If you aren’t aware of the recent birth of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s son, you’ve clearly been living under a rock. For the most part, the world rejoiced at the arrival of His Royal Highness Prince George Louis Alexander Mountbatten-Windsor of Cambridge (He’ll be about 7 years old before he can say his own name by the looks of that). And why wouldn’t they? The third in line to the Great British throne is now with us (having bumped poor Harry down a notch), and he’s cute as a button.
However, that isn’t the full story, and it’s not exactly what I wanted to talk about here. It seems that the birth of lil’ Georgie-poo has resurfaced the age-old debate about how important the monarchy actually is in this day and age, and it’s back with a vengeance.
Those who claim the royal family should go mainly argue that they no longer serve any political purpose, and therefore no real purpose at all. And this is true – all new laws and matters of political-ness are discussed by Benny Hill and his ragtag band of jolly slapstick bunces over at the house of commons, while the Queen prefers not to get involved. They also argue that the monarchy are given far too much money from the state for effectively doing no work, which is like calling Her Majesty a dole-dosser of simply epic proportions.
Those who oppose this view, however, rebut that the monarchy draw in far more revenue then they are given from tourism. Anyone who has ever been to Buckingham Palace will confirm that most of the time, you can barely move for the amount of tourists from foreign countries taking a gander at the Queen’s home, and this is multiplied tenfold when the royals are actually in. The fact we have a monarchy is by far the most interesting thing about Britain, and even though I’m quite proud to be English, I have to say there’s really not a lot of reason to holiday over here.
The other main reason is that the monarchy are constitutional rather than political, which means they aren’t meant to have any say in political matters anyway. While politicians will turn to the Queen when advice is needed or parliament needs to be dissolved for whatever reason, her main role is as the head of the Church of England (which, you may notice, creates the all important separation of church and state in the UK) and as a monument to the nation’s strength, showing Britain’s trademark stiff-upper-lip attitude in times of turmoil. The royals also seriously pull their weight in charity fundraising, so that’s a plus too.
Personally, I quite like the royals. I can see how their influence is felt across the world, given that a simple event such as the birth of a new prince can distract so many people from, for example, the atrocities in Syria, and in the case of Americans, the whole Zimmerman fiasco. They also kind of make Britain something special – they might not be the only monarchy in the world, but they are easily the most loved and respected globally. They make Britain look all warm and fuzzy, rather than the bile-spitting, murderous, pillaging, greedy and all-round evil image we’ve maintained throughout history. These days we’re only despised by about half of the world rather than all of it (including ourselves), and the royals with their unavoidable charm are mostly to thank for that.
Suck on that, haters.