30 June 2011

Royal duty versus celebrity

Father Raymond de Souza writes in advance of the visit of the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Canada: Lifestyles of the noto-rich-and-famous.
Queen Elizabeth II has visited New York City three times, which is the same number of trips she has made to Moose Jaw [Saskatchewan]. She has gone where her duty takes her. . . .

It is necessary that, on occasion, the Royals visit Hollywood and Fifth Avenue, but the occasions must be rare. The world of new money and fleeting celebrity is corrosive to the dignity and tradition that a monarchy sustains, and which sustains it in turn. The purpose of a Royal visit is not to chase after the people whom the world celebrates, but rather to bring the spotlight to those people and places which are not especially famous or powerful, but deserving all the same. Princes do not need wealth or fame, and it is unbecoming for them to lust after it.

Wise words indeed. I hope the future king and queen have read Walter Bagehot's The English Constitution and an early edition of Robert MacGregor Dawson's Government of Canada, which should definitely be part of their political education.

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