Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh just finished their nine-day visit to Canada, including a lovely stop here in Nova Scotia, and by all accounts the visit was a success.
As nice as it was to see them, having just celebrated Canada Day, we have to ask ourselves whether or not the monarchy is still relevant in today’s society. Do we really need a Queen, especially an ocean away from Buckingham Palace?
Canadians of today have little interest in the monarchy, although the Queen herself remains a beloved figure. For those who remember her coronation in 1953, seeing her today takes them back to that time, when life was simpler, families stayed together and post-war affluence was widespread.
Even Prince Philip holds a special place in the hearts of this part of the country, dating back to the 1958 Springhill Mine Disaster, when his visit to the region brought comfort to those who needed it most.
Times have changed. While the Queen still commands respect wherever she goes, the heir to her throne is an adulterer who does not carry such regal presence. It is not that Prince Charles is hated or even disliked. Even worse, he is seen as an average, flawed man, and inspires little more than indifference.
Prince Charles aside, the monarchy has faded from relevance because we fail to see its purpose, especially in Canada, where we have grown to be more culturally influenced by the republic to our south.
The truth is, we have real problems in the world today: war, global warming and climate change, a sputtering global economy and poverty, to name a few. Problems that no one sitting on a throne is going to solve.
Our monarchy will always have its place in our history, but its role in our future is much smaller.