Today Queen Elizabeth II became the longest reigning English monarch ever. I suppose that it was only to be expected that the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee should take the opportunity to describe the crown as a “charade”, an “absurdity”, and a “soap opera” that was “infantalising a nation”, and called for her to become Elizabeth the Last.
But which is better, a crowned queen on her throne, or the drab bureaucrat in Brussels who was today calling for “solidarity”, “union in diversity” and for the compulsory redistribution of 160,000 migrants throughout the EU?
These days ‘progress’ seems to be all about stripping away whatever is believed to be inessential. It’s something that is perhaps best exemplified by cold, clinical modern architecture, devoid of ornamentation.
The impulse to dispense with the monarchy is the same as the impulse to strip ornament from architecture, and ban smoking in public places. They’re seen as unnecessary, old-fashioned, and unhealthy. But when the urge to dispense with the unnecessary has run its course, there will not only be no kings, no ornamental architecture, and no smoking, but also no music, no art, no literature, and no poetry.