We have heard reference to the Royal “We”, but I wonder if we understand its amazing significance. I find the truth about the Royal We to be quite heartening.
The general understanding is that Royals, such as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II use the word “we” with a special significance. At times when she is talking about herself and the logical personal pronoun identifier to use is “I”, she will say “we”. This pattern of speech is referred to as the Royal We. It is the use of the word “we” in a special case by those in royal authority.
There are two applications of the Royal We that are very valuable to people under royal jurisdiction. Australians and those from other British Commonwealth nations are blessed to have access to these two applications.
Simply stated a monarch can use the term “we” to refer to the royal lineage, including their predecessors and future descendents. And a monarch can use the term “we” to refer to public servants, all those who are engaged in expressing their jurisdiction or authority in any way.
Lineage of Monarchs
A child may assume that a king or queen can do as they please. If a king is the ultimate authority he can make up his own rules, change his mind, have his own way and please himself at will. Who can stop him, since he is king?
In reality it is not so. A monarch holds office by appointment from God or the people, or by some other process that grants the position. So, even in that place of supreme authority, there is accountability. Kings cannot rule as despots, unless they are happy to void their position.
Monarchs hold a powerful office, and so they are bound to uphold the significance of that office.
Medes and Persians
Consider the ancient Medes and Persians. Each new king was bound to uphold the decrees of all previous kings, and could not even break his own decree. If those decrees were voided and he changed his mind at whim, then the integrity of the royal office would be undermined.
King Ahasuerus made such a decree, see Esther 1:19, and Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den because of such a decree in the time of King Darius, see Daniel 6:8-15.
“Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which alters not.” Daniel 6:8
Ezra the scribe records that when rebuilding the Jerusalem temple was opposed, search was made of the decrees of preceding kings. It was confirmed that King Cyrus had made decree to rebuild and so King Darius issued new decrees in support of that. Refer Ezra 6:1-12.
Because of the need for integrity in the office of the monarch, when one king makes a decree, that decree is effectively made by the entire lineage of kings. Thus when a king makes a decree, instead of saying “I Decree”, he can say “We Decree!”
That decree will be upheld by his son, and his grandson, and so on. The decree or promise is made on behalf of the royal lineage. The Royal “We” represents the consistent declaration of a continuity of monarchs.
With the royal “we” in mind take a look at that famous royal declaration from King Edward I, known as the Magna Carta, from 1297. The great chart declared the following commitment by the King, on behalf of the royal lineage.
“No freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his freehold, or liberties or free customs, or be outlawed or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will we pass upon him, nor condemn him, but by lawful judgement of his peers, or by the law of the land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either justice or right.”
Notice “We will sell to no man” and “we will not deny or defer to any man either justice of right”. This is the royal “we” in operation.
Because of the Royal “we”, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is still bound by that decree, even though it is over 700 years old.
While the Royal We speaks for the royal lineage, it also speaks for the servants of the monarch. If the King decrees that HE will not do something, then certainly no-one operating in his service can do that thing either.
When the king says “we will not deny you your rights” that means that the army, police, magistrates, court officials, king’s servants, wardens of the royal hunting grounds, sailors on the king’s ships, and all others acting on behalf of the king are equally bound by the king’s commitment.
It is absurd to think that a king is bound by his word, but those serving the king may do differently. They cannot possibly have greater power and freedom than their master, and being in his service they must act in their job exactly as the king would have to act if he were doing that deed.
So all the minions who are in service to the monarch, or who rely on the authority of the monarch to collect their tolls, enforce the law, pass judgment, etc, are included in the Royal We.
When the king says “we will not deny justice to anyone”, that commitment must be upheld by every public servant under the monarch.
People God and Crown
Where this is good news for Aussies is that our whole nation is under the monarch. The document which established us as a nation is the Australian Constitution. That constitution begins with a Preamble, which is a statement which puts the rest of the document in perspective. That preamble only mentions three peoples or entities – the people of the states, Almighty God and the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
“WHEREAS the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland; and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established” (first paragraph of the Australian Constitution Preamble)
The people are “humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God” and entrust their freedoms and rights into the care of the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Australia, therefore, is under the “Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland”. That is why Queen Elizabeth is our queen. And that is really good news!
You see, the king or queen who wears the Crown of the United Kingdom is bound by over 700 years of promises to uphold our freedoms and rights. And every politician, public servant, court official, policeman, council worker, or whatever, that holds any public office or responsibility is also bound by those promises.
The whole of the nation of Australia is under the Royal promises. We are blessed by the Royal “We”.
Anyone who draws any authority from the Crown, the Queen or the Australian Constitution is bound by Magna Carta. They are bound to protect our rights and freedoms, and must uphold the promise that “we will not deny or defer to any man either justice of right”.
Now, that’s Good News!
Take a moment to consider, then, what might happen if we became a republic. There are voices that argue that we have outgrown our connection with England and the Queen. They point out that the queen has become a lame figurehead. They suggest that we are more closely tied to America these days than good old England. The British Commonwealth is nothing more than an excuse for a sporting event these days. And so the arguments go.
They want us to abandon our Constitution and create a new, modern standard for our existence.
But what they don’t tell you is that they want to remove Almighty God and they want to remove the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. They want to take away from you 700 years of commitment to protect your justice and rights.
I don’t want something “new” and “modern” if it destroys something as wonderful as the Royal We.
I don’t want our public servants getting away with lies, deception, fraud, exploitation or anything else.
I want every politician and official in Australia bound by the Royal We. There is nothing better to require them to uphold than centuries of commitment to protect our rights and freedoms.