Long to Reign Over Us
by Joyce Hoover
Unlike most nations divided by differences of class, race,
religion and even language, Britain has something
special that brings us all together, to which we can all
show our allegiance, and that is the Royal Family. They manage
to stand for us, represent us, and provide us with a model to
emulate. They do this by being both ordinary and special.
Politicians have the power to govern (or think they have it)
but itís the Queen who has the authority to rule. If the P.M. is
visiting a town people will either not bother to turn up or they
will go in order to shout at him, wave placards and, if they get
the chance, throw the odd bag of flour. In contrast when the
Queen pays a visit communities prepare for months beforehand
to give her the warmest possible welcome.
Out come the flowers and the Union Jacks, the mitres and
the chains of office, the colourful costumes and the trestle
tables with sandwiches and lemonade, the displays of dancing
and local crafts, and everywhere the eager faces of young and
old lining the pavements clutching their Union Jacks, hoping
against hope for even a glimpse of the only real celebrity on the
In most other nations people are, at best, citizens; we Brits on the other hand are also subjects - proud subjects of Her
Majesty the Queen, who as we know is above politics (the best position to be).
Nowadays the Queen still opens Parliament and dissolves it, though not just because she feels like it. The monarch no longer
leads British Armed Forces into battle, though princes are sometimes detached to the World's trouble spots to keep them out of the tabloid newspapers.
There is a Royal Train and a Royal Jet, but the monarch has had to give up the Royal Yacht (Britannia) and now has to pay
taxes, like the rest of us! This is wrong because she is not like the rest of us - she's special, and that's why people all around the World admire her and want to be seen with her.
When foreign heads of state come to visit they have to pretend to be interested in meeting and negotiating with the Prime
Minister, whereas what they and their wives are really looking forward to is meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
Wouldn't you be the same? The banqueting hall, the flunkeys, the ceremony, the posh frocks, the protocol, being kept waiting
and having to bow or curtsey. Like it was in the good old days! Most other nations in Europe, indeed the World, got rid of
their royal families by cutting their heads off or sending them into exile. Now of course they regret it; they see how beloved our Queen is; now not only Brits but tourists from all four corners of the globe flock to London to visit Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and all the other royal landmarks, eager to experience the splendour and the magic of a real monarchy! Backhome they buy millions of magazines to find out anything they can about the lives and loves of these fairy tale figures. Who, I'd like to know, would amble, let alone 'flock', to France to see the President of the Republic or to Germany to catch a
glimpse of the Chancellor??!!
It's true that we English did abolish the monarchy for a short period (1649 - 1660) and even, in a moment of madness,
chopped off the king's head. But kings, you know, are rather like worms - chop off the head and they just go an grow another
body - and in this case Charles I soon came back as Charles II.