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British Monarchy

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  • Jan. 2013
  • 1664 Words
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The British royal family has had many reasons to celebrate since April 2011. Not only did it have, not one, but two royal weddings, in addition its popularity previously hit by the Diana crisis, seems to have been finally restored. Indeed, the wedding of Prince William and Miss Middleton has produced a happy end to the old feud between “The People’s Princess” and the royal establishment. It was this occasion that allowed the British public to make their peace with the past and indulge in this romantic celebration of a British fairy tale. Nevertheless, and even amidst the countdown to the royal wedding, concerns about the role of the institution of British monarchy continued to be heard. We are, therefore, going to try to deal with the question of whether such an institution is still relevant in the 21st century. In order to answer this question, we shall first discuss the arguments disparaging the British royal family, then we shall look at the arguments appraising it, and last but not least we shall analyse the special status of the British monarch-not as a tyrant, but as the guardian of British constitutional democracy. Let us start with some of the major reasons for criticising the institution. First, within a democratic mind set, it is hard to conceive of hereditary titles or non-elected representatives. Second, while the British monarch is supposed to be non-partisan and above party influence, its mere existence reinforces conservative values. Third, the monarchy used to be considered as expensive, benefiting from a privileged lifestyle, not earned but inherited. While the same thing is true for any wealthy individual throughout the world, or even for the less wealthy ones; as not just money but also education, manners, knowledge and character are all transmitted by the family that we are being born to, royals in general are still being singled-out for the historical character and the origin of their wealth. Moreover, the purely ceremonial character of...