Long to reign over us
The Queen has reigned longer than any previous British Monarch, surpassing the reign of her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria. VIVAT!
Her Majesty ascended the throne when she was twenty-six. I was just twenty then. Her father and mother had been stalwarts of WWII, raising their two daughters to a world that was about to change radically from that of the grandparents and great great grandparents (Queen Victoria & Prince Albert). Princess Elizabeth had been taught to repair army trucks and to play a modest role alongside the citizens she was subsequently to rule as Queen.
The very concept of ‘rule’ was changing, too. A constitutional monarchy for some time, Queen Elizabeth’s father, the King, still had some real powers, albeit limited by Parliament. During the Queen’s reign all such powers have disappeared, as is appropriate in a democracy. The influence that the Queen now has is that of persuasion, experience and common-sense, this last not always the first quality of politicians. All her Prime Ministers have said how much they have valued her advice.
As is to be expected the siren voices promoting the concept of an elected President have been raised again. ‘It would be more democratic,’ they say. Readers of the Daily Paradox will know of the reservations we have about democracy and how it probably needs some thoughtful modification to make it more effective. It is not criticisms of democracy that justify the Monarch’s existence in Britain but the enormous entertainment it provides for so many.
Such is the storyline of the only truly live royal public opera that it attracts millions of visitors to Britain each year as well as keeping enthralled even more spectators overseas. It is this gentle blend of tradition and drama, of pomp and ceremony, of spectacle and reality that makes Britain’s Royal Family unique. Their very humanity and the foibles that the family get up to from time to time make them real and not cartoon. They are like us – but different.
So the Daily Paradox salutes the Royal Family of Great Britain, one of the most interesting paradoxes of all time. We thank Her Majesty for the exceptional example she has always been and we wish her many more years to reign over us.
VIVAT, Your Majesty.