The concept of Monarchy has its own mystique.
A commentator on a British TV station said today “there is something almost sacred about the Monarch”
I am reminded that sacred and scared have the same 6 letters!
Queen Elizabeth II of the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” (to give my homeland its full moniker) has achieved a semi-goddess status partly because of her longevity – she is 82 years old and has been Queen of the UK since 1952; and partly because of the myriad of protocols and courtiers who protect and encourage her Royal Mystique.
She has worn well, and I suppose that most U.K. subjects (yes, folks are subjects in the U.K – not citizens) regard her with a benign affection. I do.
I also suppose that most of those people resent the “flunkery” and flummery which “protect” the Royal Household. I do.
We certainly know that the Dutch and Scandinavian Monarchies survive well without the flunkies and the flummery.
Many, if not most Americans have a strange devotion to the British Monarch. She is probably more popular here that in those countries of which she is the Queen (The U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand).
I think that we Americans like her because there is something good about having a Head of State who is not a member of the Executive. It’s sometimes hard in America to respect the President as Head of State when he (so far) is also an elected head of a political party.
But the “Brit” in me also protests that many great countries have non-political and elected/appointed Heads of State - Germany, Italy and India to name but three. These are not hereditary leaders.
And “that’s the rub”. The Head of State in the U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand (Queen Elizabeth II) is in that position solely because she inherited the Office.
In this particular case QEII has done a fairly decent job - based in her sense of duty.
I (with others) am not so easily convinced that the Heir Presumptive (Charles, Prince of Wales) is capable of such a sweet Monarchy. He seems too cranky for that role.
All this leads me (in my mind, if not in the preceding text) to declare that I am a republican at heart.
Never did I think this as strongly as both yesterday and today as I read texts and saw pictures of President and Mrs. Obama in London, and at Buckingham Palace.
They showed a regality and “royalty”, which seemed to be of the people, and for the people.
It is a regality which is FROM the people.
No wonder that the sweet Queen of England, at 82 years of age, could not resist putting her arm around our fine “First Lady”.
Michelle Obama rocks!
And her husband ain’t bad.