New Labour sells a New Monarchy: Elizabeth on Blair

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"Today, Prime Minister, we accept your generous hospitality in a very different Britain... The economy in your charge, and which you inherited, is soundly based and growing.

Despite the huge constitutional difference between a hereditary monarchy and an elected government, "they are complementary institutions, each with its own role to play, and each in its different way exists only with the support and consent of the people. That consent, or the lack of it, is expressed for you, Prime Minister, through the ballot box. It is a tough, even brutal, system but at least the message is a clear one for all to read." It often fell to the prime minister to be the bearer of "the messages sent from people to Sovereign".

She added: "Prime Minister, I know you, like your predecessors, will always pass such messages, as you read them, without fear or favour. I shall value that, and am grateful for your assurances of the loyalty and support of your Government in years to come."