The Paradox of Monarchy and the Eternity of Values

September 11, 2022

At a time when royal Houses are viewed as anachronistic, billions of people around the world are mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth.
How can this explained?

It is a complex question with many dimensions, among which I include the following:

During the 70-year reign of Elizabeth the world has changed to perhaps an unprecedented extent and with previously unseen velocity. It wasn’t just the wars, the disintegration of the British Empire (although the UK is still a major power, armed with nuclear weapons and a strong economy), the collapse of fascism and the disintegration of most communist states, or the technological revolution. It is the adoption of new principles and values. The alteration of the democratic state, with the citizen demanding more from his relations with the state. The weakening of moral norms the questioning of institutions, such as the family and religion. The ever-increasing role and power of the mass media.

In this world that is constantly changing in unknown directions, Elizabeth was an oasis of stability and dignity, displaying a very high sense of duty.

In the final analysis it is these values, dignity and a sense of duty, that have been largely discredited over time but which in the end seem to have eternal worth.

It is the same with political systems. The more they are taken for granted as simply reflecting the normal ebb and flow of human nature, the more they undergo changes that are not noticed, at least initially.

In her time on the throne Elizabeth witnessed almost every kind of government – divine right monarchy, communism, fascism, democracy, authoritarianism – and tendencies to return to each. There are many models nowadays.

Finally, that monarchy in the United Kingdom has endured is largely due to its being forced into political neutrality, into a lesser role that is nevertheless useful as a representative and guarantor of the state. A role that Elizabeth carried out with amazing success.


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