Her Majesty finds herself in a bind
The Queen has signed the new Commonwealth Charter, which states inter alia that ‘We are implacably opposed to all forms of discrimination, whether rooted in gender, race, colour, creed, political belief or other grounds.’
So would Her Majesty approve of an heir to the throne marrying a Muslim, animist or, God forbid, Catholic? If not, she then opposes not all forms of discrimination but only some of them, implicitly including transgressing against ‘gender equality’ and ‘gay rights’.
Apparently this opposition isn’t as implicit as all that, for the Queen is said to have privately expressed support for such liberal radicalism. The Charter, however, has to relegate it to subtext, albeit a highly transparent one.
The reason for such taciturnity is obvious. In 41of 54 nations that make up the Commonwealth (née the British Empire), homosexual acts are illegal. Nor do they constitute a trivial offence incurring a derisory slap on the wrist. In Nigeria and Pakistan, for example, practitioners of ‘love that dare not speak its name’ can be executed; in Malaysia first flogged and then imprisoned for 20 years.
Are these countries going to change their laws once the Charter goes into effect? I doubt it. Will the 49 Commonwealth members that don’t recognise same-sex marriage join those five that do? Not on your nelly.
Thus the Queen, who may or may not have had her hand forced by her subversive ministers, will be signing a largely symbolic document. But what with her role being largely symbolic anyway, this symbolism is vitally important.
Our monarchy, along with the Church of England, is here primarily to link our generations past, present and future into a cohesive continuum. By signing this awful document, which veers further to the left than even the UN ever has, Her Majesty effectively breaks the continuum. This inadvertently promotes the cause of republicanism, terrifying those of us who have a reasonable grasp of, and affection for, the country’s constitutional history.
At the risk of buying a one-way ticket to the Tower, if not Tyburn Hill, one can detect seemingly incongruous socialist leanings on the part of many members of the Royal family. Demonstrably unqualified to do so, I wouldn’t venture a foray into psychoanalysis by suggesting, say, that this is animated by guilt feelings about the family’s own privileged status. Nor will I ascribe it to any cold-blooded calculation of personal interest – though inherently socialism does limit upward social mobility, thereby protecting aristocratic privilege.
I’ll merely observe that, during Mrs Thatcher’s tenure, Her Majesty could barely conceal how little time she had for her first minister, with her economic and social ideas. That such animosity was at all discernible is especially astounding in the light of the exemplary dignity and noble restraint with which the Queen has served the nation for 60-odd years.
Nor would some other members of the Royal family be automatically admitted into a real conservative party, if we had one.
Prince Charles, for example, once famously declared that, when ensconced on the throne, he’ll regard himself as Defender of Faith, not the Faith. A jack of all faiths, Supreme Governor of none, I’d suggest. Such even-handedness is clearly unconstitutional, what with the realm being constituted along explicitly Anglican Christian lines.
On 2 June, 1953, the Queen answered ‘All this I promise to do’ when asked by the Archbishop, ‘Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England?’
For Charles or any other prince to give a different answer, the constitution would have to be debauched, as our government already is debauched. As it stands, the law of the land doesn’t provide for the monarch's commitment to any old faith. Such as, for example, pantheism, the echoes of which sounded in the Prince’s recent statement ‘nature is a great deal more powerful than we are.’
If you realise, as I do, that republicanism will destroy what’s left of this country, you’d be more comfortable with the word ‘God’ replacing ‘nature’ in the same sentence. Alas, our comfort doesn’t count for much.