After researching the Queen and her family for the last 20 years, I definitely get a feel for why people love the Queen and, despite calls for referendums, why the monarchy remains (see Australia, 1999).
What is it about the Queen? Here’s why she’s forever popular and she keeps gaining new fans worldwide:
1. The Queen doesn’t betray tons of emotion. Her Majesty is steady and stoic, good for keeping people calm. Save the drama for your llama.
While she has sometimes been criticized for not showing enough emotion (see Diana, 1997) who is to say what is “enough emotion”? Aren’t we all different people when it comes to how we cope with death? She didn’t come rolling down the steps of the plane at Heathrow and land in a heap of tears over her father’s death. No. She grieved privately. Why did anyone expect her to grieve publicly for Diana? The Queen is a private person by nature.
2. The Queen isn’t always constantly seeking media attention. On the contrary, they have to figure out a delicate balance of being seen but retaining their privacy. Who can be “on” all the time? Anyone would find it difficult, even those born into it. Besides, isn’t constant attention seeking annoying? Those on the receiving end get fed up of seeing someone in performance mode 24/7, too.
3. Ceremony and tradition are a break from the mundane. It’s also a beautiful spectacle to watch, and can be counted on to occur consistently. While the Queen is a regular person, she has a position that is unlike any other – and it’s not for television, it is real life, and it’s inspiring!
4. The Queen heads a constitutional monarchy. She doesn’t wield absolute power over everything, like a despot. Elizabeth must respect and work with the government of the day, and cannot act arbitrarily. She’s a uniting force of British heritage, but the people still get to elect representatives to their government.
5. She has a sense of humor. What other monarch would consent to being parodied during an international event? The Queen and James Bond (Daniel Craig) showed us that HM does indeed have a great sense of humor. Where did Elizabeth get her sense of silliness? You can probably thank Queen Mary for that. Yes, it’s true – Queen Mary was privately very good humored. In public, she appeared august and austere, but at home Mary had a good sense of the ridiculous. Sadly, her husband, King George V, did not feel that way. The king once walked in on Mary dancing to the latest music of the 1920s, and he yelled loud enough to crack the walls!