‘Queen of Scots’
National identities, sovereignty and the body politic
in Running the Family Firm
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This chapter explores the relationship between the monarch and national identities. On 20 September 2014, in the wake of the Scottish Independence Referendum, the British broadsheet the Daily Telegraph’s front page was dominated by a photograph of Queen Elizabeth II in the grounds of her Balmoral estate in the Scottish Highlands, under the headline ‘Queen’s pledge to help reunite the Kingdom’. The photograph, entitled Queen of Scots, Sovereign of the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle and the Chief of Chiefs, was taken as an official portrait of the monarch by Julian Calder. This chapter analyses the Daily Telegraph’s use of this image to explore how the Queen’s body becomes a site of symbolic struggle over particular discourses of national identities and citizenship during the Scottish Independence Referendum, embodying complex interrelations of ‘Britishness’, ‘Englishness’ and ‘Scottishness’. The historical context of the photograph is unpacked to consider the union of Scotland and England, the concept of the body politic, the figure of Leviathan and the relationship between the monarchy and the Highlands, in order to expose the meaning this gives to its specific use in the Daily Telegraph, and what this reveals about the infrastructures and systems of monarchy. This chapter presents the use of Queen of Scots by the Daily Telegraph as a moment when British hegemony is temporarily fractured by the independence vote, and representations of the Queen shift from banal to purposeful, regulated symbols of authority and historical legitimacy.

Running the Family Firm

How the monarchy manages its image and our money

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