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100 years ago: King and Queen in Rome

12 May 2023

May 11th, 1923.

THE welcome accorded to the King and Queen in Italy and in the city of Rome has been distinguished by many acts of the most graceful homage. That was to be expected from a race which has the gift of artistic expression. But the warmth of the welcome exceeds all that could have been expected. Their Majesties’ progress from point to point has been little short of triumphal, and the popular welcome has even obscured the royal and diplomatic courtesies which in past times have been prominent in similar visits. The English people is, we believe, deeply sensible of the friendliness shown to its King and his consort. But we do not doubt that the fervour of the welcome was due in part to the recognition in the King and Queen Mary of qualities which have made the royal house of Italy beloved by the people. The entire and self-sacrificing devotion to duty and to the interests of the people, the unaffected love of simplicity, the keen sympathy with suffering and distress which Italians recognize in all the members of their royal house, are precisely those qualities for which we admire our own. They are the qualities which, in our own time, have rehabilitated in several countries the idea of monarchy, and have conciliated those who — were kings other than they are — would find little use for monarchy in a modern world.

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