Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Long she reigned over us: The Crown endures

britain-gc6e6ec1b3_1280 Thank you, ma'am

We commemorate a legacy of dedication and service, of dignity and grace, and a reign that oversaw social change but brought unity above division, and represented the greater whole. Now that the throne has been passed, we must not descend into republicanism. 

A nation, a world in mourning. The longest reigning monarch in British history, surpassing that of Queen Victoria, Her Majesty's passing has provoked many an outpouring of emotions on the internet, with statements abound. There are many words we could use to describe Her Late Majesty and her reign. Constant. Stability. Duty. Service. These words come to mind as that is what we see, that is what we feel, and these are the truths we take to heart. This Great Elizabethan Age has sadly come to an end.

Of the many to put out statements in response to Her Majesty's passing, one of the more poignant ones was from Paul Keating, the former Australian Prime Minister - a demonstration than even the most ardent of republicans recognised a life and reign of service and dedication around the world. But therein led to another question posed in his statement: that of the future of the monarchy, within and outside of Britain.

We live in the age where the monarchy is one of the many historic institutions to come under question, under scrutiny. Despite this, Her Majesty's longevity, service, and love for her subjects above all else was able to hold back the tide. That constant in our lives meant there was less space for the anti-monarchists to run rampage and make republicanism a serious force. They argued the Queen was an unelected Head of State, that there was no poll, hence no legitimacy. 

They argued that pledging loyalty to Her Majesty was an undemocratic anathema, the last vestige of an era of feudalism. What they refused to realise was that this wasn't the question at all - the principle of a constitutional monarchy and of pledging loyalty to it was to pledge one's dedication to a constitution, and an entity above the self. Above the pettiness of everyday politics and personalities as such. 

In the age of celebrity, Her Majesty avoided the indiscretions of the rich and famous, of the power-abusers, and the kleptocrats - far from it; for there is something delicate about her position as Sovereign, a position that can never be emulated in a Republic. Republicans have raised examples of successful parliamentary democracies which are Republics, but no President could say that the electoral politics of the day didn't touch their decisions. The constitutional monarchy gives that space, that ambiguity, so that the face of the nation brings about trust in their subjects, that the Sovereign's interests are the nation's, not just their own.

Then, there is the question of identity, controversial in some Commonwealth countries: whether the Monarch represents them. One of the main arguments from the republican side, as it goes, is that apart from being unelected as Sovereign, the Sovereign doesn't represent the multicultural society that Commonwealth nations have become. However, they forget, that no President can truly represent or capture all of the societies that they are President of. They may be elected by a majority, but there is always a minority that hasn't won; with a constitutional monarchy, those questions are left to Parliamentary Elections. The Head of State of any country, as a singular individual, can't represent everyone, but what a Constitutional Monarch brings is dedication and service to the whole - not just a section of voters, not just a region or a set of voters - but the whole. This cannot be emulated in any republic. 

Nations across the world are in a constant evolution and struggle to understand the meaning of identity. Often, religion, shared cultures, and customs are what brings a nation together - but when that changes, so does the national understanding. Division, conflict, and episodes of self-questioning can become rife in any multicultural and multilingual community - only dedication to a greater whole can be that uniting force: be it the idea of the nation, a set of shared values, etcetera. Hence, what a monarch brings is that constant, uniting force where dedication and service to all becomes the personification of the greater whole.

Monarchy isn't just about the head that wears the crown, but about personifying that greater whole. And Her Majesty did just that. Let us remember that greater whole Her Majesty served so selflessly, as we enter this new Carolean Age.

God save the King. 

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Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
Chairman: Barry Legg
The Bruges Group
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Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames