Britain still has a chance of avoiding the terrible fate of America and France

Britain is a lucky country, and not just because we’ve been blessed with the most extraordinary queen in the last 70 years. The constitutional monarchy she leads has proven to be one of our country’s greatest strengths, a central reason why we remain a haven of tranquility, prosperity and freedom in a world of chaos, revolution and war.

The Monarchy is not an afterthought, a symbol, a relic of the past: it is one of Britain’s central institutions, a driver of who we are as a nation, a driver of renewal and unification, absorbing the present into our past, fueling our unusual ability to reinvent ourselves without abandoning our essence. It serves as a bulwark against extremism, against demagogues, tyrants, fascists, communists and awakened nullifiers.

The 1,136 years of royal continuity since Alfred the Great has been a remarkable story of evolution, a shift from absolutism to government by consent, from feudalism to a form of capitalism, from Catholicism to a multi-denominational society, from the Anglo- saxon to empire to Brexit. The monarchy, paradoxically, given what it was before Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights, now protects the people against power. The monarch serves as a reminder to politicians that they are not, ultimately, in complete control: there are forces and institutions above them.

Other methods exist to protect nations against extremism or tyranny, such as the division of powers at the heart of the American constitution. But the downside for America is constant paralysis and an inability to reform institutions that are broken. Thanks to our constitutional monarchy, we are able to evolve when necessary; others have to shave everything to change. It’s not a naive hymn to a whiggish view of history: many changes to this country over time have been bad, with botched devolutions for example. But we can face and absorb harmful ideas or ideological revolutions without losing our soul; the French and the Russians and even the Americans cannot.

In the past, Republicans argued that meritocracy was incompatible with monarchy: the great changes of recent decades, the Big Bang in the City, the drastic progress of the working classes in the 1980s and of minorities in the 2010s, have shown this n is not true. Anyone in Britain today can be a prime minister or a billionaire.

Fundamentally, the central role of the monarchy in British life moderates our politics and our society. This greatly reduces the threat of extremism, violence or ideological overreaching, a quality that the rest of the world greatly appreciates about Britain.

A monarchy, with its titles, its palaces, its carriages and its servants, is obviously not compatible with communism, even if it can coexist with quite radical leftist governments. The royal family is inherently internationalist, as is the Commonwealth: autarky or complete isolationism would be psychologically difficult. When soldiers enlist in the armed forces, they swear allegiance not to the Prime Minister, but to the Queen: the threat of a coup d’etat organized by an impetuous demagogue is minimal.

The Queen’s role as head of the Church of England – and the possibility that one day the monarch’s role could expand to that of defender of all faiths – also militates against compulsory official secularism. The Queen’s sincere Christianity, her moral language and her leadership have helped break down barriers between religions, made minority worshipers feel fully British and, in a way that baffles French and American legalistic observers, have helped to entrench religious pluralism in Britain. . Over time, this will hopefully help defuse both Islamism and far-right sentiment, and forge a more tolerant and integrated society in an age of mass immigration.

The time horizons of monarchies are extremely long, a useful counterpoint to an age of social media where attention spans shrink, leadership positions change too quickly in the public and private sectors, ministers come and go every year, and where wisdom and experience are undervalued. Western societies also tend to downplay the importance of family: nepotism is rightly taboo in educational institutions, big business and the public sector. But in the private sphere, in the real world, family and blood ties matter, and often more than anything. The royal family reminds us of continuity between generations, even when there are tensions, disagreements and scandals. While millions of people struggle against atomism, demographic implosion, loneliness and the search for meaning, anything that rebalances our perceptions of the good life is certainly welcome.

Yet the greatest danger to our societies today is the disintegration from within, the idea that our countries are inherently evil, racist and ‘white supremacist’, that freedom of speech, the rule of law and democracy are a cover for “microaggressions” and “violence”, that genders and ethnicities should be pitted against each other, and that anyone who disagrees should be “cancelled” and destroyed.

Again, I hope Britain will, over time, be better placed to stave off much of this woke revolution. The monarchy has become a unifying center around which each group can merge without degenerating into identity politics: everyone can feel the pride of it. It is an institution that reminds us of our unique history, the extension of rights, individual and political freedoms and the immense economic opportunity that has characterized British history. No honest reading of the last 1,000 years can remotely claim that we are particularly bad – despite all our faults, all our mistakes, we have long been a beacon among nations, improving and developing before others and struggling faster against injustice.

The Queen’s reign and her deeds expose woke criticism as absurdly misguided and imbecile. Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi, perfectly captured His Majesty’s remarkable qualities and devotion in his special Jubilee prayer: “His crown is honor and majesty; his scepter, law and morality. Her concern has been welfare, freedom and unity, and in the lands of her rule she has upheld justice and freedom for all races, languages ​​and creeds.

The monarchy, and the queen in particular, have provided us with an intrinsic advantage in combating the destabilizing forces that plague Western democracies. For that, and for all that Her Majesty has given us during her 70 extraordinary years on the throne, we should be eternally grateful.

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