The monarchy may be inherited but respect is not.
Queen Elizabeth II today becomes the longest-reigning monarch in British history and is the longest-reigning female monarch in history.
Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.
And she is popular the world over.
In Britain, 70% of those surveyed believe that the monarchy will be around 100 years from now. The percentage of Brits in favor of abolishing the monarch remains as it was in the 1960s at about 16%. That optimistic view is largely because of the current head of state, now nearly 90 years old.
None of this has been easy, and if people think it has been – well, that only goes to show how adroitly the Queen has played the part.... She has done it because she has acted in character; and it is part of her own character to put her role before her self. — Charles Moore (conservative commentator and journalist), The Telegraph
Constitutional monarchy isn't the system of government any new nation being created from scratch today would choose. But, in Britain, its present form came about very gradually and on balance, I believe, it serves the nation fairly well, though imperfectly, of course. For the vast majority of the Western world that is committed to democracy, equality, and liberty, seeing any advantages in an unelected head of state requires that the position's power also be very limited. Such is the case with the modern British monarchy. Though nothing expressly prohibits it, the monarch's role calls for limited, carefully-calibrated and almost entirely apolitical public comment only, leaving to other public figures the great questions and challenges the UK faces—currently, membership in the EU, immigration, House of Lords reform, etc.
But that doesn't mean that the monarch is utterly powerless or that who the monarch is—his or her worlds, opinions, manner, actions—doesn't matter to the nation, the nation's sense of itself, or the monarchy and its future. If Queen Elizabeth were not the monarch, would the British monarchy itself be less secure? Quite possibly so.
Queen Elizabeth has been remarkably effective by preserving the monarchy through a very strict commitment to public service and symbolism, staying out of the messiness of daily governance, the cut and thrust of partisanship, and the rush-to-the-bottom style of so much electoral politics. During here reign, she's made no profoundly significant slips, accidental or otherwise, to the press or the wrong interlocutor in a moment of pique or carelessness. The same cannot be said relative to all of her children or her husband, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, but she's remained almost entirely unscathed by the carelessness of other royals.
This doesn't mean she's without opinions or observations, but they aired very judiciously to maximize their already limited potential effect, to select recipients, including 12 British Prime Ministers over the course of her reign so far, who she has met with almost weekly since 1952, or more subtly to the nation and beyond at moments like her annual Christmas Day broadcast. There may be no doubt the occasional less-than-accidental leak to this or that journalist, too.
She has been a constant, calming presence in a country that has often needed one. You have to admire her self-discipline and sense of duty. Some of us may not want a Queen, but we are lucky enough to have had a good one. — Cole Moreton (republican commentator, journalist), The Independent