Putin shows us why the Queen matters

Tobias Stone
8 min readMay 30, 2022
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The British love their monarch — well, a significant proportion of them do. Recent polls by Ipsos Mori found that 46% of Britons say abolishing the monarchy would be worse for Britain in the future while only 22% say it would be an improvement. Statista found an average of 61% of people thought the UK should continue with a monarchy in the future, though that fell to 31% of people aged 18–24.

The Queen’s popularity will become obvious over the coming days, as the UK celebrates her Platinum Jubilee. There will be street parties, pageants, ceremonies, and more.

Yes, some of her family have let the side down, but to be fair her children are the product of a very, very weird existence. There is nothing normal about being a member of the British Royal Family, and the last 50 years has seen a massive transition from a late Edwardian concept of royalty through to today’s increasingly modern approach. All of them were born into this whether they liked it or not, and none of them have really escaped the fate that birth-right has thrust upon them.

They have had almost no choice about what they do with their lives, who they are, how they live, or where they live. Yes, it’s glamorous, but it is a gilded cage. None of them really had the option to become a train driver, doctor, or artist, or to marry someone totally inappropriate but whom they really loved. Prince Harry is the closest to any of them achieving that level of independence, and look at the backlash he’s faced.

The Queen, Prince Charles, and Prince William had their entire lives decided for them at birth. What the country asks of them, and how the system works, is that they occupy the top position in society so that nobody else can reach it. This creates an interesting dynamic in British democracy that protects it from politicians and others who crave power. Nobody with an unhealthy lust for power can become head of state in the UK.

An elected head of state opens up the position to people with ambition. Tying it to the line of one family means the head of state doesn’t need that ambition, and anyone with that ambition cannot do anything with it. Power tends to attract the wrong people, so blocking the top place from anyone is a healthy idea. While we allow politicians to vie for power lower down the chain, they…