AS the date of the coronation of our new King fast approaches, one might pause to consider what is the secret of the abiding popularity of our monarchy?

Although there are doubtless many answers to this question, I am sure no one would dispute that an important part of it is the glorious pageantry associated with this time-honoured institution, which, in all its various heraldic, military, equestrian, and other manifestations, is so elaborate as to constitute in fact a science in its own right.

Not long ago the world was treated to a superb example of this regal magnificence in connection with the obsequies of the late Queen Elizabeth II; and indeed, in watching the endless queue of people lining up to pay her their last respects, one could not escape the feeling that their devotion partook of something of the religious.

Nor is this to be wondered at considering that the role of monarchy is conceived, even in these secular times, as deriving from God, as attested by the royal motto, “Dieu et mon droit.” “Kingship,” Bahá’u’lláh, the Founder of the Bahá’í Faith, has asserted: “is one of the signs of God,”; which He “would not wish the countries of the world to remain deprived of.”

“If the sagacious,” He further explains, “combine the Republican and Royal forms of government into one, “great will be their reward in the presence of God.”

Since, even at the time of Bahá’u’lláh, this was the case with the British monarchy, He has specifically stated: “The system of government which the British people have adopted in London appeareth to be good, for it is adorned with the light of both kingship and of the consultation of the people.”

“Glory be to Thee,” He says at the end of a prayer revealed for Queen Victoria, whom He commended for abolishing slavery and instituting consultative government, and who in turn accorded a favourable reception to the message He sent her, “O Thou in whose hand is the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth.”

Mark Hellaby

Skipton Bahá’í Group