THE leitmotif is continuity, the watchword endurance. Pre-eminently on display for these celebrations of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Queen herself, 70 years on the throne, a lifetime of service to this United Kingdom which she rules through the Crown in Parliament, a deft device in our unwritten constitution.

Yet glance too at those around her on the Buckingham Palace balcony as 15 Typhoon aircraft form the number 70 in the pale blue sky.

Witness the working royals, the chosen few. Witness the heir, Prince Charles, with his wife.

Witness the next generation, the Cambridges, with their three children, George, Charlotte and a charmingly eager, if unsettled, Louis.

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The Red Arrows could have written it in the slipstream. This was a statement about monarchy. Looking to the future with confidence.

Enthusiastic monarchists will say that is the whole point of the institution. To provide stability and certainty in a world which has become more troubled still.

Critics say that a modern democracy has no need for inherited privilege.

Most of you, I would guess, straddle a range of views, perhaps conjoining personal admiration for Her Majesty the Queen with occasional quiet questions about the worth of the wider endeavour.

Either way, whether you are supportive, critical or indifferent, then it is perhaps worthwhile noting another element of continuity associated with the royal family.

The quite remarkable determination to endure – and the sundry steps taken down the centuries, by Royals and sage courtiers, to ensure that monarchic rule is prolonged.

Glance once again at the palace balcony. Note the absentees. No Duke of York. Excised from the working royals. Then struck down by Covid and absent from St Paul’s Cathedral.

No Harry and Meghan. No longer balcony candidates. Yet balance in all things; prominently on display at St Paul’s.

However, the main spotlight is firmly on the descendants who are both suitable and willing to succeed, if called. Chosen by birth but promulgated by Palace preference.

Sceptics will say that is self-preservation, blanking difficult issues for the Crown, sustaining a myth.

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Again, though, it is possible to view this as an aspect of service. If you believe in the concept of royalty, then you will regard its persistence as worthwhile.

What is certain is that the sundry efforts to secure the Firm have been prolonged, varied and, thus far, decidedly successful, including in Scotland.

Consider the scope of the challenges faced by monarchy over the centuries. Glance back to the time of the Union.

The Crown passed to the House of Hanover through the marriage of Elizabeth Stuart to Frederick, Elector of Palatine, and their Hanoverian son-in-law. Jacobites protested that a more obvious Stuart succession was ignored.

Ancient history? Yes, but we are dealing here with dynastic descent. The rules matter and their manner of application signals a determination to survive.

That conflict is long gone. But there have been many other crises. Concern that the widowed Victoria was too languid and secluded from her people.

The abdication in 1936. The tribulations of Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister. More poignantly, the divorce and tragic death of Princess Diana.

At all points, the Court has been concerned with two aspects: dealing humanely with individuals but also ensuring that there is no lasting damage to the institution of monarchy.

In which regard, consider Scotland – and particularly the prospect of independence. What might happen to the monarchy?

This week at Holyrood, political leaders were united. Each warmly praised the Queen. Each spoke of continuity. Nicola Sturgeon said Her Majesty had been “a constant figure in an ever-changing world”.

Perhaps wisely, Patrick Harvie did not speak. The Greens favour an independent Scottish republic. Perhaps it was felt his contribution was covered by his governmental partner, the First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon alluded to “different views in this chamber”. While those must be respected, she said the jubilee was about the life and service of an extraordinary woman.

Those “different views” surface from time to time. I well remember the 1995 Perth and Kinross by-election where the SNP candidate Roseanna Cunningham was billed “Republican Rose” by the Tories.

As one of the mischievous media, I questioned Ms Cunningham as to just why she opposed the monarchy. Her reply was that they were “the pinnacle of the class system.”

(She won with a majority of 7311. The Tories came third.)

More generally, SNP views have varied. They used to favour a referendum on the monarchy in the first term of an independent Scottish Parliament.

But that was shelved. The White Paper prior to the 2014 independence plebiscite stated that the Queen would remain Scotland’s Head of State, just as for Commonwealth countries. Her heirs and successors would inherit and succeed.

That remains the SNP’s position. Firstly, it provides an element of reassuring constancy within constitutional change. Ditto, Scottish membership of the EU and NATO.

Secondly, political calculation. Arithmetic says that there are more votes to be lost from disowning the monarchy than there are to be gained from espousing a republic.

The Palace can calculate too. They are alert to possible challenges from Scotland. Indeed, of all the UK institutions, they have been the swiftest and sharpest in coping with devolution.

But anxiety persists. Glance back to the Silver Jubilee in 1977. Scottish devolution was in the air. Her Majesty told a Westminster gathering she could understand such aspirations but could not forget that she was “crowned Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”.

In 2014, as the independence vote neared, she was overheard telling a passing well-wisher outside Crathie Kirk that she hoped people would think “very carefully” about the choice.

However, throughout this devolved era, the Queen has been assiduous in working with the new Scotland; opening every Scottish Parliamentary session and granting audiences to every First Minister, in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, not London.

There have been moments, awkward or amusing, according to taste.

Such as the 1999 Opening, with the royal family looking faintly sheepish as Sheena Wellington led the chamber in lustily singing “A man’s a man”, Burns great anthem of the people.

Yet constancy endures. Not by accident, but by careful design.