Why do Britishers celebrate their monarch?

Queen Elizabeth had worked with several prime ministers in the last 7 decades with utmost decency in public life. Not ever had she intervened in the affairs of a democratically elected government run by the Prime Minister.

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Why do Britishers celebrate their monarch?

In the evening of 8th September 2022, the Queen of the United Kingdom Queen Elizabeth II left for her heavenly abode. She had the fortune of serving Great Britain along with Commonwealth Realms for the longest time. From the tender age of coronation at merely 24 to 96 years of age, she played an important role in British public life. Not only that, she had worked with several prime ministers in the last 7 decades with utmost decency in public life. Not ever had she intervened in the affairs of a democratically elected government run by the Prime Minister. She was well aware of her stature as a nominal head and her duty to respect the democratic will of the people. Whether Conservative or Labour, leaders from across the isle who have worked with her closely would accept her propriety, decency and demeanour in public life. After all, it is not an easy task to pull off without controversy, misuse of power and a little bit of eccentricity, seven decades of a life in constant watch of the people.

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Her departure had brought a cloud of sadness in the sky of otherwise good weather of Britain. She was, after all, at this age the grandmother of the country. She had literally aged gracefully, taking on the roles of the moral guardian of the whole of Britain.

After her, Prince Charles has been coronated as the next king. While on one side, there is sadness in the atmosphere for the Queen’s departure, on another, there is jubilation among Britons for getting their new king. Amidst such mixed feeling, people thronged around the Buckinghum palace to bade adieu to the Queen. It was as if they had lost their grand old guardian.

However, such an excited atmosphere creates confusion among people across the world. Because world over, monarchy is not celebrated anymore the way the Britons do. In fact, in surveys it has been found that more than 4/5th of the people of UK are in favour of monarch. A mere1/5th is against the monarchy. This has been almost a constant trend over decades. It is ironic that Britain can be considered one of the world’s oldest democracy, although not republic.

The formation of the British Parliament goes back a long way. In fact, it is one of the oldest parliaments, although not in the modern form. However, the Parliament got support from the Crown. Initially established from among the nobility to advice the crown on taxation, later on it started to assume greater role.

However, 17th century saw a period of tumult in the British Palace when republicans wanted to overthrow the monarchy. The popular movement was not devoid of bloodshed. It had its share of bloodshed. In January,1649, the republicans executed King Charles I and freed United Kingdom from monarchy.

But, this did not work well in the coming future. In a charged atmosphere, Oliver Cromwell was declared ‘Lord Protector.’ His reign is controversial. Many regard him as a military dictator. After his death, his son took over the charge. People became disillusioned with ‘Republicanism.’ Now, people wanted to restore the monarchy. The Parliament voted in favour of restoration of Charles II and as such he was restored in 1660.

Britishers had perhaps seen the ups and downs in history in terms of absence of monarchy. In an old and complex society of United kingdom, republicanism might be a cherished dream but establishing practically is hard.

Moreover, subsequent British monarchs had evolved with time unlike their counterparts in many other countries. In many countries, monarchs became unpopular while holding onto power despite the fact that a popular sentiment had grown in favour of democracy. British transition post-restoration is more or less evolutionary rather than revolutionary. The Parliamentarians in general, therefore, donot hold much of historical bitterness like counterparts in many other countries. Restoration of the monarchy was more or less agreement of mutual need and trust for each other. While the Perliament respects the monarch as the sovereign head, the sovereign respects the Parliament as the will of the people. The sovereign does not interfere in the affairs of the state. The crown is the ceremonial head, the rubber stump of a sort.

Over the years, the evolution has taken place in such a way that the British Parliament can be called the most powerful Legislature in the world. This evolution was without a written constitution and without much opposition from the crown. The personal behaviour of many royals also played part in the trust between the crown and the Parliament.

When Queen Elizabeth was coronated, Britain was in shambles. Wounded by the 2nd world war and loss of colonies, she lost her glory. In these fading circumstances, King George vi died. Queen Elizabeth was merely 24, a young charming royal but without much experience.

However, she appeared to be the only hope in darkness. Her glossy, youthful charm gave British a hope to aspire again; her royal feathers would remind them a glorious past; her compassion would nurture the wounded Kingdom. Despite her young age, Queen Elizabeth II proved her mettle in public service. A blending of personal charisma and conscious distance from politics, she had moulded a brand of monarchy as a symbol of unity, service and duty. It stands for stability in an everchanging world.

By, Mokhjumi Ahmed

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Why do Britishers celebrate their monarch?
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Queen Elizabeth had worked with several prime ministers in the last 7 decades with utmost decency in public life. Not ever had she intervened in the affairs of a democratically elected government run by the Prime Minister.
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THE POLICY TIMES
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