For the first time in history, every citizen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth has been invited to proclaim their unwavering loyalty to the King through an oath of allegiance during the upcoming coronation.
This announcement has ignited a firestorm of controversy.
Both across the internet and within my own social circle. The request for a pledge of allegiance from the general public is, at best, an unusual and eyebrow-raising request from the Palace, and at worst, a sinister attempt to reinforce the unequal societal norms embodied by the Royal Family.
What strikes me as particularly baffling is that this call for allegiance is being made in the context of a coronation that is otherwise marked by inclusivity and diversity.
The King himself has requested that representatives from a wide range of faiths and backgrounds be included in the ceremony, including members of the Jewish, Hindu, Sikh, Muslim, and Buddhist communities.
In deference to Jewish tradition, the greeting to the King from the Jewish representative will not be amplified due to restrictions on the use of electricity during the Sabbath.
Given the meticulous attention to inclusivity that is being demonstrated in the coronation, the inclusion of a pledge of allegiance that concludes with the phrase “so help me God” feels anachronistic and out of step with the times. Would the ceremony really be any different if this outdated ritual were omitted?
It is the demand for loyalty itself that has provoked the most intense opposition. The idea that the general public should be required to swear fealty to the King is a jarring and discomfiting notion.
In the realm of business, loyalty is something that must be earned, not demanded. If a new CEO were to arrive and immediately demand loyalty from the C-Suite, it would be seen as a sign of weakness, not strength.
Effective leaders cultivate a culture of mutual trust and respect that inspires loyalty from those around them.
This is the kind of leadership that is needed in today’s rapidly changing and complex world, where the challenges we face require collaboration, empathy, and adaptability.
In the modern world, loyalty, trust, and respect are precious commodities that must be carefully cultivated and nurtured.
Why should the Royal Family be any different?
The role of contemporary leaders is to create an environment in which everyone can flourish and succeed.
While it is clear that some members of the Palace understand this, as evidenced by their sensitivity to the needs of the Jewish representative, there are others who seem to cling to the outdated expectations and values of a bygone era.
To me, this pledge is not reflective of the King’s ethos. His track record on climate change and charitable endeavours through the Prince’s Trust have been exemplary, marked by a culture of transparency, positivity, and inclusivity.
The pledge of allegiance, which has generated unfavourable attention, seems to undermine the very values that the King has championed.
In a world that is constantly changing, leaders must change with the times or be left behind.
Thought for the week:
You can be a lamb and hide in the middle of the flock, or be a lion and lead from the front of the pack.
Tips for being an A-player:
- Change how we think, then change how we behave. Only then we can change the world.
- Once the mind accepts a new idea, it doesn’t go back to the old way of thinking.
- There are no safety zones when change is this quick.
- When you let go of control you create an opportunity for something great.
- Live your life as if nobody’s watching.