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, 27 May 2008

The Crown without Her Majesty

We are inexorably headed towards a Crowned Republic, much to the displeasure of both monarchists and republicans

Insight%20may08%20gallery%20liver3%20largeMr. Byers from Australians for Constitutional Monarchy contends in the post below that a "minimalist monarchy" is probably the way to go. He need not use the future tense, for that is the way the monarchy has gone. Quite frankly, it is difficult to see how more minimalist the monarchy can go, since all of us, save for the United Kingdom itself, have effectively evolved into de facto Crown Republics. We are not quite there 'yet', Her Majesty still constitutionally embodies the Crown, but with each passing year she becomes more like that Blessed Charles of Austria, who renounced participation in all state affairs without actually abdicating the throne - irretrievably, as it turned out.

In what way does Elizabeth II participate in the state affairs of the Crown Commonwealth anymore? Everything has been pretty much delegated to the Governors-General now, except for their fait accompli appointments. When Letters of Credence and Recall are no longer exchanged in the Queen's name, when the nationalisation of all honours no longer permit Her Majesty to bestow even the Victoria Cross upon worthy subjects, what is there left exactly? Well, Her Majesty does keep closely informed we are told, she does visit us from time to time, she is still Colonel-in-Chief of our regiments. But for how much longer is a question we are left to ponder.

It is reasonable to argue that we are inexorably headed towards a Crowned Republic because the Monarchy hangs by a slender, albeit formidable constitutional thread. Slender because our Queen is vulnerable to the charge that she is "foreign", formidable because Her Majesty's Crown is an indigenous scone to the old and settled democracies of Canada, Australia and New Zealand. For our countries the Crown is not some colonial relic or quaint anachronism, it is the core, the fundamental, the irreducible basis by which our ancestors structured our governments and our society. It is far too entrenched to fade silently into the night.

But Her Majesty one day will. And when that day arrives, unless our collective attitude towards the monarchy changes from "that of the urchin, secretly urinating on some shrub in the hopes that it will die", a new King will not be acclaimed by the Privy Council and confirmed by Parliament. Mark my words, through some constitutional trick our political elites in their current frame of mind will disembody the Crown from its soul, and we will lose the human dimension of what monarchy is supposed to represent. In that case, it is hard to fathom how we would be terribly different from a republican system, for as one commenter noted, a "minimalist monarchy" and a "minimalist republic" are both essentially the same thing, since a Crowned Republic is both monarchist and republican. A republican crown would be no different than a republican flag, for just as a flag is a mere piece of cloth, and a country a mere clump of earth, a crown deprived of its head is but a mere shiny trinket, just another bloodless abstraction like the "state".

Still, it wouldn't be a total loss, I suppose. Although our currency would be further defaced with more dead politicians or with smiling children holding hands under a rainbow, we might count ourselves lucky to have kept our armorial bearings and regimental heritage, perhaps even retaining the royals as "honourary colonels". Life would go on much as it does today, our connection to the roots of antiquity would continue, the crown would still permit a more appealing presentation of state, and The Monarchist, though gravely wounded, might even keep his day job and live to fight another day.

This is not a defeatist post, but a call to man the barricades. Facts and trends can be difficult things, and unless we experience a collective change of heart, the historical evidence clearly points in one direction for the future: towards the creeping regicide of Elizabeth the Second, Her Heirs and Successors.

18 comments:

American Monarchist said...

The prospect of the Commonwealth losing its sovereign is especially troubling because this would leave, effectively, no limit on the power of Parliament. As I understand it, the original idea of Parliament was to put enough of a limit on the king's power to prevent him from becoming a tyrant. At least America's republic was designed with the idea of different elected politicians checking and limiting each other's power, which is why we still have a few of our liberties left. Without a monarch, the Commonwealth will have little defense against its own government.

David Byers said...

Very well written article. In the end as long as families can still put food on the table life will go on:)

Henley said...

well, it could have happened in the 19th century too. The personal prestige of Queen Victoria gave us the rebirth of the pageantry and "totemism" of royalty. How can we hope for it today from the younger generations of the royal family, who are, as the old phrase goes "no better than they should be"? The squalid years of shacking ups, the depressing serial marriages etc.These people don't even try to live up to their ancient office, the way they once did. What are they giving us to look up to?

Lord Best said...

I am inclined to be more hopeful, personally. One of the last polls showed 80% support for the Monarchy in Britain, with 64% in the younger generations. Similar numbers in Australia, amongst young people. I believe republicanism is slowly going out of fashion, but we will have to wait and see.

Scott said...

I am frequently troubled by the thoughts of Henley, too, yet abide comfortably in the knowledge that the second-oldest human institution (after the papacy) is greater than the deficiencies of any temporary office-holder, and that princes set above the people are chosen by God, and the wisdom of that choice may yet, in time, be borne out, in ways we cannot expect or imagine, or sometimes even publicly know.

Besides, I certainly think that Will and Harry, in the military service they have undertaken, are set thus not a little above the average British teenage boozer...

Anonymous said...

I propose a new word definition for the English Dictionaries - "Canadianise" vb. - the process of reducing a culture to the merest fragment of its former self, the end resulting in total non-entity. (Noun Canadianisation). Examples of usage might include "The New Labour Government Canadianised the military by not having a proper Royal Marine Band on board its Capital Ships" or "The increasing Canadianisation of Britain continues apace, with no money spent on Defence and a lot of money spent on disloyal immigrants with no love for the country's traditional values".

Aeneas the Younger said...
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Aeneas the Younger said...

Whatever happens, I will be go to my grave shrouded in a Red Ensign. You can legislate The Queen (and/or King) out of existence in Canada (troublesome as that might be given the Constitutional variables involved), but you will never eradicate her from my heart.

"I vow to thee, my country—all earthly things above—
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago—
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace."

Can you even imagine singing this without a Queen? What would be the point?

David Byers said...
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David Byers said...

Aeneas the Younger, with sentiments like yours I think I now understand how the Great War started.

Aeneas the Younger said...

I'll take the compliment. The Edwardians were surely a greater generation than the nihilistic disaster called the "baby-boom."

They were not worthy of their fathers ...

David Byers said...

What, starting a war is a compliment? Why can't you write under your own name?

Lord Best said...

Well, Britain did not start the Great War, they merely joined in. Unnecessarily in my opinion, and it was an unfortunate fact that the last remnants of Western chivalry and honour died in that awful cataclysm.

David Byers said...

I was not suggesting that The UK started the Great War. However I am of the firm opinion that the extreme nationalism that plagued the crumbling, old and corrupt regimes did set up the lines of distrust and militarism that encouraged Imperial Germany’s aggression. 1914 noisy birth of a new world, death of the old. The world is better for the defeat of Germany in both world wars.

Lord Best said...

I am more inclined to blame the reactionary policies of Austro-Hungary after the Congress of Vienna for the outbreak of the Great War. Germany bears a lot of responsibility too, of course. But I think the world would have been much the same if not better had Britain stayed out of the conflict and let the war run its course. No rise of anti-semitism, no German oppression, no rise of Nazism. Just my opinion, I have not researched it overmuch so I may well be mistaken.

Aeneas the Younger said...

David:

As a monrachist you are certainly's odds fish.

David Byers said...

To be honest I do not know if I think of myself as a monarchist anymore and it is thanks to this website, in part, for that. For Australia I wish stable government. Does a hereditary monarch NEED to be a part of that, I don't think so. That said I do not like the tactics and behaviour of the Australian Republican Movement.

Lord Best said...

Well, hereditary constitutional monarchy does not have a monopoly on political stability, but in general it seems to do it better than any other form.
It is also so much more interesting than *another* peoples Republic with *another* president and *more* elections and *more* bureaucrats etc etc.