Winston Churchill once said: “Democracy is the worst form of government – except for all the others that have been tried.” Is the same true for having a royal as our head of state? Despite the obvious outpouring of emotion over the death of the Queen, support for the monarchy is not universal in the UK as we now enter our new Carolean Era. Left-wing republicans oppose the concepts of privilege and inheritance, full stop, whereas right-wing critics, far fewer in number, are generally more nuanced, mainly complaining that the Royal Family have gone along far too readily with all the most odious aspects of political correctness, going with the tide of anti-British, left-wing politics, rather than using their position to oppose this. But this hardly seems fair. The House of Windsor is a constitutional monarchy, and has to follow the laws and the guidance of the Prime Minister and the Cabinet, who write all the monarch’s official speeches.
Besides, whatever one’s view of the merits or otherwise of either our late Queen or our new King, this is clearly separate to the question of whether we should retain a monarchical system. The whole point of a monarchy is that it outlives whoever is on the throne at any particular point in time. Kings and queens are temporary. Some are good, some not. But the institution of monarchy goes on. And those who want to abolish the Royal Family need to explain what they would put in its place. Because the only practical alternative is an elected president. Is that what republicans really want – to have a President Blair or President Boris? Do they honestly think these would have been better, or earned Britain more respect on the world stage? I don’t. And I don’t think the other countries around the world which retain our sovereign as their head of state (such as Australia, where 60% want to remain a monarchy) would do so if this were a mere elected politician.
Just look at the global reaction to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Do you think the death of a political head of state would have engendered the same response? You only have to look at the year-round coverage the foreign media gives to the Royal Family and you can see what a world-wide asset they are to the UK. And if the ‘soft power’ argument doesn’t convince you, well, you are in a minority: here in Britain 64% support the monarchy, as opposed to 21% who are against. ‘All right’, you might say, ‘but what is the point of the monarchy?’ The point is that it is the golden thread that links us, today, with our past. And what is the point of that? Just remember the famous axiom: “the most effective way to destroy a people is to deny and obliterate their understanding of their own history”.
Our monarchy is our history. It is impossible to imagine one without the other. That’s why it is predominantly those on the Left, who hate British history, who want to abolish the crown. They want to rewrite our past and replace our glorious heritage with their self-loathing vision of what Britain should be: a meaningless piece of land, of no special value, whose people are interchangeable with those from anywhere else in the world, and whose values are ‘modern’ and malleable. It is no coincidence that the overwhelming majority of the crowds at the Queen’s jubilee celebrations, or in the 10-mile queue to visit her lying-in-state, are those who represent traditional Britain, rather than the millions of ‘new Britons’ imported by treacherous Labour and Conservative governments.
So give us our royalty, our ceremonial parades, our pomp and our pageantry. We don’t want a pared-down monarchy, a king on a bike, a death by a thousand cutbacks, a slow bleeding to death of our ancient glories. Let us walk proud around the world – proud of our country, our history and our traditions, proud of our achievements and proud that this is all encapsulated in the image of the British crown. As another wise adage reminds us: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
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