Not all conservatives are monarchists, but British conservatives tend to be. Conservatives are united by their reverential regard for what good has gone before, and a determination and care to conserve it.
While not all nations are able to celebrate monarchies as part of the good of their national histories, UK Conservatives passionately believe that they are able to – along with the many nations who share Queen Elizabeth as their Head of State. Amongst her innumerable contributions, Queen Elizabeth has provided a constancy, dignity and centeredness amidst the violent political and social turbulence of the past 63 years. The British monarchy was a constant presence during the turbulence in Europe in the Second World War, and it kept Britain strong when Europe was tearing itself apart.
Historical institutions can be destroyed in an instant, but take centuries to create. It is conservative wisdom to adopt a posture that begins by supposing that what has endured might have endured for good reason, and that our reason for having endured might be thanks to what has endured with us. And where change is needed, we choose considered reform over revolution.
The Queen underpins and binds the United Kingdom’s democratic institutions. She puts Britain above the European fray. What a contrast to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, whose centralisation of power – justified on the basis of remote, pseudo-democratic and self-congratulating institutions – does not underpin Europe’s democracy, but undermines it.
The longing to be part of a story greater than ourselves is an aspect of the human condition. There are many tales and characters and institutions that tell Britain’s national story and bind its people in peaceful solidarity, but perhaps none so constant and integral and respected as the Royal family; and none greater within this family than its longest standing head, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – long to reign over us.