When we consider the role of the Monarch we must look at all aspects of that role. I cannot be certain to cover all of those but will attempt to point out some of the more obvious features. As well as being a figurehead the monarch is also the pastor of his or her nation. This means that they will be concerned with passing on to their heirs a nation that is healthy. This determines a very different outlook to that of the politician who considers only the duration of his or her term of office.
The health of the nation consists of more than simply whether the books balance. It will involve the crime rate, loss of life through acts of violence, by both state and private citizen, mental well-being of the nation as well as physical well-being. Mortality rate of infants, and education at all levels. It will include employment and successful business ventures as well as armed forces and protecting the nation against enemies from within and without the state. The monarch is responsible for the well being of the land, for parks and reservations, for wilderness and moorland. As well as the culture of the people that live on that land, of agricultural production and food supply. He or she must preserve parks and recreational sites as well as the natural environs, and the flow of traffic through the cities. At all times seeking to enrich and enhance the nation in all its aspects.
At what point does one determine that an individual is detrimental to the well-being of the Nation? Can the president or prime minister of a nation be held responsible for actions which are clearly detrimental to the well-being of the nation? Are they to be considered criminals? To what extent is this covered by the US mandate of the people in the form of impeachment? We have seen how frail an instrument that is. Not that I wish to suggest the current president is an enemy within the nation, by any means. But it does show us how much damage could be done if one unsuited to power was to hold the reins of office. Again I am speaking in general terms and not thinking of any specific example.
The monarch must consider the defence of the nation, both in terms of its spiritual health, particularly in the case of a Protestant state where the Monarch is head of the Church of the Nation, as well as against any enemy invasion. The last resort the monarch (or government) has is to resort to arms. But to do this is a tremendous responsibility, particularly today when the rights of the individual tends to overshadow the duties of the individual in the popular mind. Within a home the parent is responsible for the actions of the members of that family. The hierarchical nature of that relationship is an image in miniature of the role of the Monarch towards his or her Nation. A parent and guardian. When soldiers are sent to war the Monarch is very conscious of the lives of his or her individual soldiers. The days of brightly coloured uniforms and hand to hand combats of villagers against a rival are long gone. The pageant of war is no longer anything to be proud of. It is fought under the most cowardly of circumstances, when flights of aircraft at high altitude can cover an area with deadly weapons regardless of the population beneath them, or rifles can fire over three miles at targets so distant as to be virtually invisible to the naked eye. The question of individual courage does not enter into the game any more. Yet the converse of this is that the weapons used against a force will be equally as frightening. All of this must weigh heavily on the shoulders of an individual placed in the role of leader of the nation.
For a politician in such a position he or she will be surrounded by advisors and military experts who will declare the sensible course of action. Though what sensible will be is determined by the role of the individual advisor. A diplomat will advise very differently from an arms dealer. Not that the monarch will be without their counsel. But the sense of personal responsibility must weigh heavier on the shoulders of one born to high position through life, having carried that awareness from birth. The politician is like a person entering a sweet shop and not finding the item they wanted is faced with a bewildering array of other things which may fulfil part of the requirements but not all. A choice has to be made quickly and the weight of the decision will not have time to land before the decision has to be made. A very different situation.
So to wrap it all into a single package the monarch must be willing to hear the voice of the people, as well as to nurture the well-being of the environment. They must be parent and guardian, pastor and spiritual leader, must lend healing and succour to all the people of their nation, and do this for as long as there is breath in their bodes. A very different prospect, demanding very different qualities, from the here today gone tomorrow life of a politician. And against all this will be the victimisation of the press, the opinion of the general population over what little of the life of a monarch is visible to them, and the fickleness of the financial market. It is no wonder they must needs call upon the Grace of God to guide them.