“It’s all to do with the training: you can do a lot if you’re properly trained.”

–Queen Elizabeth II

On this day in 1952, Queen Elizabeth was sworn in as the Queen of the United Kingdom and Northern Island. History has usually portrayed rulers as Machiavellian, implying power gathering tendencies. However, the Queen differs with her idiosyncrasies of respect for constitutionalism and separation of power. This is why the institution of monarchy survives to this day – in an era of post-colonialism. Given this, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island with its unwritten constitution still remains one of the most advanced democracies in the world. Why? One would say, it is counterproductive to not have set rules written. Countries like Pakistan with hundreds of pages of constitution still struggle with smooth political operations. This is where the role of the symbolic figure comes in. The Queen remains the unity of the nation-state, deriving her legitimacy from her charisma and traditional authority. For Pakistan, with the maturation of their democracies, we can now see this role being embedded with the President. It is with this regard, the institution of the President – having the advantage of being indirectly democratic – should shape national character. This should be done through faucets such as symbolic visits, speeches and public service – not the accruement of aggressive soft power.