The last two days in Scotland and the following few days in England will demonstrate that while the monarch may be fragile the monarchy is strong.
More importantly than that, we can clearly see that the British people are tough, resilient and cohesive. This despite the setbacks of the last few years, including the suppression of the entire population under malevolent and unnecessary Covid laws, the uninterrupted ongoing arrivals of an army of parasitic young men, and the deleterious nonsense of making everything electric while shutting down the power stations that produce electricity. The stupidity of, or malfeasance of, our politicians is beyond comprehension.
They have failed to support the people, quite the opposite. Yet the people continue in their way, resilient and patriotic. I don’t suppose that politicians will notice or draw any understanding from this.
Unfotunately the arrival of those ‘armies of parasitic young men’ have weakened the British people not strengthened them as previous arrivals have done. Who could put these illegal moneygrabbers in the same class as the hardworking, eager to help & delightfully colourful immigrants from the West Indies, India & the far East who added their culture to ours bringing new foods & experiences to share with us not to act against the country & its people in a violent, racist manner seeking to turn our green & pleasant land into the hellholes they supposedly fled from.
Republicanism sounds attractive – until you consider how elected presidents have ‘gone wrong’ in some countries. Especially when those presidents have vast power and authority, unlike our constitutional monarchy.
Where does ‘power and authority’ stop and ‘influence’ start? Is there a real difference, as long as the lackeys are willing to do the enforcing?
It’s a paradox of politics but power in the UK does not belong to the person with authority. In the human part of the British Constitution the highest authority (under God, of course) is powerless, the exercise of power being progressively devolved downwards to a point just above everybody’s head. Thus the Queen (or a Prime Minister) couldn’t normally arrest you, nor a judge, but a policeman can. But a policeman can’t punish you if you’re found guilty. Only a judge can do that. This disempowering series of allocations of authority is one of the glories of the British system.
…and in many other countries, elected presidents have not got wrong and do not have vast power and authority. We should choose one of those.
Monarchs and executive presidents are not the only two options.
FWIW, Unherd has asked me to use my real name rather than the pseudonym that I use on all other media. From now on, I will be posting as Kevin L. (this is a test)
‘Peter Sellars’ is a stager of operatic works. ‘Peter Sellers’ was a comedian and actor.
Funny how the cultural and political historian who wrote this piece didn’t know that.
There is an American Peter Sellars who does indeed stage operas; updated and idiosyncratic operas.
Yes, the fact the Guardian thinks him important was an instant warning to myself.
Thank goodness a faint sense of perspective is starting to creep into the discussions. It’s been pretty nauseating up until now.
It struck me a couple of days ago that if Henry VIII had not played fast and loose with the Roman Catholic Church, Elizabeth would already be well along the route to beatitude.
Time the CofE had another Saint. I think Charles 1 was the last one. Well, martyr anyway.
I wonder if Charles III stood in Westminster Hall remenbering that Charles I was tried there…….
Getting your head cut off puts the idea of the divine right of kings into perspective, doesn’t it?
The main problem for me is that the abolition of the monarchy would mean more politicians, and you know what John Major said about that!
Republicanism is no longer shocking for one simple reason- because there’s a lot more of it about than there used to be. We used to be a very small minority, but now it’s perfectly normal to be a republican. The wall to wall BBC coverage is not reflecting this at all, but when was the royal fairy tale ever about reality?
What irks me is that by declaring yourself a dissatisfied Republican, in a State constitutionally founded as a Monarchical Union, you are saying , ‘I choose to live here, but I will, if I can, force the rest of you to accept my notion of a political settlement, rather than find some other already republican country which suits me better’. Which is of course a form of gross arrogance. It’s like walking into someone’s house, claiming joint ownership and proceeding to criticise their taste in wallpaper and furnishings. No-one asked you. You are, for instance, quite free to emigrate, upon which we would wish you all the best.
Good description of a commissar who adds nothing to the common purse but mysteriously dips into it.
Apparently if you have a major surgical operation scheduled for Monday you have to cross the Channel to have it done.
Make every health person a state official and they’ll take State holidays.
What a rubbish poster! Wasn’t it worth spending more than 30 seconds on?
The outspoken and uninformed republicans at the moment are not looking good. They remind me of spoilt children rebelling against their parents. A pointless annoying exercise for all now, today. When they grow up their perspective changes, especially with their own parenthood.
If republics are so admired then there is generally freedom to emigrate but that would involve learning another language and possibly, these days, a loan from their ‘evil’ parents. Perhaps, instead of university or gap years, a sponsored ticket and some money for a year in Venezuela, N Korea, Colombia, or even Russia? if you’ll excuse the Oxford comma.
Having said that I don’t get the excessive public grief either. I wouldn’t be seen dead in London this week but what fools to interrupt such emotion. The wise republicans keep quiet, they know a losing wicket when they see one.
As for the cost of the RF, I wonder what Biden’s entourage cost. Concorde was supposed to be £10 each. I bet the RF, about £1. Here’s two. Enjoy.
I expect the monarchy will fizzle out rather than be chucked out in a republican blaze of glory. The Royals may save themselves in the short term by shrinking and being more human, but that will only make more people realise they are just like everyone else and therefore the whole idea is a bit silly. They will lose their main cheerleaders as the traditional mainstream media makes way for the new. That and the generational shift will see the Royals’ role and budget whittled away, till the republic becomes the final inevitability. It may take a hundred years, but it will happen.
We tried it once – in 1649 – and didn’t like it.
Britain will always be a monarchy.
And in many ways it’s been a de facto republic in all but name since then.
As a luke-warm monarchist I can’t say the coverage of the Queens death has been edifying; in fact I find all the sycophancy a bit nauseating. This isn’t healthy!
Yes, watching a 73-year-old man have a petulant hissy fit because his fountain pen leaks is not an edifying spectacle. The first time I watched “The Windsors” (with Harry Enfield as Charles) I thought it might be a bit over the top – I am beginning to wonder if it is, like good satire, holding a mirror to reality – but not actually a distorting mirror.
“Yes, watching a 73-year-old man have a petulant hissy fit because his fountain pen leaks is not an edifying spectacle.”
Jeez, my whole world has turned upside down. Remember Auden’s words about the tyrant leader and the children who die in the streets when he cries. This ain’t that.
Sycophancy is one way of looking at it. Though there are others: love, respect, dignity. Why is it not healthy?
You forget that a great asset of the monarch is the depth of knowledge & experience accumulated over the years of each reign. In my opinion, we are all the poorer for the loss of Elizabeth II & none more so than Liz Truss & all future Prime Ministers who will not have that fountain of wisdom so gracefullly given without reproach at those closely guarded private weekly meetings with no others present.
The whole shenanigans is reminiscent of the passing of Kin Jong Il in North Korea.
People who complain about the unearned wealth of the monarchy, do they play the national lottery?
If republicanism is no longer shocking, perhaps that is the success of the late Queen.
Nicola Sturgeon reminded everyone in her reading from Ecclesiastes in the service at St Giles cathedral that there is a time for everything under heaven. A time for a divine right of kings. A time for a constitutional monarchy. A time for a funeral. A time to have a ‘conversation’ about Scottish independence.
Scotland had that dicussion & they didn’t want independence in the end!
The Queen’s death at Balmoral meant she was taken to Holyrood Palace to remain overnight before resting at St Giles Cathedral meant that Scotland both Church devolved government were greatly involved in paying respects to her and in the Accession of Charles. If Queen Elizabeth gad died at Windsor or Sandringham as her Father did there would not have been this Scottish dimension, Will it reduce the clamouring for Indyeef II?
The Royals appear, from across the pond, to be a collection of pets in gilded cages. They are trotted out like sports team mascots to stir up the fans when spirits flag.
I say “keep ’em” since, after all, every team needs mascots. Drastically cut the cost, though. Fabric costumes are cheaper than jewel-encrusted crowns.
People love their pets. Have you seen the price of a Labradoodle? Per head a King is pocket money.
I think we got lucky with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was both the longest-serving monarch and among the best of them. They were not all so deserving of respect.
The Queen kept up appearances as the nation – and the Royal Family – began to decline but she maintained her dignity and received untold respect in return.
Perhaps the next monarch, or the one after that, will not be so deserving. Perhaps he will be found to have committed some misdemeanour like adultery or receiving bribes in exchange for power; perhaps he will be found to have manipulated the leasehold laws for his own financial gain; perhaps he will just lose his temper in a way that we the people find unbecoming of a national leader.
Support for the Royal Family has declined precipitously over the 70 years of Elizabeth’s reign and, aside from a temporary bump peaking about the middle of next week, will continue to decline. In a recent survey, support for a Republic was at 22% – much higher than support for Brexit was before the campaign began. A majority of people under 24 already support the abolition of the monarchy. These numbers will grow.
I don’t expect the monarchy will last very much longer and we should start designing a constitution for what comes after. We need a constitution befitting of our modern era.
What is this “Modern Era”?
It’s the era that we live in.
The old Britain faded with the costs of World War II and the decline of our empire. Queen Elizabeth II represented a transition from an older era to the one we live in now. With the transition ending with the death of Her Majesty, I don’t expect the undemocratic institutions of a past era, starting with the royal family and the House of Lords, will survive.
“I don’t expect … the royal family … will survive.”
What does that mean? When will this end happen? Or are you just saying they won’t survive forever? Which is a very long time.
The lucky young grow older and begin to understand the value of the monarchy.
If only for the tourism, England would be daft to relegate the monarchy to the status it holds in many other such arrangements around the world but the real value is the continuity it affords to the notion of liberty advanced by its imprimatur.
I am no fan of Charles and his goofy adherence to climate hysteria that is responsible for the actual suffering of the middle class and especially the poor but it is not the individual we support.
It is the idea of continuity and the position itself.
The rapid decline of GB after WWII and the acceleration of it caused among other things by its lack of the principle of free speech would only accelerate and the last vestiges of civilisation promoted by the royals would be replaced by a mewling secularism not much different than the authoritarian hellholes constructed by regimes who avoided the Dominion and so were/are unwilling to trust the people to rule themselves.
Regarding tourism, the French have done quite well with the trappings of royalty without actual royals to fill them.
Yes, it was so heartening to see their police beating up Liverpool fans and asking questions afterwards.
I am shocked, shocked at the sexism and the classism of this article.
Any fool knows that the center of the pro-Royal Family cult is the women’s magazine in the supermarket checkout line.
But no doubt the writer would never be seen dead in a supermarket checkout line. Darling.