Sunday, 17 June 2012

Royal fever confirms the monarchy is here to stay

These last few weeks have been a right royal affair for Great Britian. Across the nation (and indeed the world), people have been watching their television's and getting their bunting ready as we celebrated 60 years of one of the nation's most iconic and most important women of the last two centuries.

Yes, I'm talking about Queen Elizabeth II. Her majesty has recently celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in style, with the majority of the UK turning out to party and applaud 60 years of her reign.

And what's better, despite the economic downturn and 'rumours' that the public are turning against our beloved Royal Family, the latest statistics show that the popularity of the Royal's has reached rocket levels since research began.

The Daily Mail reported yesterday that the Ipsos Mori poll had recorded that 9/10 people in the UK were happy at the job the Queen was doing for this country, the highest rating since records began in 1992. The findings also suggested 77% of the nation favoured the monarchy over a reformed republic, which only generated a measly 15% in favour.

The Queen can be criticised for many things. She is, when all things considered, a ceremonial figurehead who in reality does very little for the country. All the decisions are in the hands of the Prime Minister since the Bill of Rights 1689 effectively ended the royal sovereignty and shifted it to parliamentary sovereignty (the PM basically has control over the state, rather then the monarch.)

But even if the Queen plays a ceremonial role, she does have significant influence and, as the statistics suggest, is more popular then ever before. At the grand old age of 86, she still plays an important role as part of our unwritten constitution. And it's a role she's successfully managed to fulfil these last 60 years.

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said of the Queen's role over the last 60 years:
"After 60 years on the throne she has proved the value of the monarchy in uniting the nation, and she has put the republicans to a spectacular rout. ... she has seen the people of this country grow incomparably richer, healthier and (arguably) happier than they were in 1952."

The last two years, I believe, have been the turning point for the Royal Family. Since the problems caused by the death of Princess Diana, the monarchy has built up its reputation and remains a powerful emblem of British society. The Royal Wedding last year saw record numbers of viewers and tourists watch Prince William and Kate Middleton become the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, reigniting the popularity of the monarchy, particularly with younger generations. The young couple have shown that the Royal Family are still in-touch with the nation, and their popularity shows that.

But the Queen still remains the pillar of the Royal Family, as the huge crowds and nationwide celebrations reiterated. More street parties were thrown for the Diamond Jubilee than the Royal Wedding, and more people visited London (despite the rain) too. The flotilla of boats saw people from across the Commonwealth float along the Thames, and even celebrities and pop stars saluted the Queen with the Jubilee concert. Bunting was everywhere, and even those disgruntled against the monarchy joined in the festivities (and those that still campaigned were detained, good riddance!)

I will not deny my biased opinion in support of the Queen. I love the monarchy, I think the Queen is fantastic and yes I was waving my flag ecstatically during the Jubilee weekend. I even cried a little at the moving speech by Prince Charles at the end of the Jubilee concert (particularly the 'mummy' bit!)

The Jubilee festivities taught me two things. One; Britain, despite the miserable weather, certainly knows how to put on a party. And two; Britain still loves our majesty, despite the economic problems and past problems. So here's to Liz and the Royal Family. Long may you lead our country, and long may other nations remain envious of our rich and colourful history between the monarchy and the nation.

Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia/ my own

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