Queen Elizabeth II occupies a paradoxical position in British life. Theoretically, as a constitutional monarch, her involvement in politics is only formal and symbolic. But in terms of British life more generally, Britain’s class- and status obsessed culture is organized in a neat pyramid with Her Majesty seated firmly at the top. She has had regular weekly meetings with every prime minister since Winston Churchill, and clearly has political views, even if they are never published and rarely discussed.

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