The monarchy has remained important in British public life long after monarchs ceased, in the early nineteenth century, to govern as well as to reign, and popular legitimacy came to be founded on representation, not the immutability of a sacred hierarchy. This book addresses two fundamental questions about the British monarchy in the modern period. What has been its function in the political and social life of the nation? Why, for much but by no means all of the modern period, has it been so popular with its subjects? Leading historians offer contributions on the monarchy and public values, the monarchy's popularity, the monarchy and Ireland, the monarchy and film, gender and the monarchy, the royal court and republicanism, and the monarchy and the wider world. These essays shed considerable new light on the monarchy's place in British public life and on the broader social and political history of modern Britain.
• Major new history of the place of the monarchy in British public life • By a team of leading scholars of political, social-cultural and imperial history, sociology and cultural studies • Essential reading for scholars and students of modern British political and social history
1. Historians and the modern British monarchy Andrzej Olechnowicz; Part I. 2. Whig monarchy, whig nation: the representative function of modern monarchy since 1780 Jonathan Parry; 3. The feminization of the monarchy since 1780 Clarissa Campbell Orr; 4. The monarchy and Ireland under the Union James Loughlin; Part II. 5. Bagehot's republicanism David Craig; 6. Power and authority in the late-Victorian and Edwardian court Michael Bentley; 7. An upper-class monarchy and popular republicanism Anthony Taylor; Part III. 8. The monarchy and public values, 1900–1953 Philip Williamson; 9. The monarchy and film Jeffrey Richards; 10. 'A jealous hatred': royal popularity and social inequality Andrzej Olechnowicz.
'This is a stimulating collection both in what it analyses and in the questions it puts.' Contemporary Review