King and monarchs are the most hard-working of mortals. We think they are free from the cares and worries which assail ordinary humanity. But it is wrong to think so. In addition to his responsibilities as a father or a husband, a king has to shoulder the responsibilities of the State which usurp practically all his time. In modern days, however, sovereignty lies with the people and kings are only the constitutional heads of their States. They have all the outward pomp and show, but responsibility for the affairs of the State lies with Parliament can even unmake them and do everything, except, what a writer on political science has said, ‘make a man a woman and woman a man.’ A modern sovereign has not much to do in the way of government. In theory, he can still do much, but in practice, he does little. He is only figure-head and has ‘scepter and crown’ are outer symbols of sovereignty merely.
In modern days ‘the head that wears a crown’ stands for a person who occupies a position of authority and power. Great men residents of States, Premiers, Cabinet Ministers, and as a matter of fact, all those who hold responsible positions have little peace of mind. Inextricably engrossed in public affairs, they have no private life worth the name. They have to do very hard work, sometimes even for twenty hours a day. They know no rest, no relaxation. People pester them day in and day out, forgetting that they are human beings and need repose. Their duties are of a multifarious character if one performs them, honestly one has to put in strenuous work. Some ministers are known to have turned grey in the course of a year or so under the pressure of hard work. In modern days the science of public administration and government is becoming more and more complicated and necessitates a good deal of technical knowledge.
Public servants must keep themselves ‘in proper trim’ abreast of everything. One thing, therefore, very essential for those who want to enter public service is that they must be gluttons for work. There is no room for lotus-eaters. In old times the kings were no answerable to common people and they could afford to behave irresponsibly and neglect work. But in modern days Premiers and Cabinet Ministers are responsible to the electorate for every little thing they do. If they lose public confidence, they must quit. In the circumstances, public servants are careful not to do or say anything which may imperil their position.
Inspired by lofty ideals, indignant at the sorry scheme of things they try to ‘shape the world to their hearts desire. They are misunderstood, traduced and mocked at, and often their fate is similar to that of Browning’s Patriot. Recognition comes, but very late. The path of glory leads literally to the grave. Their difficulties are many. A very exacting standard is set for them. Even the slightest lapse ‘means loss of castė. Their virtues are ‘writ in water’ their errors are ‘writ in brass’. They have Rolls Royces to move about, valets and secretaries to attend on, and all possible amenities of life, to boot. Yet with all this one thing is denied to them. That one thing is peace of mind. A high position is a veritable crown of thorns. The wearer alone knows where the shoes pinch. Ordinary people can little appreciate their – difficulties. The following quotation from Shelley reiterates the same sentiment:
Kings are like stars-they rise and set,
they have The worship of the world, but no repose