The job of the monarch
Of course today is the Queen's 80th birthday, and I wish her a very happy one. On the Today programme this morning a debate was had about the accession of Prince Charles to the throne. It was pointed out that whilst we knew very little about the Queen's personal opinions when she was crowned, in contrast we know much about Charles's, sometimes controversial, views. Indeed, we still know very little about the Queen's affiliations and opinions: she has successfully maintained a very neutral stance.
Should a monarch, bearing in mind that they have very little political sway, actively air political or other important views? Is it in their interest not to? Has our current Queen's neutrality contributed significantly to her popularity? And the much-reiterated question… what role does the monarchy really serve bearing in mind their limited power to do anything?