November 16, 2010

To the Future King and Queen

The announcement of a Royal engagement is newsworthy for precisely one reason: we discover who is to be our future Queen. It is not important for us to know if she can work, but if she will serve; not if she is happy, but if she is dutiful; not if she is pretty, but if she is healthy. And one might say that even these things should be beyond our ken, for it is nothing to do with us after all whom His Royal Highness chooses to wed. She is entering a public role, and this should have nothing to do with the paparazzi, or with intimate knowledge about whether she can cook, or with what she chooses to wear.

Our utter disrespect for the Monarchy is generally expressed through our interest in all the bits and pieces of their existence that are completely and wholly irrelevant. We reduce them to first names, follow them in celebrity magazines, pass judgment on their comments, their actions, their every move. We answer nonsensical polls about whether we ‘like’ them, or what they’re ‘good for’, and go about as if our opinions on such things matter. We are generally so dim-wittedly unaware of what the Monarchy is for, and from whence it came, that one wonders why we bother taking so much ‘interest’ in it at all, or rather, why they seem so intent on managing their media presence. The Monarchy is now on Facebook, and you can ‘like’ it, and for its part, it will delete offensive comments. The post- modern court is dull, plebeian, and hideously democratic. If Royalty is reduced to this, then how do we distinguish it from its opposite: the Anti-Monarchy Society, also of Facebook?

We really should take note of the Monachy mottos, and so might They
We are mistaken to think, and the Monarchy is mistaken to endorse the thought, that we all inhabit the same world; that they’re ordinary people, like you and me; that we have a right to know, and that they have an obligation to tell us. If all of that were true then they should not continue as a monarchy, but instead retire into middle-class ennui. The Monarchy has forgotten how to be a monarchy, it seems. They care what we think, and they appear on sofas talking to journalists who call them William and Kate. And this breeds nothing but contempt in those who look for reasons to abolish the whole lot of them, for they flaunt the lie of their special distinction, rubbing our noses in it. For God’s sake go back into your palaces, and occasionally deign to wave at us from a balcony. Be mysterious, aloof, eccentric. Be evasive, elusive, and above all have contempt for the media limelight. You do not need to court it, or to woo us. You are the Monarchy. You have to believe, or at least portray that you believe, that you are morally, spiritually, and constitutionally distinct from me, and from everyone else. It may be utter nonsense, but those are the terms, or else all bets are off. Either You reign, or You do not. Either You serve a constitutional function, or You do not. Either You appear on stamps and the money, or You do not. There is nothing democratic – meant in the crass modern sense, where everyone thinks they should have an equal say about everything – about You.

But who am I to tell you what to do? I’m just one man at court among millions.

3 comments:

  1. The whole point of Royalty is magic and legend, not sofas and facebook. As you say.

    Darn it, Your Majesties, I just want to be able to imagine you riding out in purple trousers and a fur cape to lead your countrypeople against demonic hoards.

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  2. Good doctor, surely, if you are right, men who share your sentiments are ennobled by them. The magnitude of one's suffering is the best show of one's greatness after all.

    Perhaps what the monarchy needs most is people to prop it up - as there never has been a right without people to consent that indeed it is right - and there never has been talk of God's law but by people who have learned of it from believers.

    Therefore it is of paramount importance that the royal personages believe in their role and whether the people believe in it also. Making believe will not do. It is what has got Britain in its present sorry state. In fact, I am unsure Britain exists anymore - any more than the United Kingdom.

    The political institutions must be corrected and education must revert to political categories, else no one will have any understanding of the respect owed to royal personages - nor of the power the people have over the kings, in that kings are duty-bound and must mix their souls with their nation.

    Whether you or some other of Her Majesty's subjects leave the island is of little importance in the grand scheme of things, but if the kingdom is not great, the royal personages should suffer great torture at the thought. There is little guarantee of the honor of England but in this utter plunging of the royal personages in the public life of the country.

    It was once suggested to them they were useless creatures and that the new science and the new understanding of historical phenomena have rendered them obsolete. The massive failures of this new world offer royalty a great occasion to step back into public life and claim what is by right theirs.

    I am advised that some Englishmen find it perfectly consonant with their education and aspirations that they pray for this to happen...

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