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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.