Is there anyone in the world who has known as many international leaders as the Queen? Theresa May might be her 13th prime minister, but that pales into numerical insignificance when one adds up all the Commonwealth leaders she has met. In the independent realms where she is, or has been, head of state she has racked up almost 180 prime ministers. Even that number is dwarfed when you consider all the other presidents, chiefs, generals and autocrats from the Commonwealth’s 53 member states. Along the way she has encountered generations of Trudeaus, Bandaranaikes, Kenyattas and Nehru-Gandhis, among others.
Also Read: What Next For The Commonwealth?
She is venerated around the world. She has outlasted 12 US presidents. She stands for stability and order. But her kingdom is in turmoil, and her subjects are in denial that her reign will ever end. That’s why the palace has a plan.
It is hard to imagine, say, the monarchs of Saudi Arabia, Thailand, or Norway as global brands in quite the same way. And while the successful branding of the British royal family is partially a product of Britain’s historic role in the world, it also has causes closer to home—in the evolving relationship between British royals and their subjects.
David Cameron has defended the UK’s business links with China as he said deals worth £40bn had been struck during President Xi Jinping’s visit. Cameron hailed a deal giving China a 30% stake in a new nuclear plant. The PM said the two countries could maintain a “strong relationship” while having “necessary and frank discussions” about issues like the steel industry and human rights.