The final lines of G K Chesterton’s poem "The People of England" are "We are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet. Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.". The period of mourning, and the magnificent funeral, of our beloved late Queen have shown that these words are not empty, but reveal the truth. Despite years of hectoring by the intellectual Left, whose domination of the media, particularly the BBC, has given the impression that their view of the world is the only acceptable one, and that to be what they describe as socially progressive represents the only virtue, the ordinary citizens of this country have shown that they have not changed, and that, when the chips are down, they are as patriotic as those who endured, and won, two World Wars in order that freedom and democracy might survive.
The true British spirit of those days, as portrayed in the great war films of the 1950s, such as "The Dambusters", "Reach for the Sky", and "The Cruel Sea" , shows a people with grit, and determination, using both the shield of freedom, and the sword of righteousness, to defeat evil regimes seeking to destroy democratic civilisation. They are far removed from the vociferous, carping, and ignorant, left wing activists, who claim to seek a socialist Utopia, but in fact would plunge this country in a dystopia as envisaged by Orwell in 1984, where humour and laughter do not exist, only a grim pursuit of power for themselves. What a contrast to the smiling face of Queen Elizabeth!
In the last words that Holmes ever addresses to Watson he says "Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing world", and this is something that could also be said about our much mourned Queen Elizabeth II. She was never afraid of innovation, and was instrumental in transforming the monarchy to adjust to the modern world, yet in those matters which abide, and are truly important, she was steadfast. As the last significant link to the great Second World War generation she represented duty, courage, faithfulness, humour, and a stoic endurance of the worst, in order that the best should ultimately triumph. To use the words of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, in the eponymous play, she was "as constant as the Northern Star", and contrary to the speech of Antony from the same source "The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.", the good that she did will survive, as her son takes on the mantle she has now laid aside.
Thanks to our careers in the administrative sector of the Church my wife and I had the honour of meeting Her Majesty at the time of the Silver Jubilee, and later attending a palace garden party, and we can attest to the fact that she was expert at putting people at their ease, and showing an interest in their lives. She was a truly great lady, a devout Christian, and an example to all in how to behave.
Although we shall never see her like again the new King is cut from the same cloth, and offers a certain hope that her legacy will continue. The monarch, by standing about the political fray, provides a calm centre to our national life, preventing by their very presence the possibility of any sort of demagogue becoming a dictator, or some democratic, but divisive figure, becoming President.
Constitutional monarchy has been shown to be the best system yet devised to protect the rights of all, providing a template for governance which billions around the word envy. Who could believe that a President Edward Heath, Tony Blair, or even Boris Johnson, could unite the nation, and command the love and respect that the monarch enjoys?
In the face of the blandishments of the vociferous republicans we should indeed be foolish to throw out an institution which has served us so well, although there is one danger which could yet destroy it. Should, God Forbid, through a terrorist attack, or a simple plane accident, anything happen to the Prince of Wales and his family, we should be faced with the prospect of the Duke of Woke becoming King. Harry has shown himself to be courageous, and supportive of injured soldiers, but he is unfortunately also, just like Edward VIII, not very intelligent. He has fallen under the influence of one who is herself the product of the shallow, celebrity culture of Hollywood, and who seems to be obsessed with the idea that she is somehow oppressed, even when living in a vast mansion. His accession would be unacceptable to vast numbers of people, who are sick of being lectured on their supposed shortcomings by the woke. In addition, although never convicted of anything, the Duke of York, next in line if the Sussexes were excluded, would also be rejected by too many for him to inherit the throne. If it were constitutionally possible these two parts of the royal family should be removed from the line of succession, in order to safeguard the future of the monarchy
Two more truths can be derived from the events of this month.
The first is that the Armed Forces, despite the efforts of too many administration to downgrade their importance, remain the same disciplined organisations they always were, responding triumphantly to the demands put upon them. The bearer party of Grenadier Guards were superb, and all deserve medals, while the faultless performance of the troops on the day was breathtaking to behold.
The second is that, in an age when useless managers infest so many of our public, and indeed, private bodies, the skills of the Duke of Norfolk, shown in his organisation of everything, put such parasites to shame.
The Queen has gone. God save the King.