Sunday, September 6, 2009

Chipping Away at the Great in Britain

I am a little surprised that this story (which has been out for a while) has not attracted more attention from the Angloblogosphere. I would not have known about it were it not for the report from the American Monarchist. The story covers the announcement from the palace that those who are given an audience with the Queen are no longer required to bow their head and walk out of the royal presence backwards. I realize this is not a *huge* issue and yet I still see it as a further chipping away of respect for the Crown and thus yet another attack on the "Great" in Great Britain. I will admit, I am a bit obsessive on this issue. I love seeing officials in Thailand crawl on their hands & knees before the throne, I winced when reading of when the last Emperor of Vietnam abolished kowtowing in the 30's and I tend to look at the era of when visitors kissed the Pope's foot as 'the good ol'days'. All of these things are to foster respect for the monarchy, not simply the monarch him(her)self; it is what they represent. It never fails to infuriate me whenever anyone still complains about the (now non-mandatory) outward signs of respect given to someone like Queen Elizabeth II. For crying out loud, it has basically been reduced to a nod of the head from men and a half stumble for women! It's not as though anyone is being forced to get down on both knees and touch their forehead to the floor. This is also further proof that the revolutionary, leftist elements want nothing more than to rest power from royal hands. That is paramount but as trends like this show the ultimate goal is to take away the respect and reverence given to the Crown and finally to take away the Crown itself.


  1. I agree - bring back bowing.

    I think they should make Government officials and ministers crawl on their hands and knees before the throne in the United Kingdom.

    Not sure about kissing feet. Not sure whether I could do that myself. If a King, Queen or a Prince told me to do so - I'd guess I'd do it.

    I'd only do it to show them my deep respect. To show to them that they represent God to me.

    When it comes to my children, I'm not sure. I guess I'd have to make them do it too. Would you?

  2. This definitely goes along with the trend towards abolishing monarchies but at least it is not outright nastiness. I guess I have seen too much of the latter in various attacks, especially on the Belgian monarchy- sometimes beyond belief- so I am a bit inured to this other kind of thing. I also think that one can sometimes have *too* much protocol and complicated etiquette surrounding monarchies and that this can even be counter-productive - as there can be a special dignity in a more straightforward approach, too (I'm thinking in particular of people like (surprise!) Albert I and Queen Astrid, who didn't like to be unnecessarily hedged around with etiquette and yet were supremely regal). What matters most is the underlying reverence and respect for the Sovereign. But I agree, with these leftist elements, chipping away the outward formalities does go hand in hand with eroding that underlying respect.

  3. Well, I just think there is a time & place for everything. I love it, for example, when the Prince of Monaco has his people over to the palace for a BBQ. Having the "common touch" is important. However, for a formal audience at the palace, for coronations and enthronements and government functions I say protocol to the max on those occasions because it's about the royal dignity and reminding the politicians exactly who the boss is (or is supposed to be). I think being friendly and informal on informal occasions is great and can be a real strength, but formal occasions should be just that.

  4. Yes, it depends on time and place, and also on different cultural traditions. In general, I think there should be enough protocol and appropriate "distance" to make people (and more importantly politicians) treat the monarchy with deference, and yet enough simplicity and humaneness to enable people to feel closely attached to their rulers, not only in political but also in personal terms.

  5. Bowing before the Queen is simply a way to show respect to a person who outrank you. This not a symbol of servitude but of humility and respect.
    Christ himself taught us humility during the last supper trough the act of washing the feet of his apostles.
    These liberals hide their vanity behind the mask of democracy and equality. The reason they like equality is not because of their loyalty to the idea that everyone is born equal but simply to make sure that no one can be higher than themselves. That’s why from all things they can do with their freedom and liberty; they choose to do this. They are not the servant of the people, they simply serve themselves.


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