Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

The Queen Cannot be Equal with Anybody

By Andrew Roberts

The Queen's ministers interfere with the constitutional monarchy at their peril, as the Solicitor General, Vera Baird, has discovered to her cost.

Only last week she was opining that "what we have to do with the Royal Family is to integrate them as far as possible into the human race". Her intention was to achieve this by repealing the primogeniture sections of the 1701 Act of Settlement, which she called "unfair" and "a load of rubbish".

She wanted to include the Royal Family in the provisions of her new Single Equality Bill, which would coalesce all existing legislation regarding discrimination by sex, age, race, sexual orientation, disability and religion.

While our front-page poll indicates that Daily Telegraph readers agree with Mrs Baird, Baroness Scotland, the Attorney General, doesn't and has slapped her down. She has ruled that there will be no reform to the monarchy in the equality legislation.

Quite right too. The very concept of a monarchy is so ancient, so unlike any other institution in public life, and so inherently, wonderfully illogical that as soon as one attempts to apply today's standards to it - especially modern human-rights legislation - one undermines its strongest reason for existence.

It is precisely because it is so magnificently atavistic, archaic and irrational - so unlike anything else in society - that it exercises such power over the human imagination, connecting us directly to our Saxon past.

To apply the values of Matrix Chambers to a concept that dates back almost to the Dark Ages is, in Walter Bagehot's phrase, to "let daylight in upon magic".

One might as well try to apply heath and safety legislation to the Coronation, where a monarch has to wear the 39oz Imperial State Crown - with four rubies, 11 emeralds, 16 sapphires, 277 pearls and 2,783 diamonds - for hours on end. Or the Working Time Directive to the Queen, who is 82 and yet still carried out 440 official engagements on our behalf last year.

Will Mrs Baird be sitting in Westminster Abbey with her decibel meter in order to check that the singing of Zadok the Priest does not exceed Westminster City Council guidelines at the Coronation? And how does the assertion that the monarch - who is clearly just another public servant in her eyes - rules "by the grace of Almighty God" square with the Trade Descriptions Act?

The monarchy isn't some local council job you can apply for through the appointments section of your newspaper; it is different and ought to be treated as such...

You can read the rest here. As our Swift last year wrote, equality be damned.


Beaverbrook said...

Thank you for running this one, My Lord. A splendid pic too, I might add.

Anonymous said...

Is it incorrect to say by current law the line of succession can be determined by Parliament? In which case agnatic primogeniture isn't written in stone.

I would disagree that monarchy is "illogical"; I have been working on a book that posits that (constitutional) monarchy is a very logical and appropriate system of government.