Here’s to the Queen

Is the Royal Family a good thing for our country? The answer has to be “Yes!” Since our last invasion by William 1 in 1066 we have never had another one. Since then there has been a Royal Family. The only reason I can think of about how this was maintained is our geographical situation: an island big enough to develop a sense of being united, despite ups and downs like The Civil War, the Armada and the failure of Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler to attempt to conquer us.

As we all know, the Royal Family has changed a great deal over the centuries to the point where they have no political power. This is a great blessing. They are an important icon representing all of their subjects but they have not the right to interfere with the government. That does not mean that the Queen has no power at all. She talks to our prime minister every week and is kept informed about the state of the kingdom. Over her reign she is the only person who has had the chance to form her own judgements and, although she cannot change things, she is very conscientious and intelligent and can pass on to each P.M. information gleaned from her wide knowledge of the past.

The kings and queens are born into their jobs and cannot give them up unless they abdicate. Whatever people say about the cost of maintaining them, the hard work they put in is unprejudiced and encouraging to all kinds of people as well as keeping up constant contact with the rest of the world.

There is no way they can be corrupt because they have no incentive to make money as they have more than enough already. Prince Philip runs businesses and charities that are useful to all of us and makes a good job of it.

Right now the flavour of the day is the coming Royal Marriage. Perhaps because the two young people

seem to want to make a genuinely suitable alliance, at a time when divorces are far too common, especially in the Royal Family itself. I have nothing against the announcement except it is way over the top in emphasis. I think all those people who are searching for the ideal marriage, despite the fact that there is no such thing, are longing that their expectations will be met.

It seems to me that one of the powerful needs of humans is to have someone to look up to. There is nothing wrong with this if those who are idolised are good examples. Looking back at history, those whose names remain well-known, comprise a motley mix of soldiers, dictators, martyrs, saints and miracle makers, gangsters and Royalty. This phenomenon reveals the two opposite sides of us all. The darker side of ourselves gets a thrill from seeing and hearing those who are brave enough to take great risks. That is why detective books are so popular, except for the fact that right always wins. Nevertheless many of us love to read autobiographies of criminals whether they get away with their crimes or not. It can be very boring to try to be good all the time.

The last time I noticed such a fuss was when Princess Dianna was killed. This was a very difficult time for the Queen and Prince Philip. Despite the fact that she had not behaved at all well as would be expected from someone in her position, her enormous popularity, good acts and above all outstanding good looks, created an extraordinary response. Would there have been such a response if she had been lacking in beauty and charisma? I think not. None of us are perfect but nevertheless we still hope that perfection is still possible. Is it better to look up rather than down? Of course it is! But good marriages have to be worked for.

I believe that despite the hicccups of having a royal family, a far worse things to bear are huge posters of power-seeking politicians or bloodthirsty dictators.