It is fashionable among the liberal elite to portray Britain as a country of waning power and influence, slipping inexorably into the wings of the world stage.
This miserbilistic movement, with Labor and the BBC inevitably at the forefront, claims that the UK is a depleted fighting force – a sickly international actor living on memories of his imperial past. The extraordinary global response to Queen Elizabeth II’s death has debunked that idea as pure nonsense.
If Britain is really falling into irrelevance, why is the deceased monarch almost universally mourned? If we are just a dwindling second-rate state, how come world leaders have come to London today to attend its state funeral?
The largest gathering of kings, queens, presidents and prime ministers ever seen will join the 2,000-strong congregation for the solemn service at Westminster Abbey.
If Britain is really falling into irrelevance, why is the deceased monarch almost universally mourned?
Royalist or Republican, Democrat or Despot, every head of state cries out for invitations. Inclusion is a sign of international status.
The impact of Her Majesty’s passing is seismic. The global grieving process has easily overshadowed that which accompanied the deaths of towering international figures such as Winston Churchill, John F Kennedy and Nelson Mandela.
The reality, invariably overlooked by those who love to run down the land, is that the Queen is revered all over the planet – from the tiny Pitcairn Islands to the sands of Arabia. Her long reign reads like a travelogue. She visited more than 100 countries and organized more than 150 state visits – a successful, often historic exercise in diplomacy and ‘soft power’.
For many around the world, the Queen’s core values - duty, responsibility, self-discipline and self-sacrifice – are inseparable from the values that Britain represents.
A predicted global TV audience of four billion will watch her funeral — roughly half the world’s population. This testifies to the enormous appreciation held abroad for our monarchy, traditions and principles.
Whatever the detractors may argue, Britain is far above its weight geopolitically, economically and culturally.
For Ukraine, which we have provided military and financial support in their existential struggle against Russia, or the flood-ravaged people of Pakistan, where we have sent massive amounts of aid to help them rebuild, this country is anything but irrelevant.
In their eyes and in those of countless other nations, we remain a shining beacon of hope, democracy, freedom and friendship.
But today the curtain falls on the Elizabethan era. We will say one last, sad farewell to the only monarch most of us have ever known.
Up to two million will line the streets of London for perhaps the most mesmerizing spectacle in the recent history of this island.
The beautiful pomp and circumstance of the ceremonies will take the breath of even the most cynical Republican.
This will be a fitting farewell to a monarch who has led the nation through 70 turbulent years with agility, courage and wisdom.
More than her predecessors, she won the hearts of her subjects through unrelenting hard work and quiet, down-to-earth simplicity.
That’s reflected in the remarkable flow of humanity that has braved long queues and cold weather to pay tribute to its recumbent state. Also in the impeccably observed minute of silence last night.
However, in the midst of all the splendor and majesty of the occasion, it is important not to forget that a family is being robbed.
King Charles said in a poignant message last night that he was “extremely moved” by the outpouring of grief and affection for his “dear mother.” It had been, he said, a “support and comfort.”
His first days as a sovereign have been perfect – fountain pen accidents aside. If he follows his mother’s example in the future, he will indeed be a worthy successor.