For 65 Years, the Royal Mail has dismissed, disrespected, diminished, and damaged the Unionist View that Queen Elizabeth is the Second in Scotland too. Now that has to change!
Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne (6 February 1952) and was crowned (2 June 1953).
On the day of her accession, The Accession Council issued their Royal Proclamation that she was "Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of this Realm and of all Her other Realms and Territories".
Following this period – and at present we do not have exact dates, but we'd like to find them – a tiny band of Scottish Nationalists/Republicans attacked a handful of post boxes in Scotland which had the "EIIR" cipher on them.
Their excuse was that they objected to the styling of Elizabeth as "the Second", because Scotland had not previously had a Queen Elizabeth "the First". The first Elizabeth was only the Queen of England (1533-1603).
According to the rather sparse info on the Wikipedia site: "One particular pillar box in Edinburgh's Inch district was repeatedly vandalised with tar, paint and a hammer before being blown to pieces less than three months after its unveiling." (1)
Instead of continuing as normal, and encouraging the Police to find and arrest the tiny band of trouble makers, the Royal Mail disgracefully submitted to their demands.
Since 1953, new Post Boxes in Scotland have carried only the Scottish Crown – without the EIIR cypher.
This represented an astonishing concession to a terrorist incident which, for some reason (see below), has remained Royal Mail policy ever since!
Why the Nationalists and Republicans Hate the "EIIR" Styling
The "ER" bit reminds them of "Elizabeth Regina", and they don't want to be reminded of Queen Elizabeth!
The "II" bit says to them "the Second of the United Kingdom" and they don't want to be reminded of "the United Kingdom" when they walk down the street.
These are both things they oppose!
Of course, they want to push out any mention of Queen Elizabeth and the United Kingdom, from the public space in Scotland...because they are nationalists and republicans.
That is why they are against the cipher, not because they care about some "correct" (by their way of it) "styling" – as if they actually care about the styling of a Monarch whom they oppose anyway!
These people are simply against the United Kingdom, the British monarchy, and in particular Queen Elizabeth.
Maintaining the exclusion of "EIIR" from Scotland for 65 years – since 1953 – has most certainly been a victory for them against the United Kingdom and against pro-UK people in Scotland.
Why are we Talking about This Now?
According to the National newspaper of 18 August 2018, a Post Box with the EIIR cypher was recently erected in Dunoon.
One person complained, a local, long-time Scottish Nationalist and SNP candidate called Colin Stevenson. (2)
This man is well known as being part of the fundamentalist, paranoid, anti-British, uber-crank-Nat tendency. (3)
For example, listen to what he told the National: "I was absolutely taken aback when I saw it. I was confronted by something I thought had been consigned to the dustbin of history here in Scotland. I wanted something done with it, peacefully, and that seems to have happened. I thought I would never see these things again in Scotland. I'm an SNP member and a long-term independence supporter. I do wonder if this is the thin end of the wedge – I don't believe these things happen totally innocently." (4)
This is his reaction to seeing the legally and constitutional correct cipher of the British Monarch...in Scotland...in the United Kingdom:
"absolutely taken aback"
"consigned to the dustbin of history"
"wanted something done with it"
"never see these things again in Scotland"
"thin end of the wedge"
"don't believe these things happen totally innocently"
Unbelievably, he got his way and the Post Box was replaced within a few days (as reported in the National of 22-8-18). (5)
Who is this person to decide what does and does not get erected on the streets of our towns?
Who is this person to be taken seriously by the Royal Mail, and why should he have his anti-British desires catered to and his will done?
Why should a "Royal" British Institution as long-established and respected as the Royal Mail do his crazy bidding?
We were so outraged that the Royal Mail should jump to his whim, that we were prompted to do this research, and produce this article.
So, let us outline the Legal and Constitutional reason for the EIIR cypher in Scotland.
4 Reasons Why "EIIR" is the Correct Designation in Scotland
1. It is the Law of the United Kingdom that she is Queen Elizabeth "the Second" in Scotland
The Royal Titles Act 1953 gives the Queen the authority to call herself what she wants by way of "Her Royal Proclamation". Here is the relevant part:
Sec 1: "The assent of the Parliament of the United Kingdom is hereby given to the adoption by Her Majesty, for use in relation to the United Kingdom and all other the territories for whose foreign relations Her Government in the United Kingdom is responsible, of such style and titles as Her Majesty may think fit..." (6)
This she has done via the Royal Proclamation from The Accession Council on 6 February 1952.
2. The Prime Minister of the Day Explained the Constitutional Position
During this period of time, Winston Churchill was Prime Minister. He stated the view of his Government in the House of Commons, and this is the section from Hansard of 15-4-1953:
ROYAL STYLE AND TITLE
HC Deb 15 April 1953 vol 514 cc199-201 199
46. Lieut.-Colonel Elliot asked the Prime Minister whether, in advising the Sovereign to assume the title of Elizabeth II, he took into consideration the desirability of adopting the principle of using whichever numeral in the English or Scottish lines of Kings and Queens happens to be the higher.
The Prime Minister The decision to assume the title of Elizabeth II was of course taken on the advice of the Accession Council and the form of the proclamation was approved by Her Majesty's Government.
Since the Act of Union the principle to which my right hon. and gallant Friend refers has in fact been followed. Although I am sure neither The Queen nor her advisers could seek to bind their successors in such a matter, I think it would be reasonable and logical to continue to adopt in future whichever numeral in the English or Scottish line were higher. Thus if, for instance, a King Robert or a King James came to the throne he might well be designated by the numeral appropriate to the Scottish succession, thereby emphasising that our Royal Family traces its descent through the English Royal line from William the Conqueror and beyond, and through the Scottish Royal line from Robert the Bruce and Malcolm Canmore and still further back. Her Majesty's present advisers would for their part find no difficulty in accepting such a principle. From this it naturally follows that there should not in their view be any difficulty anywhere in acknowledging the Style and Title of Her present Majesty.
Lieut.-Colonel Elliot Will my right hon. Friend have a special note taken of this matter for the archives in future years so that a point of great interest to many people and one of much historical importance should never be overlooked?
The Prime Minister I cannot conceive that it will be ignored by the regular methods of reporting, and not remembered by all who take a special interest in it.
<end of quote from Hansard (7)
The point that Churchill was making has been further summarised in the Wikipedia entry for MacCormick v Lord Advocate:
"For example, as there has never been a regnant King Henry of Scotland (King Henry, husband of Mary, Queen of Scots was a King Consort) but there was a Henry VIII of England, a future King Henry of the United Kingdom would be Henry IX; but as there has been a James VII of Scotland but only a James II of England, a future King James of the United Kingdom would be James VIII. Also, England has never had a King David, but there was a King David II of Scotland, so a future King David of the United Kingdom would be David III, and a future King Richard would be Richard IV, as England has had three monarchs of that name." (8)
3. Nationalists Lost their Complaint in Two Courts in Scotland
A Scottish Nationalist group took their objection to the Styling to court. The Outer House court in MacCormick v Lord Advocate found (on 16 May 1953) that the validity of a proclamation made under the authority of an Act of Parliament (Royal Titles Act) could not be challenged in a court of law. (9)
The Appeal to the Inner House was subsequently thrown out. It found similarly that the Styling was a matter for the Queen to decide, as per the Royal Titles Act, and her "Royal Prerogative".
Furthermore, according to Wikipedia: "A submission by the Crown [Lord Advocate] stated that the Royal title was decided to reflect the highest number from either the Kingdom of England or the Kingdom of Scotland and while Elizabeth II was not the second Elizabeth of the United Kingdom, she was the second Elizabeth in the territory which now made up the United Kingdom." (9)
This follows Churchill's point above.
So consider these 4 points...
1. Even though, by the law of the United Kingdom (Royal Titles Act 1953), the Queen is allowed to style herself as she wants by "Her Royal Proclamation", and is therefore legally "the Second of the United Kingdom";
2. And even though the Prime Minister at the time, Winston Churchill, gave an excellent explanation of the Styling, which was sensitive and inclusive for all of the United Kingdom;
3. And even though the Scottish Nationalists had lost their complaint in the Scottish courts, twice;
4. And even though Scottish Nationalist/Republicans had blown up a Pillar Box in a terroristic act endangering fellow citizens...
Even though all of these things had happened, the Royal Mail still chose to bow to the wishes of the tiny, fundamentalist, vandalistic and violent minority of Scottish Nationalist/Republicans and their highly contentious view of the constitutional position.
The Royal Mail still chose to remove the legally and constitutionally-correct Styling from Post Boxes in Scotland and 65 years later is still bowing down and respecting the wishes of such people!
Well, that has to change!
This is the United Kingdom. We are Unionists; we want the UK to continue; we support Queen Elizabeth the Second of the United Kingdom; and we want our point of view to be respected for a change!
The Unionist view is that Queen Elizabeth is the second Elizabeth in the territory which now makes up the United Kingdom. It is a perfectly straight-forward position and it is correct under law and under the constitution.
It is now time for that view to be respected because it is a correct and legitimate view, which is simply not being heard.
So, why has the Royal Mail Ignored the Unionist View for 65 Years?
Why has the nationalist and republican view been allowed to dominate – for 65 years!
Why has our pro-UK, unionist and monarchist view been dismissed, disrespected, diminished, and damaged – for 65 years!
We can think of two reasons straight away.
1. Institutionalised Error
We don't know who makes those decisions in the Royal Mail but we expect that back in the 1950s, the people who made the decisions were – and we mean no harm in this – (nice enough) English types in an office somewhere in London who had no idea about Scotland or even what "the Union" was all about.
If they thought of Scotland at all, perhaps they were the sort of people who just imagined "they're all as mad as a box of frogs up there, anyway."
They would have no idea about the nuances of the Union debate, and would just choose the path of least resistance. Therefore, they'd give "the Scots" – in reality a tiny minority of fundamentalist fruitcakes – whatever they wanted.
Doing things differently in Scotland then just got "institutionalised" into the system without anyone really being aware that they were handing a victory to Scottish nationalism and republicanism, at the same time as dismissing the pro-UK view.
Now, when the matter comes up, an employee unthinkingly looks up the rule book and goes, "Oh yeah, we've got to do the Post Boxes differently up there...for some weird historical reason which I can never remember."
That's probably why.
But this one will also be a factor...
2. No Unionists have Ever Complained!
It's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.
It is entirely possible that the Royal Mail is unaware that there is another point of view on the matter. It is possible that they've never even heard it...until now...65 years later!
They may genuinely be unaware that they are engaged in following a minority Scottish Nationalist/Republican script, at the expense, and offense, of the majority of people in Scotland.
After all, they've been doing it for 65 years now!
That has to change.
So here are our questions for the Royal Mail...to help them think about what they are doing!
Five Questions for the Royal Mail
We've outlined the correct legal and constitutional grounds for the EIIR cypher to be used in Scotland, from our pro-UK perspective above.
In view of our explanation, please can you explain...
1. On what legal and constitutional grounds has it been decided that Royal Mail post boxes in Scotland should not carry the Monarch's correct EIIR styling?
2. Why does the Royal Mail view this matter through the Scottish nationalist and republican lens rather than through the Scottish unionist and monarchist lens?
3. Does the Royal Mail accept that viewing this matter through the Scottish nationalist and republican lens is giving respect and authority to that view, over the Scottish unionist and monarchist view?
4. Is this just a matter of taking "the path of least resistance"? That is, is it because the Royal Mail can't be bothered to make the legal and constitutional case for the EIIR styling in the face of some angry Scottish nationalists and republicans; and so it expects the majority of pro-UK Scots to just sit back and see our viewpoint and values dismissed, disrespected, diminished, and damaged?
5. Who decides if this policy should continue?
3) More about Stevenson here: Mark Hennessey, "Dreams of generations to face test of reality in Scottish independence vote: For many Yes campaigners dream of independence has been lifelong", The Irish Times, 4-8-14.
9) See report in the Glasgow Herald, "Judge Dismisses Petition on Queen's Title - Covenant Association to Appeal", 18 May 1953 at tinyurl.com/y9qevpcm
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