The Monarchy is a right royal institution

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Photo by Commonwealth Secretariat

There was a time when the monarchy was akin to a god, when words like nobility, regal and imperial were apt in describing their majestic qualities and status. There was a time when royalty were legends, when they rode into battles on winged horses and emerged victorious and conquering and a little bit more worthy of that huge palace and countless hand servants to wait on their hand and foot. The great royals such as Queen Victoria who conquered half the world and the virgin Queen Elizabeth I who didn’t need a man to win her battles. Nowadays though, I think it is safe to say that the Royal Family is more of an institution and national treasure, much like perhaps Stephan Fry or Robbie Williams, than any ruling power or authority figure.

I love the Royal Family. They are charming and funny, classy some of the time and an archetype for pretty much every family in Britain. For example, there’s Prince Phillip, the inappropriate uncle who never says the right thing, who’s a little bit racist – unintentionally most of the time – and can be a touch leery. There’s Prince Harry, the younger brother rebel, dressing as a Nazi because he thought it might be funny, gets a bit too drunk and everyone hopes he’ll grow out of it. The golden child, Prince William, who helps the starving children of Africa and bags himself a beautiful princess who had a more modest backgrounds and finally the Queen herself: graceful, proper, loves her dogs, everyone’s a little bit scared of her but loves her to bits and she gives everyone a right old speech every Christmas- bit like your Gran if you ask me.

I know the Royal Family doesn’t really do that much today. Sure they open ceremonies, become patrons of charities, name awards after themselves and cost the people of Britain quite a bit of money but they also have given us a four day bank holiday weekend this year, a royal wedding last year, Prince Charles reading out the weather and scandals and secrets that us as a nation cannot get enough of. They are inexplicably endearing. Kate Middleton gives hopes to little girls around the world, never mind this nation, that they too could become a princess. Prince Harry is an example and comfort to all those British families who have sons and daughters at war and the Queen is an emblem of Britishness that the whole world associates with what Britain represents.

Though I’m sure many may feel there are many republicans among us Brits, it seems that less than one fifth of Brits feel we should get rid of the Monarchy- a statistic that has hardly changed throughout the 60 year reign of Queen Elizabeth II. In fact in an era of constant change – economically, socially and politically, the only real constant according to polls is the fact that Britain wants a monarch. In a country where we seem to reject any sort of institution, like the police and parliament – it seems strange that we should hang on so dearly to an idea like a monarch who succeeds simply due to hereditary authority, but it is not this that I feel us British hang on to when it comes to the Royal Family. It is their uniqueness, their quirkiness and their eccentric tendencies that identify them as quintessentially British and ours.

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14 Comments

  1. Jesus Christ, this reads like it passed through a membrane from the Fearne Cotton dimension. Well done.

  2. But Alex – the Prince is a bit racist and the younger son dresses as a Nazi. What’s not to love?!

  3. Fearne cotton is successful. I’ll take that as a compliment, thank you

  4. Successful doesn’t equate to being respected or good.

  5. Look at people who write for The Sun or The Star or any other tabloid. All are successful, in their world, but who can honestly say they are high quality? It’s fine to say that in a paper that aspires to be like a tabloid, but I would hope that SCAN would certainly have higher standards than those of a tabloid.

  6. Was this written by a primary school child? The title ” the monarchy is a right royal institution” nicely sets the tone with the repetition of the same meaning twice. The monarchy is royal, and the royals are the monarchy. Do winged horses s**t in the woods?

    Yes, winged horses. Are you factually stating that kings and queens of britain once rode on unicorns? This article also hits the jackpot with the popular mantra of “starving africans”. What do africans do, they starve right? Thats totally not reducing the people of a continent to a single stereotype.

    And of course every single little girl wants to become a princess and live in a castle with prince charming. This broad sweeping and statement drives specific ideas of Gender, where unlike ‘Elizabeth I the first who didnt need a man,’ into concepts of dependency and subservience. The idea that this is in some way a positive dream is absurd, women did and do not drive for equality through idealizing to be part of hierarchical institutions.

    Maybe, according to the oh-so reliable “statistics” that im sure you throughly researched, the brits love the monarchy, however, last year, students demonstrating for free education smashed up Prince Charle’s chauffeur driven rolls royce. Maybe they didn’t find his racism as loveable as you do.

    And everyone is comforted by the prince’s brave actions in afghanistan, proving thier suitability for rule by pacifying the savage badlands of the empire. “at war” as you refer to it is not some noble crusade, its an unsupported occupation of a foreign soverign nation in a war against a much maligned adjective.

    In summary, your article is constructed of so many of the blind myths of late modernity, that it is divorced from reality, up to the point where you seem to have intentionally mixed legend into history. (winged horses anyone?) Its just as well that “facts are irrelevant” in the comments section, as this is a work of fancy, it is not journalism.

  7. Thanks for your comments.

  8. Really though, this argument just goes to show that the very existence of a monarchy with hereditary progression is just completely and utterly indefensible.

    If anyone at all were to come forward and say “we should have a system whereby certain people are better than others on the basis of who their parents are”, you would not even argue with them. Not because they are obviously correct, but because they are clearly so unbelievably stupid / morally vapid that trying to debate with them would be a waste of time and effort.

  9. Mr Taylor ?
    No, evidently this article was not written by a primary school child. And no, the author is clearly NOT stating that kings literally once rode into battle on winged horses ? it is making reference to the perceived mythical power of the monarchs, and of the general belief that they had a divine right to rule and conquer and that God was supporting them.
    Secondly, the reference to Prince William is likewise not making a stereotype out of all of Africa; it is a reference to the fact that Prince William (and Harry) has spent considerable amounts of time in Africa with the objective of helping children in need and raising awareness of the cause, in a similar manner to his mother ? who championed that cause.
    Whilst you patronise the author for her ?oh so reliable statistics?, you didn?t provide anything which contradicted them, instead you made reference to the behaviour of a tiny minority of students (who are in themselves a minority within society). That hardly refutes the point the author was making.
    Likewise, your reference to Prince Charles? car being vandalised by some student protestors is actually irrelevant. Firstly, you incorrectly named the Prince the author was referring to ? it was Phillip, not Charles ? and secondly, she was clearly not condoning racism. At no point did she say that she found his (unintentional) racism ?loveable? ? it was merely a reference to why many people find the royal family a breath of fresh air in an age of unreasonable ?political correctness?.
    Similarly, the author was not supporting the War in Afghanistan ? this article was not political ? she was merely pointing to the fact that it is wholly wrong for people to claim that the royal family do nothing when Prince Harry has fought on the frontline in the most dangerous place on earth for British soldiers. The reasons for that conflict are immaterial; he has served his country and deserves to be respected for that. Are you implying that our war dead and wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan do not deserve to be respected for the sacrifices they made (and continue to make) merely because the wars in question are unsupported? Nonsense ? on the contrary, they deserve the utmost respect for their service.
    This article is NOT divorced from reality; the author correctly identifies the reasons why many people in Britain continue to feel a sense of attachment to the monarchy, both for the role they play and their symbolism in British culture.
    Had your comment been a critique of the article on the basis of the fact that it is demonstrably in favour of the monarchy, I would not have bothered commenting. I would not even disagree that the monarchy IS responsible for many social problems that face us in the 21st century. And as had just been mentioned, the idea that you are superior to other people because of who your parents are is absurd. Instead you made a series of false assertions on an article which puts down some pretty irrefutable points about the sentiment of the British towards the monarchy.

  10. “and of the general belief that they had a divine right to rule and conquer and that God was supporting them.” – yes, and supporting that belief.

    “it was merely a reference to why many people find the royal family a breath of fresh air in an age of unreasonable ?political correctness?.” – People should find racism refreshing in an age of political correctness?

    “she was merely pointing to the fact that it is wholly wrong for people to claim that the royal family do nothing when Prince Harry has fought on the frontline in the most dangerous place on earth for British soldiers.” – How are Harry’s efforts different to those of every other soldier?

  11. No, I stated clearly that this was not defending racism which is something that any civilised person finds deplorable; my point was that many people find the Prince’s blunt honesty refreshing in an age where nobody says what they think. This does not apply specifically to racism as Phillip has made non PC remarks about pretty much everything.
    Re: the second point – Harry’s efforts are no different from those of every other soldier. That was not the point I made either. I stated that he served his country and he deserves respect for that. I then said that all our veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq deserve the utmost of respect from the British public. I was not differentiating between the prince and his colleagues.

  12. What do you mean when you say nobody says what they think? Who isn’t saying what they think?

    “I was not differentiating between the prince and his colleagues.” – Yes you were. You said having a son in the army means the Royal family are not ‘doing nothing’. So how does the Royal family having a son in the army equate to them doing more of a ‘service’ to the country than the Scroggin family on Cortina Lane?

  13. How many times do you hear people saying that ‘the royal family do nothing’? It’s mentioned all the time. I was providing an example of a member of the royal family who does a difficult and dangerous job and he, like all other servicemen, deserve to be respected for that.

  14. So having a royal family member in the army justifies having a monarchy? I have two cousins in the army – can I have some adulation and servants please? kthxbai

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