Features

Elizabeth is about to become Britain’s longest-reigning queen. Here’s how she’s changed monarchy

Whatever has or hasn’t happened over the last 63 years and seven months, we have shared a single blessing of ‘steadiness, staying-power and self-sacrifice’

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

3 January 2015

9:00 AM

On 24 September 1896 Queen Victoria was given a present of a paper knife, and expressed herself ‘much delighted’. The handle was set with overlapping gold coins each bearing the portrait of a British monarch. The uppermost coin bore an image of Victoria herself; the one beneath it, that of her grandfather George III. As Victoria recorded in her journal, 23 September 1896 was ‘the day on which I have reigned longer, by a day, than any English sovereign’. She had exceeded George III’s record of 21,644 days on the throne and, unlike her grandfather, remained of sound mind (if you overlook her taste in interior decoration and her views on women’s rights).

Recent Buckingham Palace calculations suggest that at her death in January 1901, Victoria had reigned 23,226 days, 16 hours and 23 minutes — in layman’s terms, 63 years and seven months. It’s an incredible record but one that will this year be bested as (God willing) Queen Elizabeth II nudges her great-great-grandmother into second place. Perhaps breaking a reigning record doesn’t seem much of an actual achievement, but it has a huge symbolic significance. Britain reacted to Victoria’s record with an outburst of national rejoicing because it confirmed in the public mind the importance of the Victorian era — and they’ll do the same for Elizabeth come 9 September.

Victoria was at Balmoral that Wednesday morning, as Elizabeth plans to be. As the day progressed, church bells clanged out their clarion, bonfires blazed from hilltops. ‘People of all kinds and ranks, from every part of the kingdom, sent congratulatory telegrams,’ Victoria wrote — by turns triumphant and self-effacing. She understood that her achievement was merely survival, but that in itself was no mean feat. As a teenager, Victoria had nearly died of typhoid fever; she had subsequently been the target of numerous assassination attempts. In that respect Elizabeth has been more fortunate — but there have over the decades been many attempts to damage her reputation and that of the monarchy, and she has survived them all with a mixture of cunning and grace. A poll last month asking who gives moral leadership showed the Queen coming first, comfortably ahead of the Archbishop of Canterbury (both were well ahead of the Prime Minister).

In her journal, on the anniversary of her accession in 1896, Queen Victoria wrote, ‘God… has wonderfully protected me. I have lived to see my dear country and vast Empire prosper and expand, and be wonderfully loyal.’ That possessive note said it all. Country, empire and Victoria had prospered together. For the Victorians, Victoria was their queen, and her achievement and theirs merged. Everybody wanted a slice of the action. ‘How great has been the religious progress during these 60 years!’ stated Cardinal Vaughan. The Daily Mail, ever measured, claimed for Victoria that there was only ‘One Being more majestic than she’. The sun shone and both Victoria and Grub Street labelled it ‘Queen’s weather’. She ruled over the empire on which the sun never set: even meteorology fell within her remit.


So what happens come September? Will it be comparable? For all its hypocrisy and complacency, the Victorian age was less cynical than our own. Patterns of belief, though challenged, remained partly intact. As a society they enjoyed a spectacle and their tastes embraced the grand and the gaudy. Even their royal commemoratives — like the Golden Jubilee patent automatic bustle that played ‘God Save the Queen’ when the wearer sat down — excelled at bombast.

Now the Empire has gone. Elizabeth appears essentially modest, though her championing of the Commonwealth has lent her a reflection of her great-great-grandmother’s imperial glitter. The special coin minted for her golden jubilee was inscribed on the obverse with a distinctly conciliatory Latin tag: ‘Amor populi præsidium reg’, ‘The love of the people is the Queen’s protection’. This is a clear statement of the balance of power in modern Britain.

Elizabeth is a devout church-woman who believes in the sacrament of kingship. That said, she has, in service to her people, deferred to their tastes, and appeared as a Bond girl and been painted by Justin Mortimer with her head apparently severed from her body as if guillotined. The idea of queenship is no more or less complex now than in Victoria’s day; it is the idea of being a subject that has changed fundamentally. Elizabeth seems to recognise and acknowledge that change — which is why, in return, the public continue to recognise and celebrate her.

Elizabeth’s gameplan echoes to the letter a Times editorial of 1937. Successful kingship, the Times suggested, relies ‘not upon intellectual brilliance or superlative talent of any kind, but upon the moral qualities of steadiness, staying power and self-sacrifice’. Longevity is thus a virtual imperative. In 2002, in a supremely slick piece of statesmanship, the Queen articulated the message of her Golden Jubilee. ‘Gratitude, respect and pride. These words sum up how I feel about the people of this country and the Commonwealth — and what this Golden Jubilee means to me.’ Across the globe, from the Victoria Monument to the ends of the earth in a string of flaming Jubilee beacons, new Elizabethans realised that these emotions were ours too, their focus the diminutive but unflagging public servant who is every bit as formidable as her unsmiling great-great-grandmother.

Enoch Powell once said, ‘Monarchy is not modern. Monarchy is primeval. Monarchy is absolute.’ I suspect that Elizabeth loosely agrees. At no point in her reign has it been viable — let alone sensible — to assert any of Powell’s three claims, so the Queen and her advisers have worked quietly to appear to contradict the first without negating the second and third. Since she has done so while mostly increasing the popularity of the institution she embodies, history will surely judge that Elizabeth has succeeded.

In nine months’ time we will ignore this kind of argument. Many will gush and some will carp. Elizabeth will appear unmoved, allowing multiple interpretations to be projected upon her. And each of us will feel a tiny bit better about ourselves. We will recognise that, whatever has or hasn’t happened in our national life over the past 63 years and seven months, we have all shared a single blessing of ‘steadiness, staying power and self-sacrifice’: as the national anthem has it, our gracious Queen, our noble Queen, who, happily, has reigned over us for a very long time indeed.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Matthew Dennison is the author of Queen Victoria: A Life of Contradictions.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Long live the Queen! Spare us from Prince Chuck.

    • Ed  

      No worries. We made it through Edward VII. We’ll make it through Chuck.

      • ♚Edward the Seventh♚

        You have no idea how sorry I can make you feel! Entente Cordial much? Ignorant! EVIIRI reigned for 10 years & got an era on its own.

        • Ed  

          Two of them think they’re Jesus. One of them must be wrong.

          • The_Common_Potato

            Jesus just left Chicago. ZZ Top.

          • ♚Edward the Seventh♚

            Explain, why do you bring Jesus in this?

          • Ed  

            You think you’re Edward VII, so I quoted some vaguely-relevant Dire Straits lyrics.

          • ♚Edward the Seventh♚

            Next time you think you can talk to me think of something non vaguely! Dire Straits was a fine band.

          • Ed  

            They were. And you’re not Jesus.

          • ♚Edward the Seventh♚

            Well in that case let me introduce myself!
            Bis bald!
            GSTQ

    • therealguyfaux

      Hey, if she’s got her mother’s genes, she may even outlive Chucklehead. The main trouble is, HE’s got longevity on BOTH sides, Philly Boy being ninety-three. Chucklehead, you’d have to think, will stay alive just out of pure mean spite, even if he only gets a year or two out of the deal before handing off to the by-then-middle-aged William.

      • ♚Edward the Seventh♚

        William will be beheaded for treason!

        • therealguyfaux

          I was referring to succession in the natural order of things, and not to any palace intrigue, but hey, why not? It might spice things up over at Buck House.

  • Bonkim

    Wishing Her Majesty Good Health and Happiness for 2015.

    • Treebrain

      Why?

      • nelly0042

        It’s called decency. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Look it up.

        • Treebrain

          What is ‘decent’ about the reign of QE II?

          She has remained silent while so many ‘indecent’ things have taken place, starting right from her marriage where her husband was allowed only two guests because the remainder of his family were registered members of the Nazi Party and it was not considered ‘decent’ for them to appear at the wedding!

          By all means use ‘decent’ about events in England but do not shame and desecrate the memories of the millions of members of ‘The British Empire’ of all races and religions who died fighting Nazi Germany?

          Shame on you for your ignorance about decency!

          • nelly0042

            Shame on you for your ignorance as a human being.
            1947 and you can’t fathom why former Nazi’s might be a problem at a state wedding. No one’s ever accused you of being terribly bright, have they, Treebrain?

          • thomasaikenhead

            nelly,

            Of course it is clear why former or even current believing Nazi’s might not be welcome at a UK state wedding, what is so astonishing is why the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha thought it was a good idea to marry into such a family just a few years after the end of WWII?

            It is nothing to do with me being bright or ignorant, but rather a perfect example of why this family are not English and never will be!

            Your comment is fascinating for the insight it gives about your attempt to patronise and smear me, are you a member of the Royal household by any chance?

            Could you share your thoughts on the fathers of Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Prince Harry?

          • nelly0042

            LOL – if the royals want to adopt me into their household, I’m more than willing.
            No, toodles, I’m just one of the majority who approves of the Queen.
            As to the German connection, don’t you think that predates Elizabeth by quite a number of years?
            And as for your hurt feelings, don’t dish it out if you can’t take it in return.

          • thomasaikenhead

            Good luck to you and the others who approve of the Queen.

            As for the German connection to the English Royal family, that started with Anne of Cleves, nobody ever claimed that Liz II was the first Teutonic link, did they?

            The Hanoverians and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha links came later, but all were characterised by impoverished Germans desperate to come to England and enrich themselves just as the Tudors (Welsh) and Stewarts (Scots) and King William (Dutch) did!

            Your comment about hurt feelings is simply bizarre, have you been drinking?

          • nelly0042

            Admittedly a couple dozen pints might help make your blather seem sensible.
            So now that you admit the German connection goes way way back, why did you pretend that a 21 year old would have anything to do with it?

          • bobmattfran

            You appear to be the one suffering from hurt feelings, I thoroughly dislike false gods especially those that consider themselves special. The House of Windsor a faux name created to take the heat of the “Royals” German connections is an insult to anyone with a modicum of intelligence.

          • nelly0042

            Hurt feelings? You appear to be the one suffering from a bruised brain. And as for “modicum of intelligence,” I only wish you displayed such a quantity.

          • bobmattfran

            Well an empty vessel makes the most sound, like all royal sycophants you are a perfect example of an empty headed vessels. Keep crawling around in the 18th century you appear to be more at home there.

          • nelly0042

            LOL – if an empty vessel makes the most sound then you’re the loudest. Like all uneducated children, you babble about things that you can’t begin to fathom. You’re just a dimwitted baboon banging on its cage.

          • bobmattfran

            I don’t eeven find you offensive, just pathetic. Dimwitted is more a reflection of yourself. Only a blind idiot would spend time worshipping another human being as a god. Grow up you sad little man.

          • nelly0042

            I do find you offensive. In fact, I suspect one would usually find you floating in an unflushed loo.

            Float away, crapman.

          • bobmattfran

            Oh dear did I open an old wound. Nver fails to amuse me how those who spen their time on all fours worshipping an idol attempt to claim “intellience”

          • nelly0042

            LOL
            It “nver” fails to amuse me how arsewipes like you will “spen” your time trying to insult the intelligence of others and then inevitably show yourself to be a knuckle-dragging halfwit.

          • Secret Squirrel

            Saxe Coburge is a branch of the house of Wettin which has given rise to multiple monarchs around Europe over centuries, all of which pre-dates the Nazis by a thousand years.

            There are numerous branches within the house of Wettin, at least one married into the Battenberg family in Germany, from the house of Hesse. Princess Alice – Prince Philips mother was a Battenberg. Those Battenbergs actually living in the UK changed their name to Mountbatten on the outbreak of the first world war. The Battenburg line again married into the Wettin line as a result of the married of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip.

            Lord Mountbatten was a supreme Allied Commander during WW2. I can’t see what the problem is. None of it was anything to do with the Nazis.

          • Bonkim

            You have no clue regarding the English. The language is Germanic, the people a mix of native Britons, Saxon (German), Scandinavian, Dutchn French, with a sprinkling of other European and African and Asian genes. All through history the Royals married other Royals across the continent – nothing strange there – lines of Inheritance therefore spanned national borders all through history. No problem that William of Orange was Dutch or that George I was from Hanover Germany. Most European Monarchs had a connection with Britain look up where Queen Victoria’s progeny ended up fighting on opposing sides of the Great War.

            There is no such thing as a pure bloodline or pure race – societies are changing constantly as also values and cultures. Those that fail to adapt and change die off. The British have been historically great in adapting and changing hence the four centuries of being successful – organisationally, socially and economically.

          • ayeinfidel2

            I just wanted to add that I have this excellent series from Britain Called the Fall of the Eagles. here is a point of Fact:
            Most of these rulers were grandchildren of Queen Victoria of Great Britain, “Granny Queen”, who had nine children and 44 grandchildren, all of whom married into the major and minor royalties of Europe. As you will have learned by watching the series, “Cousin Willy” (Kaiser Wilhelm II) and “Cousin Nicky” (Tsar Nicholas II) actually were cousins by way of their mothers, who were daughters of Queen Victoria. “Cousin Nicky” was visited aboard his royal yacht by “Uncle Bertie”, King Edward VII of England.

          • Louis E.

            Nicholas II’s mother was Danish (a sister of Queen Alexandra)…it was his wife whose mother was a daughter of Queen Victoria.

          • bobmattfran

            They have also been a disaster when it comes to implementing a full democracy, i.e. an elected head of state.
            Regarding the rest of the civilized world we are still living in the past and worshipping figures with feet of clay. Where else in the world are free men arrogantly referred to as “subjects”?

          • Bonkim

            Free men and women choose/accept their history willingly – Britain has much to be proud of in its Monarchy and Elizabeth II has been exemplary – admired all over the world. Full democracy is a myth and look around the elected Heads of State and the Dumbo/corrupt politicians that become Heads of State.

          • Llamedos2

            But under the guise of ‘democracy’ we can vote for our representative to Parliament. I agree that this particular lot are arrogant and abuse their power, but they will be ousted next May. We can’t vote out our monarch. The Queen has done a good job in maintaining her dignity and role, but Charles will be a different kettle of fish, and we the electorate should be considering other alternatives ‘before’ we are again forced into accepting more of the German family. (and we know that Charles loves the pomp and circumstance)

          • Llamedos2

            Bonkim – men and women (free or otherwise) do NOT choose their history, they are born into it. The idea of democracy is ‘ideal’, unfortunately we (as in the people, Bonkim, not the royal we) do not get the right people to apply democracy. So what do you suggest? We have been trying for years for democracy, it is not our fault if those in power abuse their positions … all we have to hit them with is the ‘ballot box’ – but now (after the Scottish fiasco) we have to accept that even that is interfered with. I hope UKIP get in, at least they seem more in turn with what the voters want.

          • Bonkim

            Human society is not perfect and so is democracy – warts and all. People in power will knowingly or unknowingly use it to further their ideals and also personal ambition.

            The Scottish people have decided – not a fiasco as most in Scotland had a good wicket within the Union/Empire.

            Dreams of Scotland’s oil wealth is now biting dust, and Scots know what is good for them – in principle you cannot discard centuries of common history, language, and achievement on the altar of petty tribal nationalism – don’t forget the Scottish tribes were warring with each other in earlier centuries and could do so again even if Scotland became independent at a future date. They will have to decide what they want and that is democracy.

            UKIP is no-hope – petty nationalism is a lost cause in today’s complex world.

            The earth is overpopulated and resources running out. You will see major power/population blocks fighting it out for survival. Petty minded national groups will be mince-meat in the battle for survival.

          • Damaris Tighe

            Agree totally. Our elected PMs are bad enough. Why some people think that an elected head of state will avoid this mendacity & corruption is beyond me.

          • bobmattfran

            So you think that the royals ar above corruption? Wow have they brainwashed you from an early age.

          • bobmattfran

            Your blind wworship an arrogance are breath taking. We have little to be proud of with the Monarchy, notice I did not say our, as I had no part in selecting or voting for it. Free men don’t crawl around on al fours bowing an scraping to another human being!

          • Bonkim

            We live in a free country – you have your views and I have mine. Isn’t that great? God Save the Queen! I don’t believe in God but certainly believe in the Queen – she is real and has served Britain well.

          • UKSteve

            “We have little to be proud of….”

            Speak for yourself. It’s Leftist rubbish that has tried to leave us with “nothing to be proud of”, but people like me won’t let you.

            It’s as is you people are born to hate yourselves and lose, permanently.

          • Louis E.

            Elected heads of state have indeed frequently proven disasters.There’s no reason to think they’re generically a good idea.

          • bobmattfran

            Weell the present bunch of “German” Windsors are not exactly compus mentis. At least with an elected head of state they can be removed at an election. With the dross of a royal bunch of parasites a revolution is require because those who crawl on all fours to worship an idol hate the idea of losing their outdated privileges.

          • Louis E.

            Those who refuse to admit they have betters are too arrogant to be trusted with leadership.As Tolkien said,”Touching your cap to Squire may not be good for Squire,but it’s damned good for you.”

          • Llamedos2

            Bonkin : what you say is on record and therefore correct. But it doesn’t make it right. It is time for a change. The manner in which some members of the RF conduct themselves is offensive, but it highlights the importance they have of themselves – but it is the Queen who is the monarch, not them. It would seem that Charles might take a more active role when King – but we have not, and will not ‘vote’ for Charles to be a representative of the people of the UK – and that is the point isn’t it. We vote for our MP’s – we have long passed the
            ‘absolute rule’ idea – and we don’t want it back again!

          • Bonkim

            Speak for yourself – don’t use the Royal ‘we’.

          • Llamedos2

            Bonkim – I will use whichever words I choose – you don’t get to boss people around. Other readers will of course, understand that the royal ‘we’ was not intended – it was used in the usual way of ‘generalisation’

          • MountainousIpswich

            I’d vote for Charles as King.

          • bobmattfran

            More fool you! ays a lot about your state of mindlessness.

          • UKSteve

            Nothing but personal insults, as always. You really are pathetic.

          • Damaris Tighe

            I agree with much of your post Bonkim, except the second sentence of your last paragraph onwards. Small immigrations where the migrants are either absorbed into the host society or are so small that they have no influence, are not a problem. I doubt that the Mountbattens ate sauerkraut at home & they were members of the CofE, not Lutherans.

            And the Saxon & other immigrations you mention were very small & had very little impact on the genetic makeup of the native British (although their cultural impact was large & must have caused great distress to the native peoples).

            But large immigrations of people who keep their own ways & demand that the host society is absorbed into them, rather than the other way round, must be resisted. Otherwise we have the cultural ‘genocide’ of the British. Why on earth should we ‘adapt & change’ to accommodate incomers? It should be the other way round.

          • Bonkim

            People have migrated throughout history – often exercising brute force and cultural extermination of the local tribes. However tribes were small in numbers and either succumbed or resisted – Cultural assimilation took generations – for example the imposition of Norman (Norse/French) lifestyle took generations whilst the defeated Britons were discriminated/exploited serfs until the conquerors turned native.- e,g Richard the Lionhearted. Historic inequalities lingered on – the landed gentry mainly from the privileged given land by the Conquerors.

            Speedy travel and sheer numbers today as also misguided notions of equality and human rights hinders natural forces to do their job of integrating weak and inferior cultures within the larger/stronger ones and hinders integration. Multi-culturalism has been wasted space.

            If Britain insisted all immigrants to learn English and learn about British culture and ethics before being granted citizenship or given employment – as in the US, integration would have been easier and faster. Also denying social security forcing them to work for their living.

            What we have today are growing minority groups entrenched mainly in urban conurbations living in voluntary apartheid with little contact with British history or culture – and not having a stake in Britain – that is dangerous for our future.

          • bobmattfran

            Well you certainly have disclosed your true depths! A closet neocon facist condemned by your own worship of what you arrogan tly consider is right and should be applied to all those who do not fit your idea of how the lower classes should be dealt with. A great pity you were not around when Madame Guillotine was exercising a deserved ;permanent change of attitude for the real wastrels.

          • Bonkim

            Truth hurts. Man is a competitive animal and the unfit do not survive for long in any society. Don’t forget the French Revolution was succeeded by the Terror and Bonaparte.

          • bobmattfran

            “Those that fail to adapt and change die off” Unfortunately the present bunch of royal parasites refuse to change or die off!

          • Bonkim

            But I love my Queen – the greatest Head of State on Earth.

          • Damaris Tighe

            You appear to be saying that Treebrain & you are the same poster. Why would you want to post under two names?

          • bobmattfran

            Well said!

          • William Alexander Plumbasket

            I am proud of our Royal Family & the business they bring to the UK. I do not understand the nagative comments towards them. I agree with you (Nelly0042).

          • Bonkim

            Don’t be an idiot – QE2 has served the Commonwealth well too and many like her as Head of Commonwealth. What has Price Philip’s relatives have to do with Britain – he has acted well as QE2’s consort. Most in Britain are thankful that many soldiers from the then Empire volunteered – there was no conscription and the Empire Armed Forces were all volunteers and even today fondly remember the partnership with the British forces that overcame the Fascists. Armed forces in ex-Empire countries are modelled along British forces model.

            All in the Empire shared in the glory of victory and were proud to be part of the British empire. Not sure if you have any idea what the British Empiire meant to all its diverse population and the fundamental justice and well being most enjoyed – yes there were difficulties but most were willing partners zand both sides worked towards harmonious disengagent from the Empire with constitutions modelled as in Britain.

            – look around the social injustices and communal violence that exist in many post-Empire independent countries and check what the indepndent governments are doing to create harmony and well-being. Don’t also judge the past based on present day thinking. People and lifestyles were quite different as also expectations.

          • bobmattfran

            Excuse me while I quietly vomit!

          • Bonkim

            What is new – all your words are vomit. Do it privately don’t exhibit.

          • Damaris Tighe

            I find it amazing that many people from Britain’s former empire are more appreciative of it than some native British. Sad.

          • Bonkim

            You get a more balanced view from outside the box looking in than from inside not knowing what is outside. In other words ‘familiarity breeds contempt’. Also English history is low down the schools curriculum.

          • bobmattfran

            The royal family have never “served” anyone other than themselves. Service, like “work” is alien to them.

          • MountainousIpswich

            While her actual husband served with distinction in the Royal Navy during WW2. What the rest of his family did was of no concern.

          • JohnC

            The Queen’s reign is as decent as any of her predecessors.
            None of Prince Phillip’s close relations were Nazi Party members.
            Even if your false allegation had been true, the Queen’s reign is very decent, and has nothing to do with her in-laws family.
            In any event, the other posters reference was to common decency, not the decency of the Queen’s reign. Of course if you have wood for a brain you could not be expected to have understood that.

        • RussKent

          Called sycophancy

          • nelly0042

            Only to an idiot. To the rest of us, it’s called decency – you might try looking the word up sometime.

          • bobmattfran

            You crawling fool, you wouldn’t know deceny if it slapped you in the face.

          • nelly0042

            What’s “deceny”? Not the sharpest knife in the drawer, are you boobmat. Three misspellings in three comments. Congrats! You’re at 100%.
            Have you been slapped in the face once or twice too often?

      • Bonkim

        Tree-Brain – Why not? She is our Sovereign and Head of State, has served Britain well over the 6+ decades and most in the UK love her as their Queen.

        • bobmattfran

          Not my sovereign head of state, I had no part in choosing or electing her.As for most people loving her, you really are deluded , most people couldn’t care less.

          • Bonkim

            Who cares what you think. Dumbo!

          • bobmattfran

            Well at least I am capable of thought which is hardly your forte!

          • UKSteve

            No, you’re not. The only thing you post is childish, brainless insults, never anything to do with topic. A complete mystery as to why you haven’t been banned.

          • bobmattfran

            It’s called freedom of speech, something that you crawling sycophants would love to ban. By the way, would you mind removing my country’s flag from your post, I find it offensive considering the garbage that you post on a number of sites.

          • UKSteve

            You took a month to come up with that? Which of the other members of the Guild of Village Idiots did you get to help you?

            The flag stays as I fly it with pride; you Leftist trash have tried to eredicate it far too often, “boobmatt” (LMAO!), So-o-o-o-o-o, seeing as you despise this country so much, why don’t you toddle off somewhere else? I hear Syria is nice this time of year.

          • bobmattfran

            The last hiding place of a scoundrel, wrapping himself in the flag. No further comment necessary.

          • UKSteve

            Yes, exactly as I thought; such is your imbecility, you are actually upvoting your own posts. Or did you mean to upvote anonymously?

            Either way, further proof of imbecility lies in the quote you tortured. I suggest you find the original. It isn’t ‘hiding place’ it’s “refuge”, and anyone who thinks I’m taking refuge behind it is a moron.

            Ahem.

          • Bonkim

            Have to agree there – even snails have brains and capable of thought of some sort. A rational man controls his thought and is not bothered if others agree or disagree..

          • bobmattfran

            You obviously do, otherwise you wouldn’t be bursting a blood vessel in trying to defend the indefensible!

          • Bonkim

            You have woken up from your alcoholic slumber and noticed have you? Go back to sleep.

  • vanLomborg

    There is no meaningful public debate with regards to the continued validity of the Monarchy beyond ceremonial representation. When the era of Elizabeth I is remembered as an era of culture, the era of Victoria remembered as an era of industriousness, what will the era of E2 be remembered for?

    • davidofkent

      Logically, the answer to your final question must be ‘decline’. The Second Elizabethan Age was notable for loss of Empire, massive borrowings and huge currency devaluation. On the positive side, ordinary people have extended their life expectancy and can expect a life of relative ease when compared with Queen Victoria’s subjects.

      • vanLomborg

        Ordinary people have not extended their life expectancy elsewhere?
        How bizarre.

    • Gregory Mason

      The groundwork for the genocide of the indigenous British people?

  • The next target is Louis XIV of France. 72 years and 110 days,

    • jovan66102

      And, whilst Her Majesty will become the longest reigning Monarch of Britain and 14 of the other Commonwealth Realms, it will take her 72 years and 111 days to surpass Louis as Ruler of Canada! And may God grant her the health and strength to reach that milestone!

      • bobmattfran

        You sad crawling sycophant get off your knees !

        • Louis E.

          You arrogant seditionist,get onto yours!

      • Louis E.

        He didn’t rule much of Canada after 1713…and parts were British well before.

        • jovan66102

          Well, until 1763, he ruled all of what was then known as ‘Canada’. It became what are now Quebec and Ontario, and those two provinces made up 75% of the new country at Confederation in 1867. I’d say he is Canada’s longest reigning Monarch.

          • Louis E.

            Parts of what are now Quebec and Ontario became British under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713,and some had been part of Rupert’s Land before that.The French also ceded much of the Maritimes (where British presence went way back) by that treaty.
            While FRANCE ruled the St. Lawrence basin until 1763 Louis XIV of course died in 1715.Anyway,QE will surpass Louis as far as some of Canada goes after only 70 years (and of course unlike her started as a child under a regency).

    • Aberrant_Apostrophe

      That would really p*ss Charles off!

  • john

    Where does this sycophancy come from. Can anyone point out anything real that Mrs Windsor has achieved? Basically Britain has fallen in world rankings and prestige over her 60 years. Her purported role in keepiing the Union alive is very suspect as the Scots are largely out of the door, Ireland is still a mess and there is a deep North/South divide in England. Her successor (God forbid) is a real stinker with nothing but some squalid tales to show for 60 years of self-indulgence.

    • Chingford Man

      The underneath of a stone awaits you.

      • mickc

        Reality awaits you.

      • bobmattfran

        There is hardly any room because its taken up with spineless toads like you.

        • UKSteve

          It looks as most of Disqus has got you pegged as a childish troll, incapable of any on-topic discussion. They’re right to.

    • UKSteve

      She doesn’t have a “purported role” at all.

      In the 55 years since her coronation, she has witnessed unprecedented betrayal and deceit by the political classes of her people. In addition, the wilful emaciation of her powers (As wit hall the monarchies of Europe) to advance a corporate designed and driver supra-national trading block, by the abolition of nation states. The EU.

      It’s not sycophancy; it’s respect, admiration and affection.

      • john

        But I thought she was there to ensure all the disasters you list would not happen. Not much good if she can’t do the needful.

        • Simon Fay

          She has watched it all unfold with great stoicism and nary a peep, her numerous large estates and other boltholes a consolation to her. Her undoubted dignity resides in her superfluousness, like a fake fire-extinguisher on the wall of an art gallery.

          • nelly0042

            If you’re displeased with the current state of affairs in the UK and think the Queen isn’t exercising enough muscle to right the ship of state, then does this mean you’re for giving the monarchy more power?

          • Llamedos2

            Nelly – it has been written that Charles would do exactly that when it is his turn?

          • nelly0042

            LOL
            Lots of things “have been written.”
            And why the question mark?

        • nelly0042

          Then you apparently thought wrong. Perhaps you should look up exactly what her role is before you attack her for events outside her control.

          • john

            So she can’t do anything! Time to say goodbye.

          • nelly0042

            That might be an option, but since her approval ratings are at an all-time high worldwide, I doubt there is much call for that.

          • john

            So called approval ratings prove nothing. Until there is a free refendum we will never know how real royal support is. 30 years ago nobody would have expected Scot Independedence to get a sliver of support – now its edging on a majority.

          • nelly0042

            Those “approval ratings” that you’re keen to dismiss translate into money and prestige. As for Scottish Independence, that’s been talked about my entire life – more than just 30 years. In fact, it was a real hot topic in 1979, which just predates your 30-year marker.

          • UKSteve

            No it isn’t. Now the price of oil has collapsed, let’s see how ScotNatzis are going to fund their separation. Bunch of dilettante, economically illiterate, racist malcontents.

          • john

            A bit of a Scotty hater?
            If Scot Nats win well in the General Election, that will ensure that independence is on the agenda and they will have the support of Scot voters to push ahead.

          • UKSteve

            No – what a silly comment. Definitely a troll.

            Scotland doesn’t want independence – 10% margin. The current oil price makes it impossible. Did you know they actually had a referendum this year? Where you abroad? What is it with you Marxist / Trot / Labour economics illiterates?

          • bobmattfran

            Ah the crawling so called “patriot” sceeches again!

          • UKSteve

            A truly infantile and brainless comment. Maybe your time would be more constructively spent playing with Lego?

          • bobmattfran

            Oh dear the sad little subject is getting upset again!

          • bobmattfran

            I see you are still defacing my country’s flag with your stupid nonsense. Only recently you had the gall to claim that you were a “patriot” and that everyone else who disagreed with you was a traitor. Perhaps I can enlighten you? Those who wrap themselves in the flag display all the talents of a scoundrel.

          • UKSteve

            I see you are still typing moronic, hate-filled bilge on Disqus. The fact that you don’t is truly a triumph of hope over past experience.

            “Only recently you had the gall to claim that you were a “patriot…”

            I am. As it’s an alien concept to you, no wonder you look incredibly foolish.

            “….and that everyone else who disagreed with you was a traitor.”

            Bollux. Prove it.

            “Scoundrel”? You see, you now look crashingly foolish, bordering on severe mental deficiency. If you’re talking about the Samuel Johnson quote “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” I completely agree, it is, but I’m not taking refuge in it. I love my country, and wear that pride like a badge of honour. You hate yourself, anyone even slightly better off or more intelligent than you, and you hate your own country.

            How incredibly sad, but there’s nothing I can do for you.

          • bobmattfran

            I wouldn’t want a faux patriot who abuses my country’s flag doing anything for me thank you. If you were a patriot you wouldn’t be supporting an illegitimate, foreign, thieving family.

          • UKSteve

            I don’t usually waste my time on genuine half-wits, but in your case I’ve made an exception, due to my sense of duty to try and inform the wilfully pig-ignorant.

            I am a patriot, and I don’t support “…illegitimate, foreign, thieving famil[ies]….”

            That’s why I want out of the EU, urgently.

          • bobmattfran

            Hardly a patriot more an arrogant, ignorant crawling sycophantic moron.

          • UKSteve

            “….and that everyone else who disagreed with you was a traitor.”

            Bollux. Prove it.

            STILL waiting…..

          • bobmattfran

            I don’t converse with foul mouthed ignorant arrogant idiots. goodbye.

          • UKSteve

            So…..

            A childish troll who upvotes his own posts LOL!
            A know-nothing imbecile
            And now, a proven, outright liar.

            You really don’t have much going for you, do you?

            Why don’t you donate your computer to charity, and read something?

          • UKSteve

            “….and that everyone else who disagreed with you was a traitor.”

            Bollux. Prove it.

            STILL waiting…..

        • UKSteve

          You seem to think she is an ‘absolute’ monarch. She is not, and it’s been centuries since there has been one.

          Write to her, and her admin staff will tell you that Her Majesty’s role is to ‘….take advice and guidance on matters of government, from the Ministers of her elected government…” On personal matters, she can contact any of her Privy Councillors 24 / 7.

          We are, e.g. in the EU because it has been the advice of Heath and other traitors that we join whole-heartedly, which is why we’re in the F-awful mess we are. So not only were the British people decived that it would mean the loss of the ‘nation state’, but so was HM QE II!

          Imagine that….!

          Do try and read something before posting, I’m sure it’s difficult but if you can’t, ask yourself if you really want a system like America?

          • john

            Royalty has enormous direct and indirect power. They have no more right to any political influence than you or I have. Charlie is a notorious user of influence to get his way on laws etc.
            The US system is one role model but we can develop our own.

          • UKSteve

            You are now contradicting yourself massively, the sign of troll, usually.

            Only the Queen has more rights than you or I, as she is our Head of State, Defender of the Faith, Temporal Head of the Church of England, and Commander-in Chief of our Armed Forces.

            Prince Charles is more in touch with my thoughts and opinions on many things than any of the 651 trough-hogging, paedophile-protecting trash in the Commons, so that’s fine with me.

          • john

            In a democracy, all citizens have the same rights. If you don’t think Charlie and the rest of the Windsors have more rights than you or I, you’re living in dreamland. Would a Tory Government keep secret your communications with Ministers? Were you awarded a title at birth with a seat in the HofL? Thought not.

          • UKSteve

            To silly to warrant a serious comment, actually.

            I am perfectly happy with Prince Charles’ communications staying secret; he’s ot the monarch so he doesn’t even have too much influence. There are hundreds of examples of this.

            The problem with peevish, sneering, self-loathing lefties is that they make up any old cack in order to try and make a point they don’t have in the first place.

            Get rid of the politician-trash, restore absolute rule from the Palace. God Save The Queen.

          • Llamedos2

            UK Steve – in general we English agree “I may not agree with what you say, but I defend your RIGHT TO SAY IT” Steve your responses have become unnecessarily hostile – we are all entitled to our opinions. Keep calm, and try and accept that the viability of a monarchy is an emotive question and will

            continue to be argued about in person and on paper.

          • UKSteve

            Absolutely. but this blog attracts far more than it’s fair share of childish trolls, maybe it rubs off.

            At least john can make and discuss a point with great civility, and I respect him for that. I don’t mind anti-monarchists – not a problem – but flame me and you get the full works.

            The irony of your quote, of course, is that it was uttered by a Frenchman 🙂

          • bobmattfran

            No my deluded sycophant she is not my head of state, nor is she the defender of the faith (that in itself is a hypocritical joke) She does not have any more rights than you or me only those that the weak spined lackeys who support this expensive farce give her without the agreement of the electorate.Prince Charles is more in touch with your thoughts is he> I suppose you consider serial adultery before during and after marriage acceptable for the dysfunctional, self serving little rat.

          • UKSteve

            Well, no doubt David Cameron is your “head of state”, which chimes in perfectly with the rest of the self-loathing, sneering drivel you’ve typed.

            The only way you can attack them is to make rubbish up and reduce it to a soap opera, which is probably your intellectual level. you should read something other than the Morning Star.

      • bobmattfran

        Demented to ay the least, i have no respect, or admiration or affection for bunch of inbred benefit claimants.

        • UKSteve

          Moronic to call it at it’s best, I have no time for peevish, possibly unwashed, sneering malcontents who see nothing beyond privilege and wealth in our Head of State.

          It’s utterly pathetic.

    • nelly0042

      Frankly, I suspect Britain would have sunk even further down the hole in prestige had she not been there. Britain is the top military power and has the 3rd largest GDP in Europe. Not that I attribute these to her direct action, but apart from hypercritics like you, she certainly has retained more worldwide affection and admiration than most heads of state.

      • john

        The usual deferential fantasies of royalists – no data just myths.

        • bobmattfran

          John perhaps these crawling small minded sycophants would like to explain why the monarch is a share holder of the Bank Of England Nominees Limited a privately owned company which is protected by the Official Secrets Act. This private company has a direct influence of the BOE and its accounts are never published. Why? What has the royal family got to hide?

    • Treebrain

      “Can anyone point out anything real that Mrs Windsor has achieved?”

      Absolutely, yes!

      She and her cronies have massively enriched themselves ever since her coronation!

      Just ‘do the numbers’, what assets did her family directly own since her accession and what do they own now?

      Her and her brood have shamelessly mixed their roles as Head of State, ‘Supreme Governor of the Anglican Church’ and an unjustified ‘tax-exempt’ status to gorge and enrich themselves.

      Never mind the father of Prince Harry, what about a DNA test for Andrew and Edward?

      • john

        Nice one TA!
        Given the deference of politicians, public and the media, nobody will ever demand a transpatent accounting of the Windsor family’s ill gotten gains. Yet another area where an elected Head of State would be held to account – but not “royals”.

      • UKSteve

        Yes, treebrain – quite appropriate.

        The Royal Family, have, collectively, subsidised their reign over this country due to the paltry amount they take from the civil list for the last 2 decades, since it was cut by Major’s govt. .

        Why is it that all the anti-monarchists know absolutely bugg3r-all about the monarchy?

        • Treebrain

          UKSteve,

          Actually some anti-monarchists DO know that the Royal family have benefitted from tax exemptions for their commercial activities for centuries whilst amassing great personal wealth, enjoying royal monopolies and prerogatives and massive state subsidies.

          As for the Royal Family ‘subsidising’ the country, the very idea is risible.

          Edit – Since my original comment, public scrutiny is falling upon Prince Andrew and his relationship with convicted paedophile and sex trafficker Epstein and his pimp, Ghislaine Maxwell!

          It looks like Andy won’t be making any US visits for the rest of his life!

          • Joe Eldren

            The item about Prince Andrew is nothing new – simply that two more individuals have come forward to make ‘claims’ against him and Ms Maxwell. Anyone can do that. But can they prove it in a court of law? Time will tell, unless you are a ‘republican’ with your mind already made up on the basis of sensationalist news reporting.
            Your facile comments about ‘tax exemptions’ shows nothing more than you are completely ignorant of the historical arrangements, why they came to be and why & how they are different now.
            Facts are a step too far for you, it seems.

          • bobmattfran

            I refer you to my comment regarding the bank of England Nominees Limited of which the Monarch is a nominee!

          • UKSteve

            Well, anyone who’s done their research won’t find it risible. The Civil List was slashed – as I said – during Major’s disastrous term.

            Only the Queen and D of E in the Royal family receive from the Civil List, 70% of it has always been spent on employee’s salaries – 2,400 jobs I think ? – and we don’t even pay for a Royal yacht any more for God’s sake – which must be a major priority for any government – if only to piss off the Yanks over lost trade deals! The amount of business conducted on Brittania that we won over other countries must run into hundreds of billions.

            And as for HRH Prince Andrew:

            http://www.independent.co.uk/news/lawyer-alan-dershowitz-named-in-sex-slave-case-defends-prince-andrew-against-false-claims-9955387.html

            If you want to believe in baseless, sensationalist hor$3sh1t, that’s your problem. Anti-monarchists……pfffff! Pathetic.

    • thomasaikenhead

      “Can anyone point out anything real that Mrs Windsor has achieved.”

      Absolutely, her family and cronies have become very, very rich since she became Queen!

    • Llamedos2

      I think more than 50% of the population would agree with you John. The monarchy is now outdated. It is time for a change folks – vote UKIP

      • UKSteve

        UKIP? ROTFLMAO!

        Nice one, any more?

        BTW, is it now UKIP policy to abolish the monarchy?

  • Simon Fay

    A glorified Lady Mayoress, opening things, pulling back the curtains on plaques, asking grovelling worthies how far they’ve come for the local paper to write up. You might as well concoct a paen to Tower Bridge for staying in place so long except that the latter has few pretensions conferred on it about being the pivot around which the changing world turns etc etc.

    • john

      And it provides a very useful service.

    • UKSteve

      As your profile says, “….I failed to understand…”

      • bobmattfran

        You just fail period!

        • UKSteve

          An infantile and brainless comment. if you want total failure, look in a mirror.

  • john

    All that’s happened is that the Windsors have moved full time into show business. Who can tell the difference between Willi and Kate and the Kardashians?

  • mrsjosephinehydehartley

    ‘The love of the people is the Queen’s protection’.

    And the love of sovereignity likewise as ordinary members of the public protects our position, one and/or all.

  • Gregory Mason

    ‘Britain reacted to Victoria’s record with an outburst of national rejoicing because it confirmed in the public mind the importance of the Victorian era — and they’ll do the same for Elizabeth come 9 September.’

    I won’t rejoice. The Second Elizabethan era has been an absolute shambles and a disaster for the British people. Admittedly very little of it is her fault because it was her forebears that gave the House of Commons arbitrary and tyrannical power by removing all checks and balances. She has allowed traitors to flourish in Her Realm and I despair that she has not moved against them. This era has been important for all the wrong reasons!

    While I feel great affection and loyalty to Her Majesty I will not rejoice at my people’s way of life being undermined by a treacherous and distant elite. I desire my liberty returned to me even if the price is my franchise.

    • Treebrain

      Well said GM!

      Why would the German interlopers ever actually care about England, they only came to the place as impoverished German aristocrats in order to enrich themselves at the expense of the natives?

      • Joe Eldren

        Bordering on racist.

        • bobmattfran

          and you are bordering on being a candidate for sectioning.

        • bobmattfran

          Hardly, but you obviously agree and support the treachery that the UK has been subjected to by the Royals and the faceless establisment over the years.

  • Treebrain

    “Victoria was at Balmoral that Wednesday morning, as Elizabeth plans to be.”

    Good luck to both as they camouflage their roles as German interlopers to England and pathetically try to claim to be ‘British’ by adopting modern, artificial interpretations of being ‘Scottish’!

    Just do the basics with regard to tartan, Highlanders and the rest?

    The first language of Queen Victoria was German, not English!

    As for Elizabeth II, the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family have never been English, they are simply parvenu, nouveau-riche Europeans who tried to rebranded themselves as ‘Windsor’!

    The real parallel between the two female monarchs is their overweening arrogance that meant that they saw themselves as the only ‘real’ occupants of the the throne and so both excluded their sons and actively worked to exclude them from any aspects of the state. As a result, both ascend the throne as pensioners with no knowledge at all about how to full the role of sovereign!

    As regards ‘family’, who are the REAL fathers of Andrew and Edward, let alone Prince Harry?

    • Bonkim

      Pea-brain – Which planet did you descend from? I thought extra-terrestrials had rudimentary brains, yours appears to have shrunk due to earth’s atmospheric pressure.

  • Rhys

    Since I can’t think of anything to say in praise of this or any other monarch, I’d better not waste this opportunity to keep my mouth shut.

  • DaveTheRave

    The monarchy is always ‘transforming’, for good or ill – look at history. For instance, Richard II in 1381 during the Peasant’s Revolt – his courage as a young man probably saved his life, perhaps his dynasty. Richard has been harshly dealt with ever since, this incident for some marking perhaps one of the few positive points of his whole reign. Yet, unlike his father, grandfather and next two successors, he didn’t like war. Here was a much maligned monarch (in my opinion) who tried to make changes, but paid the price for wanting peace. Do things really ever change???
    So, if the monarchy didn’t adapt it wouldn’t survive. In 1648/9, it didn’t. Only the realisation that (for some reason) we couldn’t do without it, was it brought back. Perhaps the moves to actually make Cromwell king seemed distasteful to many.
    At best, one could say the monarchy has steered a steady course these sixty odd years, while the Empire has dissipated and ‘Britain’s’ role in the world has diminished. Now we even witness the implosion of the very ‘United Kingdom’ the Queen was crowned to protect. Harsh words were said in the late 70s with the prospect of devolution, but Scotland is virtually independent, Wales and NI will probably follow.
    And is England, traditionally the heart of the crown, united under one sovereign since 937 AD (yes folks that’s over 1000 years), actually safe from balkanisation? What would the monarch say to the prospect of fiefdoms in place of the former England? England must survive intact and that may only happen, whether we like it or not, with a monarch as head of state. England has a very long tradition of survival and adaptation, resistance to wholesale change. Such tradition is under serious, severe threat right now, but I would still back us to survive…

  • Emily Elizabeth Windsor-Cragg

    Pardon? The United Kingdom has been a Corporation for some time. check it out in Dunn & Bradstreet. She has given up all thought of Royal Sovereignty long ago. She squandered and scrapped her Coronation vows to protect English Common Law, the Church of England and British Culture. She runs her Monarchy just like every other CEO, with primary attention on the bottom line at tax time. Indeed, Britain needs a Leader who reigns and serves to check-and-balance over parliament, which is what she was supposed to do–NOT allow pedophilia, nepotism, bank fraud and EU domination over UK Common Law systems. It’s been a bad deal for the people the whole time.

  • john

    “Her rule defines our era” Utter nonsense. Not one person in a thousand would say that the last few decades have been defined by Lizzie. She has been irrelevant and the monarchy is simply a social dinosaur.
    The era has been defined by weak economic performance and a diminution of British standing in the world. We are well behind some of our European counterparts and numerous other countries have jumped ahead.

  • Llamedos2

    The Queen does not air her views publicly so it is not possible for us to know what she thinks, but there is no evidence that she has a hand in solving the problems we have. I remember that at the beginning of her reign she was quoted as saying “I will continue in the way that my Father did” … and it seems that she has done so. I agree that she as been a figurehead of commonsense, service, and loyalty, but that is all. Personally I think the idea of having a lifetime monarch is outdated – electing a President is a much better idea, at least we can change the incumbent every so many years. The Queen’s family is ever increasing in size and expense. There are now many relatives who undoubtedly the Queen is fond of and probably ‘helps out’ from time to time (e.g. the Michael Kents). But in this day and age it is totally ridiculous to maintain this German family in the manner in which they wish to continue. And if she cannot actually ‘do anything constructive’ why do we have to put up with this charade? Why do we have to put up with her family and their ideas of their importance? With President we would only have to support him/her and the immediate family (i.e. children) – not an ever increasing number of grandchildren, nieces and nephews, cousins, aunts, uncles etc. etc.

    TIME FOR A CHANGE. When the Queen goes – no more ‘Royal Family’ – LET THE UK BE A REPUBLIC.

    • Bonkim

      This is a free country and you have a right to campaign for a Republic however idiotic that may seem to many.

  • thomasaikenhead

    It will be fascinating to see how the Queen reacts to the latest revelations of the antics of her favourite son, Prince Andrew?

    Gien that the opening of a play in London has recently caused new attention with regard to Harry, Prince Charles and James Hewitt, the Epstein revelations will cause the old claims about Prince Andrew and Lord Porchester and PRince Philip to be given a fresh arriving.

    The skeletons are coming out of the cupboard, next will be Prince Edward and Baron Plunket. Now why was he buried in the family tomb at Windsor?

  • pobinr

    Why didn’t she intervene to prevent Edward Heath committing treason by breaking his oath of allegiance to the crown & thus to us, when he signed the 1972 European Communities act?

  • Chamber Pot

    Well, how about skipping Charles, and William, and Harry and moving straight on to…..King Andrew ?

  • Source of all Truth

    Where do you have evidence that her taste in interior decoration and her views on women’s rights is a measure of lack of sound mind? Pretty opinionated for an author whose job is to report the fact. Also it take you paragraphs to get to the point which should have been addressed in the first sentence.

  • rosie1843

    [“For all its hypocrisy and complacency, the Victorian age was less cynical than our own.”]

    What is the point of this comment? Since when is being cynical a crime?

Close