I understand the necessity in backward, underdeveloped countries such as Afghanistan, Nepal, the smaller Gulf states, etc., but I don't see how having Queen Elizabeth II as your head of state is really doing the Canadians or Australians any favors.
I agree with your assessment of the Continental divide over the definition of conservative principles.
Give it a rest! These guys are only conservatives in comparison with the Jose Bove, anarchistic freaks who serve as their political counterparts on the "left."
Most of the European parliamentary parties who are labeled "conservative", e.g. the People's Party, the Freedom Party, Umberto Bossi's Northern League, are in fact, merely right-wing. There is a significant difference between the two terms.
The media should know that by now.
Well, the value a monarchy can have, IMO, is in areas where the tribe is the highest social unit most of the people have faith in.
Since the nation belongs to the monarch as a whole, the tribal structure is an impediment to his natural urges to consolidate power. This will then ideally lead to efforts to replace tribal loyalty with national loyalty. Further, the petty nobility that tends to be the scourge of such societies will be converted or replaced by a bureacracy where merit plays at least some role.
This certainly happened in Europe, though the process was neither clean nor efficient. Look at the Spanish in the Netherlands or the power plays by the Hapsburgs in Germany for just how bloody a consolidating monarch can be.
That being said, at times I think the best thing we can do in regards to Africa now is install monarchies. The problems with such an endeavor would be legion but I see no other suggestions that have much merit.
As for the larger point, traditionally there were three forces in European politics (and to a lessor extent American);
Socialists/Communists - the predecessors of the modern Left
Conservatives - monarchists and predecessors of the European Right and *perhaps* RINOs
Liberals - the predecessors of American conservatives and libertarians.
I'd really love to know how liberal came to mean socialist. In European parlance, liberal still generally means conservative/libertarian thought I see the term "liberal-left" coming into use.