A Royal Pain

Ironically, I had planned to write about the British Royal family the day before yesterday, after watching Madonna’s film W.E., then it was announced that William and Kate are expecting their first child which only solidified the plan.

prince-william-and-princess-catherine-kiss-after-their-weddingThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Now, before you start thinking that I am going to bash Will and Kate just one day after they announced their good news, let me put your mind at ease. This is not a blog about how William and Kate are spawning another mouth for the taxpayers of Britain (and the Commonwealth) to feed. They have done their Royal duty by creating an heir (a classier way of saying humped like bunnies until he knocked her up) This is a blog about whether or not the British Royal family is still relevant to society. I think not.

coronationlizQueen Elizabeth II on her coronation day.

It could be argued that the British Royals uphold a certain social and moral standard, that they represent a grand tradition and that their mere existence brings countless tourist dollars into Britain. The truth is that the Queen serves as head of the Church of England and must appear at numerous ceremonial functions as the face of England and the Commonwealth. The Church of England was created so that Henry VIII could divorce Catherine of Aragon and marry Anne Boleyn, so it’s not exactly a paragon of virtue from the get go. Now, I think Queen Elizabeth II has fulfilled her duty with the utmost grace and has been a shining example of what a monarch should be. She was groomed for the position since birth and has sacrificed her whole life for honour and duty to her country. Elizabeth II has reigned longer than any other monarch with the exception of Queen Victoria (though she is only 5 years away from beating that record). Sadly, her time on the throne is nearing an end and it will soon be time to pass the crown to a new monarch.

Queen-Elizabeth-II-Celebrates-Diamond-JubileeQueen Elizabeth II celebrated her diamond jubilee

The next in line for that honour is Charles, Prince of Wales. Unlike his mother, Charles has not been what you could call a pillar of society. He has acted like a spoiled brat, consistently flouting the rules of his station and yet still expecting to keep his place in line to the throne. Unlike his Great Uncle, King Edward VIII he has not shown one ounce of regard for the import, nor the rules of his title and does not seem to understand that he has done nothing to deserve to ascend to the role of King. Instead he acts like it his God-given right to one day be King. I am sure he was groomed for the throne since birth, like his mother before him. I am sure he is aware of the rules of conduct to which he must adhere, yet, at every turn he has acted in a purely selfish manner, preferring to serve his penis rather than his title (which the taxpayers pay for him to hold). We, the public have had to endure all of the lurid details of his affair with a married woman while he was still married to the mother of his children. We have suffered through tape recordings of sexual conversations where he said he wanted to be a feminine hygiene product. All of this from a man who is paid to be better than the rest of the rabble.

Charles+Camilla+Attend+Annual+Mey+Games+C9c_1rUkb-nlChlamydia, Duchess of Corn-hole and the Man Who Would be Tampon

Support for the Royals is waning world-wide. Yesterday, Yahoo Canada had a poll that asked ‘Do you care about William and Kate’s personal life?’ Over 50,000 people responded and 81% of them voted No. Just last month, a 76 year old man in Auckland, New Zealand (a commonwealth country) was arrested just before he had the chance to throw a bucket of horse manure on Charles and Camilla during a royal visit. But, perhaps nowhere on the planet is distaste for the royals higher than in Quebec where more than 80% of the population is opposed to the monarchy. The last time Charles and Camilla visited La Belle Province, they were met by more than 1000 angry protesters who hurled eggs at their car and shouted nasty slurs at them as they drove past. Even Will and Kate were on the receiving end of a protest when they visited Montreal last year. Every time Canada (a commonwealth country) has to pay for another royal visit there are people from all across the country speaking out against the monarchy.

Prince Charles, CamillaCharles and Camilla in Montreal as protesters hurl eggs at their car.

It seems to me that if Charles is not passed over, that quite a few commonwealth countries will fall by the wayside. After all, we are no longer part of the British Empire, we are our own sovereign countries, some of whom are becoming more financially stable than England. It is my opinion that England would do well to disband their monarchy after the current Queen steps down. The government owns those castles. Why not turn them into luxury hotels? That way the staff could stay on (at a higher wage than the royals are paying them… plus tips) and the tourist dollars would likely be higher than they are now with no one being allowed so much as a tour of Buckingham Palace. Other countries have royals who are royal in title only and can be seen bicycling around town along with the rest of  population, why not England? What exactly are you holding onto? It’s different in Monaco where the Grimaldi family hold court. The Grimaldis aren’t freeloading off of the taxpayers… in Monaco there is no income tax. Income tax as we know it started, by the way, in England in 1798 by William Pitt the Younger.

monacoroyalsThe Royal Family of Monaco

It makes no sense (cents?) to keep funding an entire family to hold positions that are but figureheads in this economy when so many of your own people (taxpayers) are hurting and with so many of your allies shouting down this antiquated tradition. Even if Charles is bypassed and William becomes King do you really think that the commonwealth countries will want to continue paying for the visits and the pomp and circumstance for a 30 year old kid and his wife? I don’t think that the British people will be so keen to keep the royals on if they are the only ones funding them either. I think the world is outgrowing this quaint high school-like tradition where one group is deemed better than the rest of us just because they were born rich, who then piss it all away. We have celebrities for that.

I’d like to leave you with the following video from The Kids in the Hall because, as I was writing this post, this sketch came screaming to mind… and I know I could use a good laugh after all of this kvetching.

12 responses to “A Royal Pain

  1. There is absolutely no chance of getting rid of the Monachy in Britain in at least a generation or two. I agree that it would be much better if Charles (who has proved himself to be an idiot – just like his father) were to pass on the Throne thing and let his Son Harry become the next King. The British public could never really accept Lady Chlamydia as Queen. When the Queen dies (in about 30 years time – they have special longevity genes) there will be a very embarrasing moment when everyone sudeenly realises that Charles is going to get his coronation – and there just won’t be that national spark there. The Monachy will then nose dive in popularity and that will be the moment when the anti monachists will pounce.

    If he were clever, Charles would step aside in favour of Harry and the whole fairy tale can continue. If he dosn’t, then I’ll wager there will be a hell of a lot of ermin appearing on ebay 20 years from now.

    • If the British Royal Family just lived an “normal life” it would require the dismantling and changing of all the major institutes of state. Also, the UK would lose a large number of tourists who come here just to see the royal trappings and ceremonies and the money they bring with them.

      • It is still my contention that England would bring in more tourist dollars if those palaces were luxury hotels. I think it would be a far bigger lure for foreign visitors to actually be able to stay in those rooms rather than just stand on the sidewalk looking at the façade.

        • The point is that all these visitors to Britain come to see the Royal parafanilia. If you sold it all off to Hilton Hotels, what would they want to come and see? Also, only the richest people would ever be able to afford to costs of stay in such places Most of the momney would go into the coffers of International corporations would would spirit the moeny abroad to tax havens as they are doing at the moment.

          Anyway, these places belong to the nation, not the Royal family. These palaces hold a thousand years of history and some of the best works of art in the world.

          When a foreign delegation is invited to lunch at Buckingham Palace, they never forget it and this helps with foriegn trade and all sorts of things. Theyn won’t remember the Hilton Hotel.

          • I never suggested the government sell of the palaces to a chain (like Hilton). My suggestion was for government run hotels. If they can run a country they can certainly run a few hotels, right? As for all of the royal paraphernalia and art work etc. why not keep it intact as part of each palaces’ attraction? If your country needs to dust off a room in the palace in order to court foreign delegations and foreign trade, then just imagine how memorable being able to stay the night in the room Charles and Diana slept in would be to a foreign delegate. The royals are costing you more than they are bringing in and that’s just bad business. Tradition doesn’t pay the bills.

          • There is a big misconception that the Royal family costs the country enormous amounts of money,. This is not the case. The Royal Household – the “company” if you like – receive about 40m pounds from the national purse to run everything. They don’t take a wage, all of them work for a living.

            The Crown Estates – all the property they own across the country – brings in over 200m pounds in tax back to the public purse. Add to that the tourist revenue and you’ve got a pretty good business model.

            There are many arfguements for getting rid of the Monarchy as a suystem, but the cost to the country is not one of them.

            Lastly, it would be a dissaster to turn the Palaces into Hotels because they are all Grade 1 listed buildings. This is a grading system that bestows on owners of building the obligation to maintain the architectual integrity of certain buildings for future genrations. How could the government disregard those obligations whilst enforcing them on the rest of the country?

            You can’t open a hotel without firedoors all over the building – fire escape stairs around the back and so on. With a Grade 2 building you can get away with that. Grade 1 means don’t dare touch anything.

  2. In the Rights of Man, Thomas Paine deals with among other things the British Constitution and the Monarchy and says it’s usurpation and to continue to keep it is an insult to the people.
    I don’t think they will do away with it in our lifetime but maybe future generations may find it a waste of taxpayer pounds to feed and house them. Until then, there is no hope unless a creative member of the royal family does it.

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