Queen's Jubilee 2012: British Royal Family is Tie That Binds the Nation
The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, commemorating her 60-year reign this month, has shown once more the enthusiasm of the English nation for its monarchy. Sure, there are still other kingdoms in Europe, like Spain and the Netherlands, and those monarchies have their fans as well. But in England, the support for the monarchy is overwhelming.
I think one reason for the popularity of the British monarchy is its publicity. The royal family does not live their lives secretly behind the walls of their magnificent castles, they share their lives with the public. The royal family members are like modern celebrities but in an old fashioned way. The whole English nation watched Prince Harry go through puberty, and then cause scandalous headlines with his Nazi costume and binge drinking. The public was hooked every step of the way when Prince Charles finally got Camilla -- the woman he always wanted -- after the tragedy of Princess Diana. And last year, the world watched Prince William marry Kate; a wedding the entire country was desperately waiting and hoping for. They watched the whole relationship like a soap opera. They loved each other, they broke up, then they were back together, and the question always was: will Kate finally become a princess? It was all very exciting for British people.
With the British monarchy living their lives often according to the traditions and costumes of centuries ago, people are able to relive their fascination for ancient times: there has always been a certain longing for the past. Who hasn't once wished to live their life in the Middle Ages, the 1980s, or any another decade? People want to experience how different life was a century ago and this monarchy is like a living testimony to those times.
People also still want someone to look up to and admire. While politicians aren't good role models and are mostly the subject of animosity, modern celebrities are even less worthy of idol status. The British monarchy manages to be a mix of the best of both of those worlds. The people also like the idea of being reigned by a royal family that is not affiliated with a certain party; in their imagination, the Queen cares for the whole nation, not for certain groups as possible voters.
The continuous existence of the British monarchy has historical implications as well. The British Empire was a huge kingdom with enormous power. It influenced the culture, politics, and economy of today's England and the monarchy still has a certain measure of that power. The people are proud of their past and still strongly identify with their country: it’s something that makes them special. So no matter how divided the English folk are on political questions, the country is reunited with a common wish: Long live the Queen! Long live the British monarchy!