I am not a raging Monarchist but I think the Queen is a good thing. She's a bit of a mystery, we know her through the reports of other people. For the most part she herself keeps silent, happier to wave than to speak. When she does speak her words are heavily scripted but here are some of her own words, made on her 21st birthday:
I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. But I shall not have strength to carry out this resolution alone unless you join in it with me, as I now invite you to do: I know that your support will be unfailingly given. God help me to make good my vow, and God bless all of you who are willing to share in it.What fascinates me is that Monarchy, which is, let us not pretend, feudal, it is fundamentally about a "word given" and promises made it is a contradiction of democracy and comes from an entirely different mindset. Feudal society was essentially contractual, based on giving promises, on giving one's word and keeping it come what may.
A French friend used to tell a story about a very English couple in bed together. She finishes a romantic novel, closes it and after a moments thought says, "Cyril, I can't remember the last time you told me that you loved me".
He replied, "Audrey, I told you 45 years ago, on the night we became engaged that I loved you. If I changed my mind I would have let you!".
For my friend it illustrated the lack of communication often present in English love affairs, maybe; but it also illustrates something deeper, "a word given" and not taken back.
My mother was dying, a long tedious process over a couple of years, brought about by hospital infections in a broken leg and dementia, aggravated by poor nursing. Practically everyday my father would drive across town to see her, they were both in their eighties. When he lost confidence in his driving, he would take a bus, a journey of about an hour each way. In the latter stages of her illness she didn't know him, and finally didn't respond to him. They weren't a demonstrative couple, my father less so than than my mother, I suggested he ought to visit a little less, perhaps every other day, his response was simply, "I promised ....".
The promise, the giving of the word, that is binding and not taken back, is the basis of the marriage covenant, the relationship, the covenant marriage between a Sovereign and her people, a bishop and his Church, a religious and his/her superior, a Christian and Christ. Obviously it is rooted for Christians in the Logos, "the Word given", God giving His Son eternally. It is something beyond "romantic love", it raises "duty" and the obligations implied by "duty" to sacred obligation, it raises us above the "hired man" who flees, to martyrs and saints, and faithful servants willing to sacrifice themselves for Christ.
Romantic love is delightful but when one's seven year old handicapped daughter smears the house with excrement, or your sixteen year old son tells you you are the "worst parent in the world" or your wife greets you with a spew of swear words, or your husband is apparently brain-dead, or your country needs you to go to war, or the music is ghastly at Mass, or for that matter your countrymen and co-religionists turn against you would crucify you, it is simply not enough. Neither is it enough when depression robs you of feelings or having fallen into love you fall out of it.
Then duty, then the promise, then the "word given" endures.