In 1921, as monarchies in several other nations had recently fallen, a New York Times Sunday Magazine article noted the curiosity that the monarchy in England remained. And it still does.
Of the surprises that have followed the war, one of the strangest is the fact that, with the three great Emperors of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Russia driven from their ancient and solid thrones, there should remain the King of England, still firmly established in his sovereignty.
The final Russian emperor, Nicholas II, abdicated in 1917. The final German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, abdicated in 1918. The final emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, Charles I, was dethroned in 1919.
The Throne has ceased to be international. With the collapse of royalty in Germany and Russia it is, indeed, isolated. It depends wholly upon the British Commonwealth of nations. And yet it continues.
It continues, indeed. Although the last time that the English monarch actually refused to give “royal assent” to an act of Parliament was Queen Anne back in 1708.
Playing the King
Published: Sunday, July 31, 1921
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