The Queen and Her Prime Ministers: Corrective Power – Media – Society

The Queen has only a symbolic function in Britain’s parliamentary monarchy. Nevertheless, every prime minister comes to an audience once a week. And that for 70 years now. With a total of 14 heads of state, the Queen has met more than 3,500 times. What exactly was being discussed there? An Arte documentary takes a behind-the-scenes look at Buckingham Palace. In their film, Katharina Wolff and Larissa Klinker span a wide arc from the present to the 1950s. With the death of her father George VI. Elizabeth II became regent of the United Kingdom at birth in 1951.

Her father’s friend Winston Churchill was prime minister at the time. Apparently he was in love with her. Less known than the tough statesman with the cigar that led England through World War II is Harold Wilson. He was the fifth prime minister that Elizabeth received week after week. The relationship with him was particularly formative. For with the leader of the Labor Party, a left-wing politician came to power in Britain for the first time in a long time. The Queen’s advisers were alerted. They literally feared a revolution.

[„Die Queen und ihre Premiers“, Donnerstag, Arte, 20 Uhr 15]

The economist studied, however, proved to be a loyal monarchist. His audience lasted longer than usual. Yes, the Prime Minister even became for a brandy. The Queen learned much about the British workforce that had not previously penetrated her blue-blooded ear through the thick palace walls.

Although the Queen never uttered a syllable about politics, the documentary stylizes her between the lines as a left-leaning sympathizer. The Queen was “deeply unhappy about what happened during Mrs Thatcher’s tenure”. The infamous Iron Lady was there to get the ailing British economy going again.

The queen was “not entertained”

Strikes and social unrest broke out as a result of their unpopular actions. The queen, who is portrayed as dependent on harmony, was not entertained. And then during the audience “two rivals met”. Britain was the only country at the time ruled by two women. But their relationship has broken down into a clichéd catfight.

A surprising turn of events between politics and representative monarchy finally took place during Tony Blair’s reign. After the tragic unintended death of Lady Diana Spencer, which created sympathy worldwide, Buckingham Palace was flooded with a sea of ​​flowers. In this situation, the queen left her people alone. The monarchy was spoken.

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Ironically, the initiator of New Labor at the time gave people comfort with sensitive words. Yes, the Prime Minister even saved the Queen’s abused image. He recommended that the monarch justify her insensitive silence in a speech by saying that she should take care of Diana’s children “as a grandmother”.

The media’s interest in the British royal family is unbroken. With its border crossing between monarchy and politics, legal reporting and societal critique, this documentation finds a somewhat different approach. The British – and not just them – “love the idea of ​​the Prime Minister kneeling once a week”. From this perspective, the queen is more than just the anachronism of an outdated power structure. Because of her extraordinary age and the accompanying continuity of her reign, she embodies a kind of transcendent corrective of power. As a superior authority, it reminds those in power that they, too, are only servants.

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