The case for the defence should be heard. History and tradition help to give a sense of continuity, stability and identity, discouraging political and social extremes. Even 'modern' countries retain historical rituals, such as the electoral college that meets to choose the president of the United States (after the people have already chosen him) next month.
The Queen's Household, however, represents something larger and more important than ritual. First, the courtiers are drawn almost exclusively from a narrow social group: if the positions are not actually hereditary (and, in Scotland, even the act of carving Her Majesty's meat is, in theory, passed from father to son), many are held by members of the peerage. Second, the Court remains exclusively white and Anglo-Saxon. Third, though royalty is supposed to be above politics, the Court overlaps with the upper echelons of the Conservative Party - not just through the positions traditionally held by MPs or peers of the governing party, but through the remarkable number of the Queen's personal appointments who have Tory husbands, fathers or other relatives.
The monarchy, its defenders say, is 'living history'. But some may think that parts of this history live a little too vigorously.Reuse content