A Gift for the Monarch who has Everything?

Via the BBC:  UK to rename part of Antarctica Queen Elizabeth Land.

Actually, the more interesting bit:

it was announced as she made an historic visit to Downing Street.

She is the first monarch since 1781 – during the US war of independence – to attend a cabinet meeting.


Rodney Barker, professor of government at the London School of Economics, said her attendance at the cabinet was "daft", because "it will mean potentially the Queen will know things she is not supposed to know and hear things she is not supposed to hear".

But Professor Jane Ridley, biographer of Edward VII, disagreed, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today it was "testimony of the Queen’s ability to elevate the monarchy above politics" that she could attend cabinet.

It was a "constitutional landmark", she added.

Former Cabinet Secretary Lord O’Donnell told BBC Radio 4 that he thought the visit was the "right thing to do" – the Queen was above politics, "for the whole country, for everyone".

"I’m sure cabinet want to do this because they want to say thank you. I mean, I’ve always viewed the Queen as kind-of the ultimate public servant. You think what she’s done during her jubilee period and they just want to say thank you," he added.

He said that there had been other people attending cabinet in the past – such as business bosses during regional cabinet meetings, and someone like Lord Coe for presentations on specific events, in his case the Olympics.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Geek, Esq. says:

    Since when did the UK own Antarctica? Guys, you’re not an empire anymore.

  2. Ebenezer Arvigenius says:

    Since when did the UK own Antarctica? Guys, you’re not an empire anymore.