Man is so credulous — so susceptible to mass influence — that the Queen occupies a hugely important place in the minds of millions of people in the country. Thus when the Queen is reported to have allegedly said some years ago that she didn’t think highly of the EU all hell has been let loose in the camp of those who want us to vote to stay in the EU on 23 June.
The reporting of the Queen’s opinion — which is probably correct — is, however, now being manipulated as though it is an attack on the Queen herself and her role. “Palace fights to save Queens independence” are the headlines in today’s Sunday Times. A sub-heading reads “Brexit row has damaged her, admit courtiers”.
Considering that, in reality, the Queen has no political power at all and that her role is purely ceremonial then does it matter what she thinks on this issue or that? Of course not. To deny her the right to an opinion is to deny her the rights of her meanest subject.
What the rumour has done is to make a breach in the wall of confidentiality that the royal civil services erects around the Queen in order to monopolise every last personal detail about her. She must remain informationally sanitized because royalty is still useful as one of the civil service’s strategic ‘weapons’ in running the country unobtrusively..
Royalty is a left-over from Medieval times. I’m not in favour of getting rid of royalty in a dramatic way by, say, legislation. But there’s no reason why British royalty shouldn’t be allowed to fade away by giving each of them more personal freedom and not be under thc hour-by-hour control — for that is what it is, literally — by civil servants. The Belgian and Norwegian royals, among others, are going that way and we ought to be doing so, too, in order to show that we’re a grown-up country and not subject to vapours.