and a sense of identity. The Queen has been Head of State for a lifetime, and like her predecessor Queen Elizabeth 1 of England it is hard to imagine the United Kingdom without Elizabeth Windsor as Head of State, the problem is what happens when there is a change of occupancy, it will be uncharted water, the vast majority of the population of the UK has not known life without the Queen being on the throne – this is the strength of both the Monarchy and the Queen in that it creates a sense of continuity, of order, of reference outside the madcap world of the political arena.
Just think of your life, and the people you know, most of them will have lived their lives within the reign of the Queen, I find that amazing in the shifting sands of the political mire we know.
To amplify the what I mean about the unifying common influence the Queen has I would suggest we only have to look at last year, her trip to Eire was for me the justification for the monarchy, she represented the country without bringing politics – and she did it with the utmost of grace and tact, laying aside her feelings about the murder of her cousin in Eire, and the political history. Only he Queen could go to Eire.
Critics of the Monarchy normally focus on ‘getting rid of the institution’ but rarely focus on the ‘what with’ – another flawed, self-serving, has been politician, or having the Prime Minister as Head of State, both mired in politics and rife for division and not a unifying force, but whilst the monarchy remains apolitical it is there to ensure the smooth transition of political power, and the sense of permanency of the real ‘State’; the Presidents would still cost money, they would need a residence, a ‘Royal Flight’ (used by Prime Ministers as well) or a State Train to collect dignitaries; and if all these argument fail then lets just admit there are more important things to worry about at the moment.
I might get involved in the arguments of whether we should become a Republic, but suffice to say I will be arguing for the retention of the Monarchy and that we should be celebrating the role of our monarch and the service that she has given to this country. When people speak of the ‘The Queen’ its the British Queen they are referring to, no other explanation needed!
All I can I say is “God Save her Majesty” !