Long Live The Queen

StampI’ll add my congratulations to Helen Mirren for her Oscar win last night. I thought the film was fantastic, primarily because it exhibited ‘the miracle of restraint’. It would have been too easy to go for money shots of Princes William and Harry grieving their mother’s death. As it was, you never even saw their faces.

At a guess, I’d predict that most in the emerging church movement are more naturally liberal than traditionalist, perhaps more anti- than pro-monarchy. I’m not.

Am I a flag-waving Unionist who stands for the National Anthem? Do I think there’s some divine right of succession? That the Windsors are somehow better than the rest of us? That power hierarchies are good? No. But I also don’t see any other practicable system working in any other nation. Does the current system do our democracy any harm? I don’t think so. Quite the reverse: to have a – albeit nominal now – totally independent figurehead who the Prime Minister’s government has to report to, and who has the right to refuse to sign into law any bill, is a strong and robust checking mechanism.

We may not believe the Queen has a divine right to rule. But, as the film suggests, the fact that she might think she has means she takes her role very very seriously. Unlike the fly-by-night Alistair Campbells and Cherie Blairs of this world. And it is essentially a benign system. It isn’t broke; let’s not whip ourselves to fix it. As a Spanish dignitary once said when asked if he thought the monarchy should be replaced, “It would make as much sense as getting rid of the tigers in London Zoo. They are toothless, and the tourists love them.”


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5 responses to “Long Live The Queen”

  1. Errm.. This one will get poeple going…!
    I don’t like the monarchy.
    1) Our country is run by a tourist attraction. (yes, yes, I know – she’s a figurehead – but which way would the army go? They swear allegiance to the Queen. And she does a have the power to wield should she choose it.
    2) We have a culture of deference as “loyal subjects” rather than citizens, which, for my money perpetuates a class system that survives to this day.
    3) A republic would seem like a better model. It ain’t broke, its spent. Time to update.
    4) I didn’t vote for her – and neither did anyone else I know.
    5) Tawdry beliefs, trainers and the Monarchy are very comfortable, but that’s not necessarily a good enough reason to hang on to any of them.
    Just my 2 British pence.

  2. So you’d prefer President Jeffrey Archer?
    Cos that’s what you’d get.

  3. LOL Errrm… Why??
    I’d prefer him as our very own Richard Nixon to King Charles the whateverth any day.

  4. Because that’s who would stand… and I don’t think we’d take it seriously enough to elect someone serious… it’s hard enough to do that for the Commons.

  5. Direct action seems to have taken over from voting as the preferred current form of political engagement anyway, so I guess most of this is irrelevant.
    Still not broadly in favour of the royals though (or the Monarchy as an institution).