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The Queen Does Not Inspire; That’s a Feature Not a Bug

31 May 2012

1:01 PM

31 May 2012

1:01 PM

Can’t republicans do better than this?

If keeping quiet and cutting ribbons is all we can expect of our head of state then perhaps we can agree she’s done well — but surely we can expect more.
As a national figurehead and leading public figure the queen has utterly failed to do anything of note or worth. After 60 years who can quote a famous speech or point to a moment of crisis or celebration when the queen offered leadership and inspiration?
For all the failures of the monarchy — in principle, practice and in political terms — the queen and the institution offer little in return but an empty chair where an inspiring national figure could have stood. 
That’s Graham Smith, Chief Neep at Republic, writing for CNN. Who, pray, would be the kind of inspiring national figure who could offer leadership and inspiration? Asking the question reveals there is no satisfactory answer. The peculiar genius of monarchy, at least of the kind exemplified by Queen Elizabeth, is that it removes politics (of which there is more than enough anyway, thank you very much) from the office of Head of State. One need only look to the United States to see the difficulties that come with electing a Priest-King. 

That said, I rather agree with Freddy Gray that there is a danger of overkill this weekend and that the Windsors should remember that you can have too much of a good thing and that, like so much else, PR-stunts are vulnerable to the law of diminishing returns. 

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