A global legacy, and a global presence
A global location
A global brand
Finally, it is worth remembering that the Royal Family themselves allows the UK to exert a level of influence and access that most nations can only dream of. The news that the Duchess of Cambridge is pregnant was front page or very prominent news across much of the globe. It is exceptionally unlikely that similar news from any other nations ‘first family’ would achieve the same effect.
Never underestimate how much value the UK gets from its Royal Family – they provide a level of interest and genuine affection which no politician could hope to achieve. As a symbol of British values and views, the hosting (or cancelling) of a Royal Visit can have major diplomatic implications. It is fair to say that when HM The Queen has conducted state visits, then there is often a significant improvement in national relationships. Just look at Ireland, where her visit helped tangibly demonstrate how much progress has been made in the relationship between the two countries.
This article has focused on many things which one cannot quantify, but which do add incalculable value to the ability of the UK to exert influence on the world stage. The key point that should be remembered is that this needs to be seen as being part of a wider piece, linking to the diplomatic efforts cited in part one.
The next part of the article will try and focus in more depth about what we think we mean by ‘influence’ and try to consider what soft power, and influence in general does for the UK as a whole.