December 13, 2014
But the idea that Americans adore the Duchess of Cambridge because she happens to have magnificent taste is as patently silly as the idea that monarchy was the real wedge that drove England and America apart. In fact, a brilliant new book by Eric Nelson, called The Royalist Revolution (out this October on Harvard University Press), shows how the patriots overwhelmingly saw themselves as rebels against Parliament, but for the king. It wasn”t until George III removed the revolutionaries from royal protection that they struck out on their own republican path.
In other words, we adore the House of Windsor because we never revolted against the British Crown: the British Crown snubbed us.
After hundreds of years of incredible geopolitical, economic, social, religious, and demographic change, we”re still the same nation of rejected royalists. We still have that intense feeling of familiarity and warmth toward that throne to which we owe our country as we know it. Now that we”re warming up to one another again, it’s hardly a surprise that about 13 percent of Americans think they”d like to live under a monarchy again. There’s a tiny Anglophilic monarchist inside every American, and that’s a much greater part of being American than we admit to ourselves.
In short, when we”re forbidden to honor a king, we defiantly honor a king anyway.