Monday 20 December 2010

The Role of Monarchy

Speaking in Quebec in 1964 HM The Queen declared: “The role of a constitutional monarch is to personify the democratic state, to sanction legitimate authority, to assure the legality of its measures, and to guarantee the execution of the popular will. In accomplishing this task it protects the people against disorder.”

As the world changes ever more quickly, becoming, in the process, both increasingly chaotic and unfamiliar, the Monarchy stands as a steadfast symbol of stability and continuity. It is one of the few elements in modern life that grounds us and places us at a fixed point in the continuum of our history. This stability may explain in part why post-war Britain was able to transform from an imperial nation, through decolonization and economic decline, without the unrest and ideological battles that afflicted nations such as France -- the trappings of Monarchy made the transformation easier to bear.

Today, the Sovereign is not merely a legal entity or constitutional power; HM is the representative of the nation, the ultimate symbol of national identity and the supreme champion of the spirit of civic duty.

During her Coronation Service The Queen took a solemn oath dedicating herself to a life of selfless service and duty, reaffirming the covenant between Sovereign and People. The oath and the consecration/annointing are of profound significance to our religiously devout Sovereign. In The Queen’s 2000 Christmas Broadcast HM said: “For me, the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life.”

The modern British monarchy continues the tradition of Christian Monarchy, upholding three fundamental pillars of civil society: 

  • 1.      ceremonial and ritual (symbolising the state and providing a source of national unity)
  • 2.      civic duty (expressed principally through philanthropy and charitable work)
  • 3.      moral leadership (demonstrated through sacrifice and duty)

No other form of government, and no other type of head of state, is better equipped to handle these essential elements of civil and civilised society. 

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