September 9, 2015

H.M.The Queen: Elizabeth II Today Becomes the Longest Reigning Monarch of England

From Our gracious Queen by David Warren:

All of her prime ministers (and there have been hundreds of them) can attest, and most have attested, to the remarkable mastery of her brief; many have been embarrassed to discover that the Queen is better informed than they are, on the very topics they have come to discuss. Such is her presence that, regardless of political party, it is doubtful that any politician has gone back to see her, not thoroughly prepared, a second time.

We call her a “constitutional” monarch, in the sense that the power to make and pass legislation resides, in British realms, entirely with Parliament; and so she is obliged to give royal assent to their various, typically foolish schemes. The Speech from the Throne in every House, modelled on Westminster, is written in the office of the Prime Minister of the day, not in the Palace. This is a great pity, but is the result nevertheless of a long, mostly unwritten, constitutional history that cannot easily be undone, nor should be except gradually, with abundant caution. Happily no one, who is not insane, holds our Queen responsible for the nonsense she must read and sign.

In their memoirs, I think every British prime minister since her first (Winston Churchill), has credited her useful contributions, simply from asking questions or making suggestions that no one else had thought of. For she is in possession of a fine political mind, able to compass details that lie beyond the reach of most politicians.

A very intelligent, elderly, constitutional monarch is of inestimable value in this regard. She serves, in a sense, as a living institutional memory. Even a young one has the advantage of a family history, and an upbringing, of value as a corrective to men who can think only of immediate personal advantage — risen as they are from the gutter, up the greasy pole. She is there to remind, or even to teach them, in a place where their vulgarity will not be exposed: behind those closed palace doors.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at September 9, 2015 12:12 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Will she be the last Christian Monarch of England? Will her dopey son announce he's a Muslim before she slips off this mortal coil?

Posted by: Scott M at September 9, 2015 1:12 AM

Oh, my! How the years go by. My Father was stationed in England during WWII, sort of as a "military advisor" or some such. He always expressed the highest regard for Her Majesty.

Susan Lee

Posted by: Susan Lee at September 9, 2015 6:22 AM

I was in love with her in the '30s, and her sister Margaret too. I was a young pre-teen, they were older pre-teens, and always showing up in Life or Look. I didn't go for that cutesy Shirley Temple stuff. By the '50s I had lowered my sights considerably.

Posted by: BillH at September 9, 2015 7:11 AM

One thing to say about old people: they don't have the muscle or the patience to argue, they'll just shoot you (pardon clumsy metaphor);

Another thing to say about the old 'uns:

"Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance." - David Mamet

Posted by: chasmatic at September 9, 2015 7:36 AM

Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut (O'Rourke, P. J.)

Posted by: Van der Leun at September 9, 2015 8:36 AM

Scott M: By law the monarch of Great Britain must be a communicant of the Church of England. Wikipedia: Act_of_Settlement_1701.

"All of her prime ministers (and there have been hundreds of them)"

I count an even dozen. I counted Harold Wilson, who had two separate non-continuous terms, only once.

Wikipedia List_of_Prime_Ministers_of_the_United_Kingdom

Posted by: Fat Man at September 9, 2015 9:32 AM

And that's why you get the big bucks....

Posted by: Van der Leun at September 9, 2015 10:58 AM

I like the "hundreds" bit better. Stick with it.

Betty Battenberg is a hell of a gal. She's walked the tightrope pretty well, and held the family business together better than anyone could have hoped.

Posted by: Gordon at September 9, 2015 11:29 AM

Hundreds would only make sense if we were talking about Italy. She has been queen through a dozen US presidencies, and a dozen UK prime ministers.

Posted by: Fat Man at September 9, 2015 4:23 PM

Her resilience has survived the meretricious emotionalism of the Dianafication of the West.
Unfortunately a whole string of her treacherous Prime Minister have pissed the sovereignty of her nation down the drain and European federalism will eventually turn her Kingdom into a Ruritanian backwater.

That's assuming that it isn't Dhimmified first by the new Caliphate. We fear her heir has already suffered that fate. Therefore Vivat Regina!

Best appraisal of HM's world record reign was penned today by the best writer in her Commonwealth:

Posted by: Frank P at September 9, 2015 4:46 PM

May God continue to save Her Gracious Majesty!

Posted by: Andy Texan at September 9, 2015 8:14 PM

Oh, look, a rabbit

Whether she had dozens or hundreds of Prime Ministers is irrelevant unless we are reviewing David Warren's writing rather than the competence of the Queen.

Posted by: chasmatic at September 10, 2015 6:28 AM

Then there's this

Posted by: Bill Jones at September 10, 2015 2:26 PM