Discussing Prince Andrew’s disastrous BBC Newsnight interview and the aftermath, The Economist notes,

The queen’s most important quality is her ability to keep her mouth shut, a skill which neither Andrew nor his elder brother Charles has mastered. By sounding off about a wide range of subjects about which he has more opinions than knowledge, the heir to the throne has annoyed many.

The queen’s willingness to keep her counsel has allowed her to remain a symbol rather than a person, and thus a focus, as the royal website puts it, for “national identity, unity and pride.”

Indeed, for 68 years, the Queen has shrewdly avoided reacting to social situations and commenting on politics.

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