Conclusion: Does the Lioness Still Roar?

  • Charles Beem
Part of the Queenship and Power book series (QAP)


One of the most striking features of British history has been the adaptability of its monarchy: From William the Conqueror to Elizabeth II, the institution of kingship has survived depositions, abdications, revolutions glorious and otherwise, as well as the paring away of its political power over the last three centuries. Nevertheless, the monarchy has been as integral to the development of English and British national identity as it has to its political evolution.1 As modern Britain moves closer to political integration with Europe, the monarchy, in all likelihood, will survive this redefinition of its sovereignty, as will the rest of the surviving Western European monarchies.


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  1. 1.
    Scholars are generally reticent to discuss the impact of monarchy on the creation of English and British national identity in any comprehensive fashion. This leaves royal biographers and journalists as the main purveyors of such analysis. For a thoughtful introduction into this concept, see Philip Ziegler, Crown and People (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Both statutes remain part of the constitution. As one recent constitutional scholar has noted, the British constitution is unwritten and uncodified. See Vernon Bogdanor, The Monarchy and the Constitution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    See A.N. Wilson, The Rise and Fall of the House of Windsor (New York: W.W. Norton and Co., 1993). Wilson brings a journalistic tone to this discussion of Elizabeth II’s transition to a media monarch. While Wilson barely hides his republican sympathies, he gives noticeable credit to Elizabeth II personally as monarch, as he derides both her family as well as Margaret Thatcher.Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    See Sarah Bradford, Elizabeth (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996). Bradford’s popular biography includes a brief discussion of the queen’s gendered approach to her office, pp. 247–285.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    For an account of Elizabeth II’s coronation, see C. Frost, Coronation June 2, 1953 (London: Arthur Hacker Ltd., 1978).Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    See John Parker, Prince Philip: A Critical Biography (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1990), pp. 149–158.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    For the most recent scholarly study of the life and career of Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, see Robert Rhodes James, Prince Albert: a Biography (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1983).Google Scholar
  8. 10.
    For an early study of Queen Elizabeth II’s married life, see H. Cathcart, The Married Life of the Queen (London: W.H. Allen, 1970). Amore recent study is C. Higham and R. Mosesely, Elizabeth and Philip: The Untold Story (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1991). Both of these works are popular biographies, reflecting a social interest in the queen and Philip’s highly public marriage.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    For a study of the modern evolution of the monarch’s philanthropic role, see Frank Prochaska, Royal Bounty: The Making of a Welfare Monarchy (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995).Google Scholar

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© Charles Beem 2008

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  • Charles Beem

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