Giving up the monarchy would be giving up a source of light and unity in the UK, says Darren Grimes
According to a recent YouGov poll, just over a quarter of Brits want to scrap the monarchy
According to a recent YouGov poll, just over a quarter of Brits want to scrap the monarchy. This includes 40% of young people. Many young people may well view a hereditary Head of State as an anachronism that belongs to a bygone era, so it got me thinking about my own views and, as ever, they stem from my family.
My nana, in a house she owned thanks to my grandad's years down the pit, so many years, that he could no longer fully extend his arm and had respiratory problems for the entire 87 years that he blessed this earth with his presence, in this house I would sit at the dining table and look up at an enormous black wood chest of drawers.
And on this chest of drawers, alongside various coal-themed ornaments, was row after row of commemorative plates. Now I could recognise Her Majesty The Queen of course, but I had no idea who the other faces painted on these plates were. In later years it baffled me to think that this family, a family that had never been to London, that would never know palaces, luxury and comfort, that would struggle to feed their kids and heat their home, why would this household celebrate this one, particularly privileged family?
As I got older I realised the reason my grandmother kept a hoard of royal memorabilia in a poor part of County Durham.
The reason my grandfather felt he could go away to a faraway place, despite having never been abroad before, in the 50s, in the Korean War, was because he was fighting under the banner of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces.
Her Majesty’s values were their values. Like my grandfather, The Queen and her father knew people they’d lost in war. The values of faith, family and friendship speak to both families.
An understanding of how service demands sacrifice and how the Union flag’s cause of freedom will always prevail.
Upon my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, you don't see many of those these days, she received a card from The Queen. They were very proud to receive that card. Would they have been so if it were President Blair, Clegg or Bercow that had penned them an anniversary note of congrats?
The monarchy stands, no matter what your class, as the embodiment of our nation. It stands as that ancient symbol of continuity and actually in people's lives who have faced a lot of economic upheaval, consider in my grandad’s lifetime, the closure of the mines.
Then there was the closure of the steelworks and suddenly men aren’t making things with their hands for work anymore.
But the one constant in their lives has always been Her Majesty the Queen.
I think it's hard. It's difficult, actually, to overstate how important she has been in many people's lives.
Our constitutional monarchy is at the heart of the United Kingdom, whenever there’s a tragedy, a war or a pandemic, it’s Her Majesty that we look to for comfort.
Unlike elected presidencies, with all the baggage of a life in politics attached to them, Her Majesty sits out of the dirty business, enjoying engagements that doddery old President Biden could only dream of achieving.
In time, like the young Darren Grimes looking up at the shelves with commemorative plates, I think the next generation will come to recognise that in giving up the monarchy we would be giving up a source of much light and much unity in this country. So I say God, save the Queen, may she go on and on and on. God bless you, Ma’am.