Monday, August 15, 2011

The Strange Invisibility Of Her Majesty The Queen During Our Recent Crisis

I feel I owe an apology to HRH The Prince of Wales regarding what I had mistakenly perceived to be his absence from the public arena during the recent rioting crisis. On the evening of Sunday 14th August he appeared on BBC1's 'Britain's Hidden Heritage', enthusing over the quality of the plasterwork in the pink dining room at Dumfries House.
At times like this, you have to remember the important things in life. My apologies.
A random thought occurred to me while pondering the noticeable absence of HM The Queen in recent days. One would have thought that at times like this, and during events of the type we have seen, the head of state should be out front and centre, appealing for calm among her subjects, imploring them to stop stealing from one another and requesting that they co-operate with her agencies. Unless I am greatly mistaken, this did not happen. Why it did not puzzles me. What other purpose does a national figurehead serve other than to be a focal point in times of crisis?
The only conclusion I can draw is that the British oligarchy is extremely nervous of the Queen, or any indeed any monarch, not merely being disobeyed but being both seen and heard to be disobeyed. After all this time, they are still frightened of their position's fragility. Perhaps they know all too well that everything they hold depends upon the monarch being able to claim the title 'Fidei Defensor', an assumed royal title so important to everything that happens in British public life that it is the only one to appear on British coinage alongside the monarch's name and their rank, and the thinnest of threads by which to be connected to that to which you feel entitled. Being a national figurehead when the Germans are dropping bombs is one thing. Being a national figurehead when your subjects are engaging in riotous disorder is quite another.
If that's the case, it's a viewpoint which in its own way is a rather pathetic one to hold after you've been at the top for nearly a thousand years. I almost feel sorry for them.
You may have noticed an increase in what might be perceived to be anti-monarchical sentiment appearing on the blog in recent weeks. You might not be wrong. This is a direct consequence at the wave of disgust that swept over me when I saw HRH The Prince of Wales done up in full regalia, including those spotless spats, presiding over the Armed Forces Day celebrations held in Edinburgh on 25th June this year. It was the spats that did it; impractical, toytown footwear that would show the slightest stain being worn in front of men who've been there and done it where military matters are concerned. The volume of what one might perhaps not unreasonably feel to be largely unearned decorations being worn by members of the Royal Family at the wedding of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge was laughably Ruritanian. I wouldn't have fancied being in a plane over London at the time, if only because of the impact all that metal might have had on the compass.
However, for what my perhaps incorrect, if not deranged, opinion's worth, all that posturing serves a deadly serious purpose. It tells anyone who might be minded to challenge our oligarchy that it has the army; and as any Roman usurper could tell you, if you can keep that, you're pretty secure.

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