Kate’s a breath of fresh heir

After last weeks’ Royal Bash with a global audience estimated at two billion and at least one million lining the roads of London the lid has been firmly shut on republicanism again, at least for a few years.

These are the group who advocate ditching one thousand years of heritage and tradition and replacing it with the European model. The President of the European Council, Mr Herman Van Rompuy, in case it has slipped from your mind, is not given that position by the electorate, but is elected by members of the European Council, who are in the main as colourless as Brussels.

[V]isitors to London ask of me many questions concerning the Royals: Where do they live; when is the Changing of the Guard; did you see the wedding; will Harry marry? If the Republicans achieve their objectives, the Royal Palaces and homes will be turned into museums, all the pageantry will be dispensed with and our stamps and currency will be as bland as Brussels.

No tourist in my cab has ever asked to see David Cameron’s old home in Notting Hill and very few are even interested in seeing Downing Street – but Kensington Palace that’s very different.

The purpose of a Constitutional Monarchy, apart from generating tourism, is to remove absolute power from others who would desire it, and not about giving a privileged life to a large family group. That is the reason why technically the Monarch retains the right to: declare war on any foreign power; dismiss the government of the day; fire any civil servant they choose to; sell off the ships of the Royal Navy (that’s if we have any left); disband the Army; give away her Sovereign territory to a foreign power; ennoble anyone, or indeed everyone; and pardon everyone in gaol, then set them free. Parliamentary Bills have to receive the Royal Assent before passing into law, technically protecting the British people from mad politicians; it is also why all officers of the armed forces swear allegiance to the Monarch and not some fleeting President.

The Monarchy is the constant that runs through British life stretching back in history, and the Royal Family have been very astute over the years, their ability to morph every few years to reflect the country’s aspirations and ideals would seem to prove Darwin’s thesis: Survival of Species, for they have survived very well these last 450 years.

And if proof was needed that the majority of the country supports a Constitutional Monarchy, the recent surprise cinematic blockbuster, The King’s Speech, would seem to prove that our Monarchy is here to stay for some time to come. The film is loosely based on events in the 1930s featuring our current Queen’s father in the early years of his reign, now how many of us now could name the President of the United States who won by a landslide victory in 1936? Answers on a postcard with a stamp affixed bearing the Queen’s head; Britain being the only country in the world allowed to use the head of state’s symbol on its stamps.

6 thoughts on “Kate’s a breath of fresh heir”

  1. You are quite wrong, of course. Republicanism is not dead and is becoming stronger every day. By the same token, the eccentric demeanour and embarrassing behaviour of a bunch of people who have no right to hold the position they hold other than by being the inbred members of a shrinking gene pool is turning more and more people against them and against the concept of the monarchy.
     
    You can’t have it both ways; you have to choose what you really believe. Does the monarch rule the the country, yes or no? If the answer is yes, then that is unacceptable and an abuse by every rule of natural justice. If the answer is no, then why is she there, enjoying exclusive ownership of national property and using up large sums of national money that could be put to better use in times of financial stringency?
     
    The fact is that the monarchy is irrelevant and redundant and exists today only because of the conservatism built into our political system by a ruling class that knows on which side its bread is buttered and has created and maintains a role for monarchy that is clearly spurious. The monarchy is the balloon from which they hang like Pooh Bear going after the honey.
     
    Far from possessing the powers you describe, the monarch cannot lift a finger without the assent of Parliament and were she to do so this would result in a constitutional crisis that would surely precipitate in the end of the monarchy itself.
     
    Monarchists always point to presidential systems that are in trouble as a counterargument. They never mention those that work smoothly and well. There are many republican models to choose from and in a republic changes can be made, unlike a monarchy where everything remains frozen solid like a seized machine.
     
    Contrary to the sycophantic assertions of some sections of the media and their over-estimates of the number of people who followed the wedding and the degree of their enthusiasm for it, this event actually provided clear evidence of a lack of interest in royal matters and an impatience with the fuss and bother – not to mention the expense – associated with them. You need only to look at newsreels of royal events of the past to see how public involvement has steadily declined.
     
    Monarchists like to assert that the monarchy gives a boost to tourism. That’s a pretty weak argument for keeping a bunch of wastrels in luxury, isn’t it? As if Britain, with its wonderful countryside and historic towns and buildings, art galleries and museums, theatres and every sort of holiday adventure, has nothing better to offer foreigners than a rich old woman in a big house that they can hardly ever visit. The tourist argument in fact shows the vacuousness of monarchism.
     
    I don’t expect to live to see the day when the royals are finally packed off to some retreat in the back of beyond where they can safely be forgotten but I am certain that that day will come.
     
    The sooner the better.

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  2. I’m curious – where do tigers learn about natural justice? I thought it was the law of the jungle where he came from?

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