As an American observing the deep veneration of royalty across the pond in the 21st Century in connection with the passing of Queen Elizabeth, I struggled quite a bit with it & came to an understanding that also has lessons on a personal level. A short thread:
In our US elections there are 2 general considerations: policy & persona, both in same candidate. Other countries often separate this head of state position (to some degree) between Prime Minister (policy) vs. President (persona). The PM must govern, make decisions, while the President is a figure-head, a national representative.
Israel is a good example of this, being Prime Minister is a contentious & highly political office, while a President who makes no (or very few) decisions greets dignitaries & citizens, represents the country, is an icon of civility & embrace, usually beloved by all the populace. Queen Elizabeth fit this role. She made no decisions, took no sides, she spoke so little in public! So many familiar with her image & presence, so few with her words & ideas. But she embodied, represented…
In a sense you might say that a governing head of state (American President, Israeli PM) has a conditional relationship, choices & decisions have to be made, positions taken, that some will like & others will not. But an Israel president or the Queen of England plays a different role, more of an unconditional one. True, it is more ceremonial, but perhaps it is substantive in the sense that it represents & conveys that aspect of the nation. The deeper core essential part of Israel or England that transcends politics or policies.
Granted, the persistence of a royal family presiding over a modern state is still quite foreign, but thinking this way the role seems better understood. It is more complex in USA where these 2 (conflicting) roles are intertwined within the same office/person. Bringing it back home to ourselves, Chassidus speaks a great deal of these 2 levels/components of the soul, indeed our inner & outer dimensions. Our core Judaism vs. our behavioral Judaism, the Judaism of identity vs. that of observance, essence vs. expression.
Much more to be said about Queen Elizabeth’s dignity, endurance, tradition – keeping her people’s respect through many decades of tremendous change. But the above may lend some insight into her role & how well she played it – why she was so respected & beloved.