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In Defense of Royalty

[1]1,753 words

In recent months, when I would think ruefully of the peculiar life I lead, I took some solace in the thought that soon my invitation to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding would arrive.

Alas it did not, and I am writing these words hours after the nuptials ended – apparently without a hitch (if we don’t count the fashion disaster that was Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie of York). For weeks prior I was deliberately shocking everyone I know by telling them of my excitement about the Royal Wedding. Americans are all knee-jerk anti-monarchists. I am a knee-jerk pro-monarchist partly because I am a knee-jerk anti-American. My enthusiasm was always met with disbelief. “Who cares?” they would ask, grimacing at me. This question was often followed by the usual ignorant claims about the Royal Family being parasites and nitwits. (The biggest idiots are always the ones who make an exception for Princess Diana.)

Sadly, it’s becoming difficult to find a Brit who seems to think differently. Every time I meet one over here I always find a way to ask what they think about the Royal Family. “Oh, they’re all parasites and nitwits. Except for Diana,” they’ll say. Finding an Englishman who admits to liking the Royals is becoming about as hard as finding a German who admits to liking Wagner. And yet all the polls show the majority of the British public against the abolition of the monarchy. (Just as every summer Bayreuth is full of Germans.)


Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie at the wedding

So, why do I like the British Royal Family so much? Well, partly it just has to do with the fact that I am pro-monarchy – and I am pro-monarchy because I am a Radical Traditionalist. That it is the British monarchy I am so passionate about is no mystery. My ancestry is English and my mother was a staunch Anglophile. She worshiped the Royals and imbued me with a respect for them, and for my English heritage.

I was at a conference once and brought up my love for the Royal Family over breakfast with some colleagues. One of them looked aghast and said “But I heard that Queen Elizabeth actually thinks she’s better than other people!” My response was calculated to bother him: “Of course she thinks she’s better than other people. She’s royalty. Her father was a king, and his father before him, and so on all the way back.”

You see, one of the major things I love about the Royals is just the knowledge that somewhere there’s a group of people who think they’re born better than the rest of humanity – and that it doesn’t have to do with how much money daddy makes. Some years ago when Charles fired a nanny who was just a bit too familiar he created a controversy when he was overheard saying “Some people just don’t know their place.” I cheered when I heard that. But, of course, in today’s Land of the Last Man, we must all pretend that no one is better than anyone else. We must all hug. We must all use first names.

Whatever their faults might be (and I’ll go into those) the Royal Family stand for a lot of things I like. First and foremost, of course, is elitism. Second is good manners. There have been Royal lapses where manners are concerned. Prince Phillip and Prince Andrew have been known to behave rather swinishly now and then. Of course, some of those events involved journalists (such as the time Andrew sprayed a group of reporters with a paint gun), so they don’t really count. Charles stirred up another controversy several years ago at a photo op when he was picked up on an open mike referring to the assembled journalists as “awful people.” But who can blame him? Still, some of their other conduct is less defensible. For instance there was the time Prince Phillip said to a group of deaf children at a pop concert in Wales, “No wonder you’re deaf listening to this row.” (In fairness, Phillip has insisted this never happened and was invented by the press.)

Lapses in royal manners are interesting only because generally their manners are so faultless. The female members of the family tend to invite less controversy where manners are concerned. My favorite member of the Royal Family is the Queen. She has always seemed to me to be an exemplary person: polite, dignified, strong, and tirelessly dutiful. When Stephen Frears’s 2006 film The Queen [3] was shown in America it was sold as a delicious, wry “skewering” of the royals. But it was no such thing. Aside from some bits at the expense of Charles, it portrayed the Royal Family with fondness and respect. As portrayed by Helen Mirren (in a truly remarkable performance), one cannot help but like and admire the Queen.

I get a kind of warm feeling inside when I see the Queen (the real Queen, not the Marxist Mirren). It’s the same sort of feeling I get when I see Hitler. If I could choose my fantasy mother and father, they would be the Queen and Hitler. (I wonder what the Duke and Duchess of Windsor would think of that.) The Queen symbolizes old fashioned manners and old fashioned virtues. She brings out the best in people and serves as a standard. This is why she is loved so much – and hated so much, by those who resent decency, dignity, and nobility.

The Royal Family are sort of like the Brady Bunch in that 1995 movie of the same name. If you haven’t seen it, it’s good for a few laughs, and the premise is a stroke of genius. The Bradys are portrayed exactly as they were in the seventies, only they’re in the nineties and keep encountering nineties situations (with which, of course, they simply cannot deal). One comes away feeling that (gasp) the Bradys are better than us. In the same way, the wonderful thing about the Royal Family is that they are a family out of another time. They are a family that still dresses for dinner, with kids that still bow and curtsy to grandma. They wear signet rings, and have individual, heraldric styles. They are served by ladies in waiting, equerries, and squires. They give dukedoms as wedding gifts (Prince William, in fact, just became Duke of Cambridge). They use the royal “We.” They wear hats.

Apparently, when Charles proposed to Diana he got down on one knee. (Guess what? She laughed at him.) This is the kind of thing I mean. Whatever his faults might be (and I don’t count adultery as one of them) this gesture speaks volumes. This is not a man of his time, but a man against his time. And it is worth noting that Charles has an interest in Traditionalism and René Guénon.

How can a Radical Traditionalist not love such people? Of course, I know plenty of Radical Traditionalists who don’t admire them at all, and I’ll explain why. First, let’s dispense with the silliest objections one hears from all and sundry. The Royals are not “parasites.” Yes, they do receive government money but much of their lifestyle is supported by the Queen’s personal fortune, which is vast. Second, the idea that the Royals lead idle lives of luxury is absurd. I once looked at an account of Princess Anne’s social engagements within one calendar year and found that she had attended around 500 charity events or state functions. The members of the Royal Family, in fact, work tirelessly on behalf of charities. Only those who are ignorant of this have held up Diana as exceptional. In truth, Diana’s charity work got attention simply because she was the most glamorous of the Royals.

In a real sense, the Royal Family do not have lives of their own. Their destinies are marked out for them at birth, their days plotted for them by secretaries and handlers, their every move watched by loathsome Fleet Street bloodsuckers praying for a misstep, a gaffe, an unguarded moment. Most people would love to have the wealth and luxury of the Royal Family. Very few would like to have their lives, if they knew what those lives were really all about.

My Radical Traditionalist friends object to the Royals primarily because they see them as doing nothing to stop the multicultural destruction of Britain. In recent years, multicultural mumbo jumbo has even been put into the mouths of the Royals, as in recent Christmas messages by the Queen. There’s a lot to be said here. First, the nature of constitutional monarchy actually precludes the Royals from making statements of a political nature. The Queen’s role is to advise the Prime Minister. And who knows what she has said behind the scenes? We do know that the last two Labour Prime Ministers, Blair and Brown, were not invited to William and Kate’s wedding. This could mean any number of things, but one can’t help think that the Queen is not entirely happy about Labour’s helping to make possible the colonization of her country by brown people even more truculent than the ones we have over here.

The Royal Family are caught in a terrible bind. Being Royal is their family business (George VI referred to his family as “the firm”). And the forces arrayed against them have never been more hostile. If they were to go against government policy, that might be the beginning of the end for the monarchy.

The truth is that I don’t care. These people represent the last, tattered remnants of pre-modern, pre-egalitarian, pre-PC traditionalism. Even if their role and their appeal are now largely symbolic, I find the symbolism enormously attractive. It’s the politicians who are to be blamed for Britian’s multicultural monstrosity, not its dutiful, long-suffering Queen. Many years ago, the last King of Egypt quipped that “one day there will be only five kings in the world: the four in the deck of cards, and the one in England.” This may well prove true. Today’s wedding will strengthen the monarchy and foster new love and devotion for the Royal Family. Today’s wedding has reminded the entire world – including the allegedly royalty-hating American booboisie (millions of whom tuned in) – of the power of traditional symbols and the enduring allure of royalty.

God save the Queen!

P.S. Did I mention Prince Harry’s Nazi uniform [4]? You’ve got to love these people.