Opinion: Having a Queen is much better than having a President
As the Queen celebrates her 91th birthday, let’s remember how lucky we are to have her
You’re meant to stand up when the American President walks in the room.
They play music when he enters. And military personnel salute him.
That’s because the President of the United States is also their head of state. He’s basically an elected king.
But it’s not like that in the UK. Our Prime Minister is just an ordinary man or woman, albeit one with an important job.
We’re lucky in this country to have a political system where we reserve all that nonsense for someone who doesn’t actually have any power – the Queen.
And this week the nation celebrates her 90th birthday.
There’s going to be celebrations across the country. For example, Birmingham’s Lord Mayor will light a beacon in Victoria Square – one of a chain of beacons across the country – and a civic service will be held at Birmingham Cathedral.
Later in the year we’ll even be able to toast the Queen’s health when the pubs stay open late, on June 10 and 11, to honour Her Majesty.
The Queen herself is widely respected. She’s dedicated herself to serving the country and the Commonwealth.
And, thanks to her long life, she has provided some sense of stability and continuity while the rest of the world changes.
She was there when we joined the European Union and she’s here 46 years later as we consider leaving, for example.
But we don’t really know what she thinks about anything.
Newspapers sometimes publish stories claiming to reveal the Queen’s private thoughts on the issues of the day, but we’ll never know whether the reports are true or not. The Queen keeps her mouth shut.
And this is the beauty of our monarchy. It’s not just the Queen we should be grateful for. It’s the fact that we have this bizarre, mediaeval institution at all.
Every country seems to feel the need to place someone on a pedestal and make them the personification of the state. A president, a king, a dictator or whatever. I’m not sure why, but it happens world-wide.
In our case, the special person is someone whose sole claim to fame is who her parents happened to be. Someone who could never be allowed to have any actual power.
And that helps keep the people who do make the decisions – the politicians – in their places.
We don’t stand up when David Cameron enters the room because he’s not the most important person in the country. He’s no better than the rest of us, and the simple fact that the Queen exists makes sure he can’t forget it.
So let’s celebrate the Queen’s birthday – and also celebrate the monarchy as an institution. Long may it continue.
Source: .birminghammail co uk
Tags: Queen Elizabeth, Prince William, Prince Charles