Friday, 11 March 2016

Queen of the World

If there is one thing that the monarchy has never represented or embodied, that it has been national independence.

Even Henry VIII invaded France, of which he also claimed to be King. Quite some chutzpah, considering that his claim to be King of England was tenuous enough. But there we are.

Today, the monarchy links us, albeit in rather ill-defined ways, to a further 15 sovereign states in the Americas and the Pacific, vastly different from Britain and from each other.

Through the wider Commonwealth, again for all the purpose that it serves, the monarchy ties us in at least some manner to everywhere from Brunei to Mozambique, citizens of both of which will have votes in the EU referendum.

In one way or another, the monarchy is deemed to place us under some kind of obligation to much of the world.

The only area that is almost entirely excluded, apart from a couple of Mediterranean outposts (neither of them culturally much like Britain, although both quite fond of the place), is Continental Europe.

Except, of course,  that the Royal Family could not be more bound up with Continental Europe. Far more so, in fact, than it is with these Islands.

Germans, in particular, regard our reigning dynasty as "Germans who speak English", simply as an observation of fact. That dynasty has not spoken English natively for terribly long, even now.

The monarchy has other uses and benefits. But the assertion of national independence and sovereignty has always, or at least since the Norman Conquest, been against it rather than in any sense by means of it.

And that will always, always be the case.

1 comment:

  1. As you know several of the Royals' relatives and one other had to be stripped of British peerages for fighting for the other side in the First World War. There is still no nationality requirement of any kind to hold or exercise a hereditary peerage, you can vote and stand in their elections to the Lords no matter what you are, before the reforms you were automatically in our Parliament without having to be anything to do with our country, it used to happen from time to time.