Wednesday 20 September 2017

Once upon a time, we were all entranced by the fairytale idea of queens and kings

The Queen's visit is testament to the meaning of a monarchy in our subconscious, writes Domhnall Casey

AND SO she has come and gone. While the visit of Queen Elizabeth was important from a political, cultural and economic point of view, it was also a very important reminder of the meaning of royalty in the human subconscious.

Sigmund Freud thought that the British had the ideal political system. A democracy with a constitutional monarchy as very visible figureheads (but with no power to chop heads off) allows people to work out their primal fantasies, projecting all sorts of motives, wishes and powers on to the Queen and the royal family in general.

It's a sort of cheap kind of national psychoanalysis for the British, costing only about €110m annually, where hate and love can be poured on the characters acting out the latest drama. In the fairly recent past, for example, the part of Good Princess was played by Diana while the Wicked Stepmother role was taken by the Queen herself -- or more vaguely (and acceptably) by "Buckingham Palace".

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