Queen Elizabeth the Second – what comes next?
Anyone who claims to be a democrat would argue that whoever is our Head of State should be elected. The Monarchy is an anathema of by gone days. Yet, the passing of the great Queen Elizabeth the Second, has shown an incredible outpouring of grief, and such a torrent of respect that it would be hard to imagine for anyone, outside our own families.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was without doubt a Head of State that brought the Commonwealth of Nations into being, a new bastion for democracy, showed a consistency and fairness in all things, and despite the load managed to be loved by so many of her (subjects) constituents.
Many will argue that the privilege of Royalty is an old fashioned concept, no longer needed, and that indeed the late Queen did have deficiencies as a person (Aberfan), as a mother (Returning from Australia to pat young Charles on the head), as a family matron (the failure of her children in marriage and in the wider world). All these reservations have some merit, but, despite them this great lady held the country in her heart, was a great proponent of democracy (The Commonwealth of nations expanded from few to many in her reign). She did it in a way that was constant and kind. She did it with a generosity of spirit that embraced 007 and Paddington Bear, as well as the umpteen Prime Ministers who passed through her door.
Being above politics, for some means that you have to take election, or currying favour, out of the equation. In the British Constitution of parliamentary democracy the Royal Head of State works well with the balance of the elected and non elected establishment. Of course, the House of Lords has become unbalanced in shape and form and needs constitutional reform, a task that the new King will not be able to avoid entirely.
Personally, I must give thanks for the life of Elizabeth my Queen for Seventy years. Her life has been in many ways an example to us all. I sincerely hope that a slimmed down monarchy continues to be head of our British constitution. If I were a religious man I would shout, “God save the King!”