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Reordering the WorldEssays on Liberalism and Empire$
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Duncan Bell

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691138787

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691138787.001.0001

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The Idea of a Patriot Queen?

The Idea of a Patriot Queen?

The Monarchy, the Constitution, and the Iconographic Order of Greater Britain, 1860–1900

(p.148) Chapter 6 The Idea of a Patriot Queen?
Reordering the World

Duncan Bell

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses how the monarchy was figured in arguments about imperial federation. First, it was argued that the august institution of the monarchy could act as a marker of stability and constitutional fidelity in a globe-spanning imperial polity, thus reassuring skeptics that a strong thread of historical continuity ran through proposals for uniting Britain and the settler colonies. Second, an idealized representation of Queen Victoria served as an anchor for national identity across vast geographical distances, her popularity binding the far-flung peoples of her realm in close communion. Or so it was claimed. The chapter also contends that the way in which she was often represented in imperial debate echoed an older civic humanist language of “patriot kingship,” a fantasy vision of the monarch as the enemy of corruption, the protector of the people, and the strong but benevolent leader of a dynamic commercial people.

Keywords:   British empire, monarchy, imperial federation, Queen Victoria, constitutional patriotism, republicanism

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