I am sure that everybody who writes for public consumption, has written something about the Royals. Due to being ill and in hospital, I wasn’t able to contribute , but I am doing so now on a different tack. Being born in the 20s, I entered an age where it was natural to be a royalist, to be anything else was unusual. On royal occasions the children were given mugs and spoons as keepsakes by the local authority, so the whole philosophy was endemic and taken for granted. It was only just before the war that any thought was given by the general public, to the validity of having a royal family taking care of our affairs, however, the upsurge of the Bownshirts, and Oswald Mosley’s people had little effect on the general public. For this reason, and the fact that the general public are mostly proud to have a royal family, I think we’re lucky because I see little favour in a dictatorship, and I believe our system is preferable to those where the head of state changes every five years
As part of the Raj in Africa, I found the Royal family held a very high position, they represented home, that place miles across the sea, that was look forward to by the civil servants as their final resting place when they retired. .Empire day each year was a great occasion for us in Livingston, in what was then Rhodesia and now Zimbabwe. The children were given keepsakes, and the Governor, at Government House, gave a party for the children in the afternoon and a dinner for the Whites and those of the other races who held prominent positions of authority. Needless to say there were very few Africans invited to these affairs. Some years later, when we returned to England, and the cat’s whisker type radio became in vogue, the country as a whole would sit at Christmas lunch and listen to the King’s speech. This affinity of the man in the street for the Royals, was duplicated during the war when the Dutch resistance, in London learning their trade, would stand and toast Queen Wilhelmina when the Dutch anthem was played on Sunday nights, along with the anthems of every country fighting with us.
Every week,The Prime Minister advises the Queen on current policies and other political matters. Whether this is a polite, historical feature, and serves any real purpose of putting a brake on something the Queen objects to, I feel is unlikely. There is a thing called the Royal prerogative, which has come down through the historical ages, from when kings had total power. I believe that this also has been watered down. All the time that we have a royal head of state, the chances of us becoming a dictatorship, is thankfully, unlikely. We only have to look round the world today to see the disadvantages of the dictatorship.
One of these days we will have a change in the head of state, and when one hears that the current Queen has had as many as 440 engagements in one year, one can see that there has to be a considerable amount of study by the head of state, not only to maintain her or his standards when receiving the Prime Minister each week, but also having to mug up all the details and personalities for each visit. It would seem therefore at the outset, any new head of state has got a prodigious learning curve, and I wouldn’t like to be in his shoes