Jeff Costello, an American, has given a fair expression of the meaning behind the coronation of King Charles. He rightly sees this as more than being about an individual, but as a symbolic set of acts, full of meaning and history. As we know, from American history, there is not much love of republicans for the constitutional monarchy, yet, with all the problems of the highly politicised, if not totally corrupt, presidency, Americans should rethink their antagonism. As Costello says, “This was a moment to face ourselves and see just how silly and vulgar we are. It was a moment to be humbled. This is one of the most important functions of tradition, and of the representatives of tradition, such as the royals: to remind us of greatness, of something greater than ourselves, so that we feel a call to rise, to be better than we are, to be worthy of our history, and to make our ancestors feel a little less nauseated when they look down at us, from wherever they are. It was the most beautiful ceremony I think I have ever witnessed (again, rivalled only by the Queen’s funeral) — and, to my surprise, it was also quite emotionally moving.”
Costello does not consider the wider Christian aspects of this, but what he says was a good start for an American, especially the point about seeing things greater than the individualism of liberal consumerism. As the philosopher David Stove wrote in his book Cricket Versus Republicanism (1995): “IT PASSES MY understanding how anyone with even a grain of sense can feel pleasure at the prospect of a republican Australia: an Australia, that is to say, even more "base, common and popular" than it is now. Anyway, I am myself for the British connection. In my World XI, Britons - Shakespeare, Purcell, Newton, Hume and Darwin - would be the first five picked. Either to the British exclusively, or to them more than to any other nation, the world owes, and Australia especially owes, whatever it has of scientific knowledge, sober philosophy, stable government without oppression - and cricket.