Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Constitutional monarchy today

The sovereign of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland whose subject I am, has allowed the ancient protocol of walking backwards when leaving the room after seeing her, to be dropped. Apparently "royal aides", mindful of "health and safety issues" have said that somebody might get hurt and then sue Buckingham Palace for damages.

In days gone by, suing the Sovereign would have got you damaged quite a lot more but one doesn't need to return to absolute monarchy to see that this ludicrous kow-towing to 'Elfin Safety makes a laughing-stock of the Queen's constitutional role. The passport I am carrying says proudly in the front:
Her Britannic Majesty's Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs requests and requires in the name of Her Majesty all those whom it may concern to allow the bearer to pass freely without let or hindrance and to afford the bearer such assistance and protection as may be necessary.
That doesn't fill me with much confidence if Her Majesty can't even request and require people to walk out of the room backwards because the Health and Safety advisers won't let her.

Apparently the Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps, and the Queen's equerry will still be walking backwards and:
Their successors will also be expected to learn to walk backwards safely and discreetly when leaving the monarch's presence.
They will be "expected to learn" will they? Come on, let's admit it, there will be a Training Day in "Safe Reverse Ambulation", led by a Qualified Facilitator who has at least an MA in "Human Polydirectional Movement" studies.

See: Royal tradition takes a backward step as the Queen bows to 'health and safety' concerns
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