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King Charles's Britannia Still Rules the Waves



Regarding Dominic Green's op-ed "King Charles Begins His Reign Amid Discontent and Doldrums" (May 6): Far-called our navies melt away; On dune and headland sinks the fire;
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
So wrote Rudyard Kipling on the occasion of Queen Victoria's diamond Jubilee in 1897. On this occasion of King Charles III's coronation, I say, "Not so fast." The British Empire is not dead, it's not even past.
Political domination of the empire's former colonies is no more, but the cultural influence is manifest. If not the largest by the sheer numbers of people who speak it, read it and write it, English is the language of diplomacy, air commerce, most international business and now, the internet. Because of the language's facility, the culture is dominant. The sun has not, and may not ever, set on the soft power of the empire.
Come Nineveh; come Tyre? Not for a while. Along with language, the British brought a political and legal system that emphasizes individual rights and due process, not only to North America and the Pacific island-nations, but also to many African and South Asian nations. Whether those systems have been, and are being, administered unevenly is beside the point. The systems are there, and available as a framework to provide justice and protect life, liberty and property. They have often done so in a manner superior to whatever they replaced.