Queen Elizabeth II's calm reign key to her success

The Queen with Prince Charles and Prince William The Queen's popularity among the general British public continues to hold steady

Each Jubilee - Silver, Golden and now Diamond - offers an opportunity to pause and reflect on a central question.

Why has an institution abandoned in country after country through the ages, survived and prospered here?

Biographers have already staked their claim to the answer. Historians will offer a better perspective. But even without their advantage, it's obvious Elizabeth has been critical to the success of the House of Windsor.

In public, she appears sensible, pragmatic, occasionally glum-looking, ever careful not to cause offence. In private, her friends say, she's humble and a great mimic.

In her evolving world, which has encountered the Sex Pistols and civil partnerships, the Queen and the monarchy she only inherited because her uncle chose love over duty has moved slowly, often imperceptibly with the times.

As one who knows her put it to me once - you don't want a monarch who fizzes like a Catherine wheel.

The non-fizzy, non-showy sovereign of 60 years enjoys the solid, increasingly affectionate support of the majority of the population.

These past few days have been an opportunity for them to make that abundantly clear.

Many, many of them have known no other head of state. A minority of the population yearn for no such head of state. They want the individual chosen by the ballot box, not an accident of birth.

When other public bodies have been battered and bruised, the current, comfortable status quo is not a bad position for Elizabeth II, the 40th hereditary monarch since William the Conqueror, to occupy and indeed savour.

Peter Hunt Article written by Peter Hunt Peter Hunt Diplomatic and royal correspondent

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  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    Good idea - let the people speak!

    1,250,000 turned up to see the jubilee celebrations on Saturday...
    BBC received 2,000 complaints ....

    Hmmmm ---- wonder who won that then?

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.

    The monarchy is not as massive tourist attraction, people would visit anyway,the castles and palaces will have even more access rather than Buck House being opened just during the summer.France is the most visited country in the world and they have no Monarchy.We have no vision for the future, just a harking back to the past, totally pathetic.'Mother of the free' , how totally naff.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    Elitism it may be, but monarchy with ER II at its head for 60 years is infinitely preferable to dubious presidents elected on partisan political platforms who spend most of their tenure ensuring their re-election for the next!

    Prime Ministers & Governments rule our democracy, not the Queen. As it is, it is probably one of our greatest tourist attractions! If it isn't broken, don't fix it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    We chose to be a republic once, remember? From 1649 - 1660.

    Christmas was abolished. Theatres closed. Parliament tried to elect itself into office for life.

    No wonder the monarchy was welcomed back!

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    For gods sake will all the anti royalists get a life - the monarchy is at worst cost neutral, does not exert any power and does not IN ANY way restrict the life of the British citizen/subject. Yes people around the UK and the wider world are suffering and if we all gave more we could make it better but as individuals and as a nation we do what we can.

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.

    The "calm" reign is not a massive surprise as all statements and journeys of the Queen are written by the government or approved by the government.

    With the only exception of the Christmas Message written exclusively by Her Majesty.

    So there is only a very little personal merit about her reign, the fact that it lasts for 60 years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    They are STILL at it. Her Majesty's BBC saturation coverage wildly overstated the levels of support for the monarchy and left many thinking citizens feeling massively disempowered, repressed and wondering what else the manipulative state machine is capable of. The subliminal message overall was one of overpowering force, giving the impression that everybody thinks in one way over this issue.

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    What struck is was the difference in the way people celebrated the monarch compared to now.... it seemed there was real passion from normal people running to see her, barging past barriers.. it was genuine you could just turn up.

    What we got now was ticket holders in the park, normal people cut off between those who could afford it, celebrities and Government....it's all rather sad.

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Had we not enjoyed 60 years of the most excellent monarch then the republican stand might have been justified. But if it is a public ballot they want then they need look no further. The majority vote was cast this weekend and with a public turn out greater than any election in living memory.

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    The jubilee's event costs were all privately funded. Related costs were not (eg policing). http://www.channel4.com/news/who-pays-for-the-diamond-jubilee.

    @ republicans: our elected government rules us. A president would be dull and drab. Monarchy pays for itself even on Crown Estate income alone (ignoring tourism ):

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    What a shame that the BBC just didn't perform over the Jubilee weekend, poor camera work, boring shallow presenters that lacked intelligence hardly saw what we wanted to as they were so fond of their own voices and inane comment, many referred to the Queen as HRH instead of Her Majesty. So many insignificants invited into the cosy studio built at Buck House. Give us our License fee back!

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    And when we speak of being "proud to be British", its interesting to note how fickle the British public is! Does anyone seriously believe that Prince Philip will be left to lie in soiled sheets, without food or water, as is the case for many of our elderly people in hospital? What the eyes do not see, the heart cannot grieve for. "Proud to be British indeed!".

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    No problem with the Monarch being Head of State as long as it is the will of the people.It seems what I am asking for is something strange, seems posters favour elitism over democracy.I am afraid the Monarchy providing stability, are just words with no substance.Why does this country keep looking backwards with no vision for the future.We have created an elitism and we are frightened of change.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    I don,t believe our country would be any better if we became a republic. This country is governed by a government, not a queen. For me the burning question is, how much the monarchy costs the country in comparison to the revenue it generates. I have been appalled over the last few days to see so much money being spent on one woman & yet we have our government banging on about austerity. Sickening!

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    The end of the Monarchy would be the end of the Commonwealth, something far greater than our so-called "United Kingdom", where students in England pay for free tuition for those in Scotland and gaining free prescriptions is just a case of moving to Wales. Let's face it, the only thing uniting our kingdom is the Queen, and same for the Commonwealth. Do we want to lose that? I don't...

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    If being a republic is such a great idea then explain this:


  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    "Why has an institution abandoned in country after country through the ages, survived and prospered here?"

    Because we're idiots.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    I agree with # 1: Jason. He asked "How many heads of states with 60yrs service still enjoying majority support are there in the world?" The answer is surely only one, and that is King Bhumibol of Thailand. He beats the Queen by six years having come to his throne in June 1946.

  • rate this

    Comment number 21.

    I think I'll aim this at Jeff.
    Democracy comes from the vote. Monarchy provides stability!
    "Your Majesty, we have a problem! Well, Winston, (Anthony, Harold, Alec, Harold, Edward, Harold, James, Margaret, John, Tony, Gorden, David) the last time this happened we did this.......
    Please explain how the republican idea can improve on this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 20.

    An Elected President rotated every 3 years, with a representative from each member country of the United Kingdom, rotating possession is what I favour.It would make for a truly United Kingdom and eliminating the disunited undemocratic relic we have now.


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