With the diamond jubilee this weekend i thought this was a very appropriate subject to write about...
I agree that the monarchy is costing us too much money, i completely agree that we as a country in recession should not be spending as much as we do on the Royals but one thing makes me think otherwise. Seeing the events this weekend has made me realise the royal family brings people together, and brings out the patriots in all of us. To celebrate this british country, we certainly need to one way or another!
So my against point would be the cost - and I'm sure many of you will agree - what i don't understand is how people from America love the royals yet when asked if they want royals of their own they simply don't want them, and i have a feeling it is too do with the cost. That leads me onto one of my "for" points. The royal wedding and this weekend have brought tourism to this country in the same way the olympics will. For the spirit of it, the national pride and proud to be british feeling of it all. I am fascinated by Americans (and the world) coming to britain because I'm surprised they like the royals, they seem almost perplexed by the patriotism behind it.
If the royal family were to be scrapped would we have this same british pride or not? It makes me wonder because what else would we have done this weekend? Would we have street parties for other occasions instead? I doubt it and thats what makes me think despite the cost this must all be worth it, for that sake of british patriotism.
We need to bear in mind the social problems and financial difficulty this country is in at the moment, and i have noticed how out of touch the royals are, living in a bubble where every thing is perfect and theres certainly no poverty in buckingham palace.
I was watching TV the other day and i saw all the planes helicopters and boats and the first thought that came into my mind was "Well how much did that cost then?" and I'm guessing the answer is "a lot". Maybe thats just me though, I'm frugal and at a point in my life now where finance is a high priority, so thank heavens they didn't employ me for the event organisation because it would have been a pot noodle in a field not this royal lunch stuff...
My conclusion is that the royal family are a great attraction to the UK and bring out the patriotic feeling in all of us, but can we do it for less? Does it need to be so expensive? I am neutral on this matter, we should bear both of these points in mind if we ever consider the abolition of the monarchy. Could we maybe cut it down? Make it smaller? That would be the best option for me.
The question of whether the monarchy should be abolished is surely a hypothetical one seeing as anarchism is widely unloved and not adopted by the majority of people in British society and as can be seen from the student protests attacks on the monarchy are not at all popular. There was unanimous condemnation of the infamous poke on Camilla in the mainstream British media. The British media reflects popular opinion generally which goes some way to proving once again that the majority of people do not want to see the monarchy abolished. The monarchy on the other hand is widely adored worldwide as well as in Britain as can be seen from the hundreds of millions who watched Charles's royal wedding to Diana. The huge gulf then in popularity between anarchism and monarchy clearly shows that Britons have no serious widespread desire to abolish the monarchy, and to abolish the monarchy widespread support for doing so would most defiantly be needed. It would be simply undemocratic and frankly preposterous to abolish the monarchy without widespread support for doing so.
Personally I think the monarchy plays a relatively insignificant part in British life, especially when compared with the democratically elected House of Commons and other institutions such as the judiciary and media to name just two examples. They (the monarchy) wield little political influence and don't really do much except host parties and play ceremonial roles (mostly) within the armed forces. The seeming uselessness of the royal family is the principle accusation levelled for abolishing the monarchy, and I would have to agree that it seems a good argument, in principle. All this can clearly be seen by typing 'abolish the monarchy' into Google. The results are pages full of people giving pretty much these reasons unanimously for abolishing the monarchy. Are these people though considering the actual consequences of abolishing the monarchy, or are they idealists? Personally I would say that they are foolish idealists who have not thought through the grave potential and likely consequences of abolishing the monarchy.
Some argue that the royals are given more money than they deserve. However, in response to this whilst it is possible to calculate explicitly how much money the royals are given by parliament each year, it is not so easy to calculate the income that they provide. It is not beyond rational reasoning to think that tourism benefits hugely from having a royal family. To what extent the royals are responsible for increasing tourism revenues is hard to measure and as a result the argument that they cost us a lot of money is one which is frankly hard to take seriously unless serious evidence can be presented to show that this is definitely the case. These people who wish to abolish the monarchy clearly have an agenda so sprouting huge figures about the cost of the monarchy should come as no surprise to intelligent people who read their comments. The fact is they are as clueless as the rest of us when it comes to accessing the extent to which the royals cost Britain money. Undoubtedly our taxes go towards keeping them, but spread amongst the whole population each person in Britain pays a nominal amount towards sustaining the monarchy. We have paid an awful lot more to keep the greedy bankers in work. Many more people have undoubtedly been affected by the economic downturn caused by the bankers than they have by paying taxes towards keeping the monarchy.
However, thinking more about reality. Is it not clear that if Britain were to abolish its monarchy in this age of global media that the action taken towards dismantling the monarchy would provoke civil unrest and as a result lead to financial meltdown? If one thinks about the actual implications of dismantling the monarchy, it is clear that it would be disastrous for Britain from a social, political and economical point of view. If evidence is needed of the potential consequences of political, economic and social strife we need look no further back in history than the last few years. Examples that instantaneously spring to mind are Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt. These countries have shown us the disastrous impact that radical changes can have on a country. In just about every measurable way, a country imperils itself by taking radical action, or in some cases others taking action.
History also shows us that the last time the monarchy was attacked in Britain it led to civil war. I am not saying that civil war would necessarily break out if Britain decided to become a monarchy but there would undoubtedly be much turbulence in the markets, the streets and in parliament. The great shame of this would be that it could so easily be avoided by just not abolishing the monarchy.
I suggest that actually instead of abolishing the monarchy we try to increase the role of the monarchy. This would most likely rectify the perception that the royals don't do much and it would also hopefully make those slimy, money stealing thieves in Westminster more accountable to the public. The royals rather than engage in ceremonial roles could do more charity work. I know some of them already do a lot of work for charitable trusts and have even set up their own ones but it seems clear to me that overall they could do a lot more. The extended Royal family seems especially to contribute little towards British society and are probably the main reason for damaging the royal's image. Although I acknowledge that there are many other reasons. Improving the monarchy rather than abolishing it would seem to me to be the most sensible way of progressing. It would be less damaging in the short to medium term in every conceivable respect and most importantly it is clear to me that the majority of Britons do not actually want the monarchy abolished.
The Monarchy has been around for a very long time. Throughout the ages rulers have come and gone, with varying succesess and legacies. But now, it sits useless an old memorial of times gone by. Should we keep it?
By now, the royal family has so little power that they are essentially relics of a bygone age, kept for mere nostalgic purposes only, and perhaps bring in a few million pounds of tourism money each year. But the fact is that they dont actually do anything. When was the last time that an important decision was left to Buckingham Palace? The war on Afghanistan? The Falklands? The Lisbon Treaty? The treaty at Versailles?
The Queen now only appears in the public eye if there had been some huge, catastrophic occurance, in which case she gives her words of support and consolation, or at Christmas where she addressess the major issues of the year; issues that she has no control over at all.
I think that it is sad to keep the Monarchy alive, drawing on it's life long after its lost it's vigour and power, only a faint ghost of it's once proud and powerful self. The coronations and appointment of the Prime Minister are mourful shells of power, of what remains. By keeping the Monarchy alive, we are doing so for selfish reasons, letting people come by, gawking and reveling in their past glory. Its time to end it, and let it die with dignity.
This is obviously a contentious subject among some circles but to me, the idea of abolishing the monarchy is absurd and would cost the country hundrends of millions of pounds in re-writing statute law all to save the taxpayer on average around £3.
That's a totally pragmatic view clearly but let's take a look at other reasons. Firstly, many historical commentators have pointed out that the mere presence of constitutional monarch would prevent the rise of despot dictator of the ilk of Hitler. Going back to the 2nd World War, no one would ever conceive that that King George would have asked Oswald Mosley to form a government and it would be reasonable to assume that Queen Elizabeth wouldn't consent to a similar figure these days - Nick Griffin springs to mind.
Secondly, you only have to visit Horse Guards Parade or Buckingham Palace or the Princess Diana memorial to realise the fascination that the hold world has in our monarchy. If you ask people in places ranging from Japan to America they immediately associate Britain with the Monarchy. Americans especially love Britain's history and heritage, much of which is intrinsically linked to the Monarchy. Take that away and you're taking away a large part this nation's image, pride and heritage.
The presence of the Queen also goes to great lengths to maintain good and healthy relations worldwide between Britain and other countries. If you asked the people of any nation who they would like Britain to send to visit them who are they going to say? Gordon Brown - ha. The Queen everytime.
If the cost to the taxpayer to maintain this nation's pride, image and heritage as well as maintaining amiable relations with other countries, and ensuring substantial tourist income is £3 per person - what a bargain.
The topic of the monarchy is one I can honestly say I've never had to think about very hard. I can summarise my feelings very easily, nobody ever asked me if I wanted to be a subject. Yet, I am currently classed as such. A subject, a servant to the monarchy. There is something unsettling about the idea that in 21st century Britain and individuals technical rights extend little beyond feudal serfs. It is a classification ignored by the law and little more than loose ends that need trimming. If I bring this up the response from royalists is usually that such classifications are little more than terminology, a legacy left over from a time when the monarchy's supposed superiority was actually worth something. Unfortunately that seems more like an argument for abolishment than a defense, the role of the royal family is so obsolete that even our role as subjects is largely meaningless. It also remains something of an expensive heritage to maintain.
The royal family currently costs the taxpayer around £41 million a year. I admit to finding that figure incredibly unsettling. In a time of such poor economic stability I think people need to start asking themselves if there are better things this county could spend that money on. All too often I hear the argument that the Royal family brings in more that it spends in tourism. This argument is so incredibly poor I'm amazed it's still making the rounds. Firstly, if the monarchy is bringing in more than £41m a year I'd be very surprised. Secondly, tourists might come to see the various palaces and stately homes currently in the possession of the Royal family but these historic buildings could be kept open to the public without the money draining tenants. Furthermore, they could be opened to the public fully for the first time and bring in more money than they would before. Lastly, people seem to ignore the fact that the royal family extends well beyond Buckingham palace. The taxpayer funds distant relatives to live in luxurious flats that bring in very little money from tourists.
The royal family are a very expensive throwback to a time when the majority of us had very few rights, personally I would rather stop glorifying that age.
No sane person could believe that anyone has a right to rule a nation simply by accident of birth and indeed for several hundred years now in England, Scotland and Wales (I'll leave Ireland out of this) this has not been the case. Although we continue to have a monarchy, power now rests with Parliament and the monarch is simply the head of state with very little say in how the country is run. Indeed, the present Queen Elizabeth certainly possesses none of the power and control that belonged to her predecessor, Queen Elizabeth I who ruled absolutely.
Originally, kingship came about almost by a process of natural selection. The strongest, cleverest or most dynamic person of a tribe would become leader either by fighting their way to the top or would be appointed as leader, headman, king, call it what you will, by agreement with others of the tribe. And it makes perfect sense that the weak should seek protection from the strong. But as tribes gave way to nations and nations grew larger and stronger, the nature of kingship also changed with kings wanting to retain their power within their families and pass the crown on to the next generation irrespective of their abilities to rule.
In England, the divine right of kings to rule absolutely, ended with the English Civil War and Charles I losing his head and Cromwell's Parliament taking control. After Cromwell's death and the failed attempt of his son to 'rule' in his place, the monarchy was restored by popular demand, albeit a monarchy without the powers previously held.
Oliver Cromwell styled himself as Lord Protector, but this role could also be described as President or head of state. Many countries in the world have now rid themselves of their monarchies and elect a president instead and also have a written constitution, something we still don't have in this country. In many ways, a presidency represents a return to the original idea of kingship, with the strongest, cleverest or even richest now being able to lead a nation. Unfortunately, this process is also often open to corruption.
If one takes the example of the United States presidency, it is apparent that it is money that buys power these days. Although anyone born in the United States has the right to become president, the economics of the process of election dictate that that person will need a great deal of money to achieve their ambition. Hence, in recent years America ended up with a wealthy idiot in charge in the form of George W Bush, who practically brought the world to its knees and would have undoubtedly had us all involved in some kind of holy war if not for the fortunate fact that his term of office came to an end.
I accept that this argument doesn't quite hold water as I'm sure Barak Obama is neither fabulously wealthy nor corrupt but he is possibly the exception to the rule.
So which do you prefer? A leader who has bought themselves a position of power and who may not necessarily be up to the job and may also be open to corruption, or a person who has been born to the role of monarch with all the privileges that go with it but has very little real power?
Nobody can deny that the Royal Family are over privileged, have very little understanding of what life for the average Britain is like, spend far too much public money and have too many hangers-on, but for all its many faults, I think I'll still opt for monarchy. Queen Elizabeth II may have very little understanding of the way modern Britains live their lives but she has served Great Britain unfailingly her entire life. We all get to retire at 65 but at 83 she is still working for Britain and for us.
I do have a problem with the succession however. In my opinion, Prince Charles has shown himself to be weak, selfish and morally bankrupt, and I do not relish the idea of a person for whom I have no respect becoming King. So perhaps the best solution would be for Britain to retain its monarchy and when the Queen dies, the people of Britain should be allowed to vote for which member of the Royal Family they would like to see become the next monarch. Allowing us to vote in our monarch would also make us true citizens of this country rather than subjects of our monarch.
Given that Britain has been at its most stable and effective during the reigns of Elizabeth I, Victoria and Elizabeth II, maybe we need another queen rather than a king, so my vote would go to Princess Anne!
I understand that everybody is entitled to their own opinions, after all that is was makes this country so great, but I was disappointed to read some reviews asking for the monarchy to be scrapped. Okay we all know in history how many of the Kings and Queens stole land and killed in order to get into power and become more powerful. This was often at the expense of the peasants of the day. So to be honest it does leave a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. However as they say that is history. We are now in a different era, were thankfully this would no longer be tolerated.
I love the history of this country. I love reading about it and going to monuments and old building looking at it. It really gives me a huge amount of joy doing this.
Over the last 15 years there has already been a reform programme that has seen the Queen pay tax and the Civil List cut back. The Queen herself is very keen to see this modernisation go even further. It is reported that even as recent as the last week in March 2009 the Queen met our Prime Minister, Gordon Brown and they discussed changing the rules of succession to the throne, including giving royal women equal rights. This is well overdue. They also discussed removing the ban on heirs to the thrown marrying Roman Catholics.
An argument put by Republicans (those against monarchy) say that they are unelected and cost the country millions of pounds a year. I counter argue this by saying that the Queen seldom uses her powers. She has a government which is elected to do this. I also argue that any money paid out to the Royal Family is earned by many of the Royals. Most of them do a lot of charity work. They are also responsible for the large amount of tourists who flock to London.
I say leave them alone. As a whole they do a great job!
I would like to see the monarchy abolished. I probably can't articulate my argument as well as so many other people do and kind of feel like I'm just repeating the same arguments that so many more knowledgeable people have said but I'm going to say it anyway.
My reasons for wanting them abolished are:
I believe in democracy. Having someone who is not elected as our head of state is not democratic and neither is the house of lords.
I think there is too much elitism in this country. The monarchy live off of the tax payers money living in luxury, travelling in luxury and being educated at expensive establishments while the average tax payer is fighting to get their children into half decent schools, struggling to pay mortgages during a recession and having to save their money to go on holiday if they're fortunate enough to even have one. The monarchy cost this country a lot of money.
So many people say that they bring in tourism and our economy would suffer without them but I wonder how much more money Buckingham Palace would make if it was open during the winter. People don't come here to see the royal family, it's not like they can have tea with the queen, they come to visit our beautiful palaces and learn about our history. And that's exactly where the monarchy belong, in history.
Personally i believe the monarchy should be abolished .. many will argue otherwise and i respect their opinions, however i feel it is very unjust that the queen and the entirety of her extended family live of the hard earned money of the tax payers back... what makes her any better than the rest of us? nothing other than she was born into royalty... People may not like todays priminister yet he was voted in fairly and enough people must have therefore supported him.... i wonder if we had to vote for who was our queen (ridiculous as it sounds) if she would be sat there today or if it would be someone else... she does nothing in my opinion other than act as a figurehead, in which case is paid far too much for doing so.
People may argue points against aboilishing the monarchy including the following - 'she attracts tourism' - noone that comes to londaon actually gets to see the queen anyways only buckingham palace .. im not saying knock that down, so they can still see it.. Stopping the primister becoming too powerful.. well whats parliment for?
I dont think we will ecer get rid of the royal family however much they irritate me, but why should hardworking everyday citizens be funding them? think about a struggling single mum working all hours to provide for her kids, why should she pay into the queens riches? so she can wave to people the few occcasions she shows her face?
Personally I agree with the idea abolishing of the monarchy, for three main reasons; firstly in todays political system the monarchy has no effective power, in that although the Queen has the vito over legislation (she has to sign the bill for it to become law) she wouldnt realistically decline it, as this could cause political uproar, the last such incident happening in the 18th century. Another way in which the Queen has declined inn importance is evident as she does not even choose who is on the Queens honours list! As the Prime Minister does, hence why depending on the government of the time the honours loist will be largely made up of Labour/Conseravtive supporters.Secondly the monarchy has lots of wealth and stature in todys society, which they have not earned, although the top politicians are mostly corrupt atleast they're elected and accountable to the people, an incident of a member of the royal family abusing power, the incident in which Prince Harry comandered the use of a Chinook helicopter to pickup his girlfriend, a clear missapproipriation of his standing. Thirldy the fact that Britian has a monarchy is largely old fashioned and outdated. Britian is unique among other democratic countries due to the uncodified constitution and the monarchy, and in these modern and multi-cultural times a monarchy is outdated. With many different religions Britian is also diverse in that respect and the monarchy is structured around the catholic religion.
However I also appreciate that the monarchy is one of the few Great British institutions still left, and for many is still highly valued and wanted. Despite this i still believe britian could cope without a monarcy.
yes it should. we are in the 21st century for gods sake. how long are we going to keep paying for them? & for what a bit of hand waving?? their personal wealth & number of residences at their disposal is obscene. & they still get paid from the civil list & some the royal liggers too. we are merely their 'subjects' apparently...
as for the poster who waxed lyrical about them & who said she wants to be a history teacher...The continuous list traditionally starts with Egbert, King of Wessex from 802, the first King of Wessex to have overlordship over much of England...the romans left in 410... as for the royals tracing their line back 1000 yrs i'm assuming you mean to william the conqueror/william I?? you know he of the norman invasion/norman conquest infamy?? like many other claimants to the throne over the centuries William had a tenuous blood claim, through his great aunt Emma (wife of Ethelred and mother of Edward). William also contended that Edward, who had spent much of his life in exile in Normandy during the Danish occupation of England, had promised him the throne when William visited Edward in London in 1052...wow so their line based on a promise no less!
to say the present royals can trace their family line right through this 1000 yr period is laughable. besides the usurpations you mentioned...sovereigns have been deposed (james II & VII)/be-headed (charles I). lady jane grey was even beheaded at 18 by her own cousin mary 1. the bloodline has been so thinned out at times any of us could claim to be related (& my surname really is windsor) ...though they did try to keep the throne & power within the family - they tried it on with the whole 'divine right of kings' nonsense for awhile & there were alot of marriages between cousins. though of course that hasn't changed its the reason why all the royal houses of europe are related.
queen elizabeth & prince philip are 3rd/4th cousins - queen victoria is g/t g/t grandmother to both...nothing like keeping it in the family. queen victoria married her cousin too her first cousin no less... Alexandra the last Tsaritsa of Russia was the cousin of george 5 (so too was kaiser wilhelm 2...) they were both grandchildren of queen victoria but that didn't help her or her children when they were all shot by the Bolsheviks. george 5 was too concerned about keeping hold of his own throne to go to their aid...& that was only in the last century...some family...
The names of dynasties tended to change when the line of succession was taken by a rival faction within the family (for example, Henry IV and the Lancastrians, Edward IV and the Yorkists, Henry VII and the Tudors), or when succession passed to a different family branch through females (for example, Henry II and the Angevins, James I and the Stuarts, George I and the Hanoverians). house of windsor is a joke. name adopted due to anti-german feeling in ww1. it has no real meaning whatsoever. who did they think they were fooling?? may have changed name
and house but their lineage & family stayed the same - german then german now just like the british throne has been since 1714
I don't know what was more worrying over the deployment of Prince Harry in Afghanistan last year - the fact he made the whole Royal Family a target, and so people watching on at the parades or the royal visits, or the fact we never heard anything of that deployment for ten weeks in this all seeing, youtube loving, media age. How on earth did they stop the Afghanistan people getting a pic of him in the ubiquitous picture phone or digital camera? Either there's a complete media blackout in general in that country so only the good news gets out that suits the west or Harry wasn't exactly visible to the media and camera phones, tucked away in a bunker somewhere playing cards, anything but heroic. I suspect the later.
Clearly Harry has been a bit of an embarrassment to the country and royal family of late and his feckless behavior has really been about not having any direction or meaning in life rather then being a general yob, this his calling. Dressing as a Nazi in North London is the most tactful gesture for that part of the capital. I'm sure Harry will make a great soldier and I'm sure he will be deployed in less controversial locations from now on, but it was a bit of a surprise that he was sent to this trouble spot first off, political reasons to keep the country behind the war effort in Afghanistan probably the driver.
There's a great sketch from the old comedy show A Bit of Fry & Laurie where Hugh plays the foot soldiers fighting on the battlefield. He shoots...ducks... then moves backwards, explosions and bullets whizzing all around him. He keeps retreating for about what seems like ten miles as the noises of war fade and the sun comes out and the fields are green and full of tweeting birds, only to be tapped on the shoulder by Stephen Fry in the full army officer regalia with that magnificent bristling mustache (clearly the inspiration for his wondrous Blackadder character). Fry bellows: 'what are you doing here boy!' Hugh replies:' sorry sir, I didn't think I was this far back!.
What may have surprised some-considering what they have been told-is how phlegmatic British Muslims have been over this deployment, Harry, a member of the British Royal Family , his mum the Queen and the protector of the Christian Church, would know when she gave him the nod that her grandson would possibly order air strikes to kill Muslims innocents abroad. In fact the British Muslim reaction is was what I have been saying on here for ages-they admire the guy for wanting to fight for what he believes in, just as Muslims head out to Islamic war zones to fight the Infidel and for what they believe in. The two are basically doing the same thing and that's why they and some of you quietly respect Harry. But there is no war of ideas here, all that Muslims wanting Sharia law in the U.K, nonesense, just men defending what they think is freedom. I have told you before I have no issues about British Muslims fighting in foreign lands, as long as they don't bring the war to the Tube , or call Britain home ever again undera new name so to claim benefits again, and if they get shot by Harry's pistol for interrupting his cocktails then so be it., although I doubt he was ever in danger and ready to trade lead. What would have been really fun would have been to send Prince Phillip out there as a Sid James type figure from Carry on up the Khyber! Shoot those bloody savages Harry!
Prince Andrew was very brave in the Falkalnds, a more legit war, and when you have camp members of the family in th elikes of Charles and Eddie you need some real men about the place. If Harry was getting girls before, off the back of his name, he's certainly going to get some offers now. I don't admire the guy as much as I would if he actually got involved in a firefight but at least he has shown some guts and highlighted the fact we have lost direction out in Afghanistan and so fighting for nothing but US oil and mineral companies, some trillion dollars or ore and precious rock recently discovered there. When Bush said we would be wasting billions of dollars by firing million dollar missiles into tents for 50 years he was probably right. But Russia are getting powerful again with all that natural gas and so the west has to be on their doorstep to make sure they don't turn off our taps.
The Queen, on the other hand, is a top bird, always coming out well on her many TV programs. In the recent 'Queen' series on BBC1, the one where there was controversy over photographer Annie Liebowitz looking like she was getting an earful from her Madge, she seemed to have a very dry sense of humor. There was a lovely bit with two handsome straight backed army officers were being inspected top to bottom (steady girls), briefed in one of her many front rooms, the Queen asking about the difference between fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, flippantly commenting "that it's a different sort of sand", which to me was incredibly funny and also damming of what she thought of the third world.
Princes Diana, on the other hand, is not getting the best press these days. Those startling images of predominately fawning and wailing mobs of menopausal women and gay men at the funeral parade in the Mal seem so along ago now. The inquest in London last year was revealing Diana to be a bit of a loose woman, maybe even having Harry by another man, anything but the women of the people. I would love to have been in that court room and hear some of the goings on when that head case Mohammed Fayed took the stand. If he doesn't end up being sued by Earl Spencer for the death of his sister through a drunk driver I would be stunned. The Earl likes to cash in on his more famous sis from his grand Northamptonshire seat and you can even buy mail-order key-thobs to celebrate Di's ten years in the ground.
What can you say about Prince Phillip that hasn't been said already. If MI6 wanted to 'clip' Diana you would have though they had someone better on the payroll than this guy! He may look like James Bonds uncle but that's where the comparison ends. Would you trust him to do the wiring on the bombs? The idea that Diana was murdered by the state is so stupid that I hope the 'Phony Pharo' gets hammered with the bill for the Inquest, let alone those future libel suits. And as for Paul Burrell! Has their ever been a more odious creature than him? For all her faults (Diana that is) she was shaping up nicely for her 40s and would have been a less conceited attention-seeker for that move into maturity and middle age she feared so much if she had got to 40.
The picture that most summed Di up for me was her final one, looking backwards in the backseat of the car as it swept into that Paris tunnel, the brakes pushing the tires on to the tarmac, excited that the press motorcycles were still there and she was still the most beautiful women in the world for them. I think it's that what she feared losing the most, more than her life even. Earl Spencer was so right when he said the photographers would get her in the end. You live by the lens; you die by the lens...
Prince William seems to have peaked too, his hair receding faster than Newcastle United premiership status, his inbred teeth biting on his ever fattening lip. He too is need of some military action, if only to make his less attractive and dashing brother feel he wasn't just sent as he was more expendable. Which ever way you cut it if one of these two die in a Muslim war zone the connotations are serious for the British Muslims relationship. One thing is for sure, if any member of the royal military picks up an injury in Muslim lands they will be the first soldier to get a visit by the Prime Minister on their return.
The good things about the royals outweigh the bad for me, the bulk of them doing what they are supposed to do and represent the United Kingdoms all important prestige factor. Trust me, without the royal palaces and the nuclear weapons we would be irrelevant in the world today and about the 200th biggest economy, level with Iceland. Behind the Royal faced we have nothing, Britain, a call-centre at best. We need to be proud of our royal heritage because it's relatively cheap to run for what it does every year (about the same as one tank regiment) and gives the country respect from the outside. If we didn't spend public money on the royal family we would only spend it on another tank regiment. It's a pin prick of cash for a very effective tourist and diplomatic tool. The problem is when they get political, like sending an onward Christian soldier into a Muslim land to represent the United Kingdom; it politicizes a war at just the wrong time. Therefore sending him in has just confirmed this as a holy war to our Muslim neighbors, here and abroad..
Never change a running system
I think that the Queen is an extraordinary woman. Not to forget that she is 80 years old and she is relentlessly on her feet, meeting people, opening things, touring the world. She is the best diplomat that a country like Great Brains can have. The Queen is beyond politics and can unite the nation, representing all creeds, classes and political beliefs. She is not answerable to any particular political group or indeed any fundraiser. She has such dignity and high status that this can only be good for a nation, she is also a living symbol and more easy to identify with than fundamental principles. She doesn't take days off, she is constantly on duty.
People have a strong opinion on the subject. Older people tend to be more assured royalists whereas younger people think they are out of touch, only represent a very small minority of people and have no real purpose.
I believe that Britain should keep the monarchy - mostly in the absence of a viable alternative. A Monarchy gives a nation continuity and the training for this Head of State begins at birth. An elected President can be elected by less than 50% of the electorate and he could be full of self-interest and promoting self-wealth. The Queen is not tempted by influences, which can corrupt elected persons. Do the apathetic voters of Great Britain really want to turn out to the polling stations every few years to vote for a President and than to get some like George W. Bush? My suggestion: Never change a running system look after its stability.
People often talk about how much the Royal Family are costing the nation, but fail to think about the comparative cost of a President or other head of state. The prestige of having a respected royal family that goes back generations helps bring tourists to the country and makes a country different and unique from loads of other nations.
Maybe the monarchy needs to be reformed, but abolishing it is definitely not the way to go.
No person can depend on a system that uses people who are tested. This can be in the case of military, Industrial or Business. We want people who have an established record that we can trust. Will one trust the Military of a country on a person who has not had sufficient experience in, say the Navy. Trust must be earned, it cannot be given. No person is born into a role, this is something that I cannot accept. Some of the great leaders of the past like Churchill and Admiral Nimitz were time tested. So, people could trust them with the Navy. This is true in any area.
How can one accept the monarchy in any role except the ceremonial one? I would not accept them to perform any role like picking people to lead the country, simply because, I do not think they are capable of it. If one sees a company like say Google, can a person be born to become its CEO. That is ridiculous. People will have to learn to accept that leaders of countries are also to be chosen based on who is right at that occasion, they cannot be born. Frankly, I am yet to see anything in any monarchy that is worthy of such respect. Individual respect must be earned. A well thought out system to choose leaders must be used, this is an outdated system and has outlived its use.
Reasons for abolishing the monarchy usually fall into one of two main groups. The democracy argument and the expense argument.
The first argument generally asserts a position similar to in the 21st century it is entirely wrong that one family should have the absolute right to rule over a nation simply as an accident of birth.
This is a similar argument to one often used in debates concerning House of Lords reform. In that debate I think the argument has some value but when used in reference to the monarchy it falls down on one simple point.
The Monarch does not rule the nation in any political sense of the word. Members of the House of Lords can control legislation and help change the laws of the land. The Monarch does not do that in any practical way at all. The forms of an absolute Monarch may remain, but the reality faded long ago. Her Majesty is a constitutional Monarch, we fought a civil war which helped define the boundary lines between Parliament and the King, and the results should never be forgotten. Whatever the, generally unhelpful, archaic words used to describe the role of the Monarch, it is a fact that the Queen is a figurehead with no real power to rule the nation.
If the Monarch is not ruling the nation what is their role in the 21st century?
I believe that a 21st century Monarch has two main roles
1.They provide a focus for the nation, especially in times of national celebration or national mourning. In either of those situations being non-elected is the Monarchs biggest asset. It de-politicize the situation and provides an opportunity to bring all sides together regardless of their political views.
2.The Monarch acts as an ambassador for Britain, both within Britain, and around the world. Her Majesty promotes British interests around the world, this gives Britain a considerably higher profile in the world than we would otherwise enjoy. The point about both of these roles is that they would need to be fulfilled by someone even if the monarchy was abolished.
This brings me to the second argument commonly used to call for the abolition of the monarchy. The cost of the monarchy. It has to be admitted that there are savings that could be made in the running costs on the monarchy. Particular areas that could be looked at include royal travel expenses which can be extravagant at times. There is a strong case for reducing the number of minor royals in the public eye. We should also look at opening up more of the royal palaces to the public, or at least making them available to hire.
However, what is often not taken into account when calculating these costs is that many of these same jobs would have to be done by someone else even if the monarchy was abolished, so many of these costs would not be reduced even without the royal family.
If we can provide a slimmed down, value for money monarchy then the nation will be in a strong position to move forward as with a governing system capable of uniting the country behind the monarch while allowing the political leadership to remain with the nations elected government.