The Constitutional Monarchy in Britain

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The Constitutional Monarchy in Britain

Royalists versus republicans; It is an age old debate and one that
perhaps will never be solved, however I will attempt to untangle the
arguments and make my own mind up. Many say that the monarchy is
outdated and it is true to say that the world into which the Queen
Mother was born did not have aeroplanes, computers or nuclear
missiles. In the 100 years of her life, there have been two world wars
and The British Empire, which once ruled the world, has now been
reduced to a few islands in the Pacific and the Caribbean. So surely,
some might say, because of all the changes the monarchy is now an
outdated system that we no longer want nor need. However, through this
turmoil, our monarchy has survived; and surely this is testimony to
the staying power and the hard work of the sovereigns and if they have
lasted through all of these changes then surely they will last for
many more during the centuries ahead.

During the dark ages there was a growing society which needed to be
kept in its place and this allowed for the development of the legend
of the "divine right" of Kings, expressed no better then in
Shakespeare's Richard II fervent believe of his right to power at one
point describing himself as, "this deputy elected by the Lord"
(III:ii:57). This was the easy idea that a king or queen's rule was
blessed by god. And certainly this thought had the bonus of offering
some protection for the rulers from the god-fearing masses. This fable
lasted until the late 17th century by which time the budding nobility
and land owning gentry were affirming their power through a developing
parliament. Indeed after the civil war there was a time when the new
republic lasted without the rule of kings. And so surely now we as no
longer believe in this strange notion of divine right we can abolish
the monarchy without fearing what will happen, once we kept them
through fear of god and so now we can abolish them as this fear is no

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MLA Citation:
"The Constitutional Monarchy in Britain." 20 Jun 2018
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longer there. But perhaps lest fear them, we have become dependent on
them. What would we do at all our national ceremonies without the
queen to stand there leading proceedings, republicans would say that
Tony Blair could do it, but he has an agenda, and that to me is what
is so good about the queen. Unlike the prime minister she never really
has an opinion, and so when you see her congratulating soldiers you
believe that she genuinely means it and isn't just there for the
press. Tony Blair was only elected by a minority of the British
people, the Queen has no short-term, political axe to grind and is
concerned only with Britain and the Commonwealth's long term

And isn't there something uniquely British about the royals, they are
perhaps the last examples of the British aristocracy left, and
although they are a strange bunch of misfits we seem to love them, and
this may be because they symbolize Britain and that's not because they
all are lazy buggers who don't work. Can you imagine at all major
sporting events any song other than God Save the Queen being sang, the
look of pride in the sportsman's eye as they sing out their national
anthem, our song, the country's song, but also the queen's song.
Millions of tourists flock to London this year and among the top
attractions are Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, so surely
apart from attending every national event the monarchy also help us by
attracting much need attention and money to the faltering British
tourist industry. Personally I think that the royals are invaluable to
our tourist industry, but equal I can understand the views of those
who say that this is a thin proposition. They argue that the French
got rid of their sovereign's head more than two hundred years ago and
tourists still arrive there in much larger amounts than they do to
Britain. Surely, tourists do not come to this country on the
off-chance of meeting Elizabeth Windsor. They come to see the other
parts of our country, our excellent museums, or do they? I believe
that tourists come to us for our history and an important part of that
is surely the monarchy.

But one underlying problem with our system is that as a country we
still select our head of state by birth certificate and this means
that unlike most democracies in the world, we are regarded as
subjects, not as equals to our head of state and leader. And it is
certainly true to say that this huge gulf of inequality certainly
irritates a huge amount of people. However, personally I believe that
it is obvious that the Queen reigns whilst the Prime Minister rules.
And even if one couldn't accept this inequality I find it hard to see
who would replace the queen as head of state. Surely we don't want an
American-style system where millionaires are one of the few people to
have enough money to compete at elections and so they often end up
winning the votes when of course it is impossible for them to
represent the public.

And to prove the case for the monarchy I would look to the example of
Spain where after the abolition of the monarchy many years of chaos
ensued until the King was asked to return to bring stability to the
country. The people now love him and since his reappointment Spain had
thrived and become one of the leading countries in Europe. Without a
doubt this is a clear example of how the monarchy can help secure the
future of a country by embedding its routes deep within it.

And so to sum up, the republicans would say that the present system of
monarchy not only denies us freedom, but it also devalues our system
of government and wears down our society by maintaining outdated and
damaging social attitudes. It must be the case that people would
prefer a democratically elected head of state because at the moment we
are left with a rather pointless institution, based upon an
anachronistic concept, whose members are inexplicably given
extraordinary levels of wealth, power and privilege by us, the people
of Britain without any benefit to anyone but the royals themselves.

However, it must be true that the people should decide whether or not
to keep the monarchy and I believe that they have suddenly give it a
resounding vote of confidence with their feet at the recent golden
jubilee celebrations. For during these festivities so many people
turned out to offer their support to the monarchy that the local
authorities could barley cope. Not only this, but after the tragic
loss of the queen mother, the public showed their sympathy by queuing
for up to six hours to pay their last respects. And so although the
public didn't put them there I believe that we want them to stay for a
long time to come.

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