What does good does the Monarchy really do ? Watch

Maz93
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I'm a staunch republican and I get a lot of hatred from the vast majority of people when I say that I am - they seem to think I'm attacking our national values or something. What I would really like to know if you are a monarchist what good do you think they have done our country ? because I can't think of anything, but then again I'm biased
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bibliboo
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I'd say basically, in modern terms, they are an advert for this country. They bring money in by promoting tourism. In a sense they are sponsored by this country, much like when David Beckham when he is flogging underpants.

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Maz93
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Okay so its a good thing to have as an advert for this country an unelected head of state ? when we go around criticizing other countries for not being democratic ? also the tourism argument is nonsense, the highest tourist attractions in this country are like Chester zoo and Stonehenge nothing to do with the royals, besides if we didn't have them we could have them open all the time and make more money - I've been to Versailles the french don't have a problem getting tourists and they got rid of the monarchy in the 19th century.

I don't agree with either of those arguments
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Camilli
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Orwell wrote interestingly about the monarchy in WWII. Essentially he felt it had value for siphoning off the irrational side of patriotism that in another country might have been made to support a Franco or Hitler.

A determined socialist who ended up tolerating the monarchy, albeit while fervently hoping the aristocracy would collapse.
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Maz93
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I can see you argument that monarchy conveys stability - however in the United Kingdom in the 21st Century I find that argument flawed
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bibliboo
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(Original post by Maz93)
Okay so its a good thing to have as an advert for this country an unelected head of state ? when we go around criticizing other countries for not being democratic ? also the tourism argument is nonsense, the highest tourist attractions in this country are like Chester zoo and Stonehenge nothing to do with the royals, besides if we didn't have them we could have them open all the time and make more money - I've been to Versailles the french don't have a problem getting tourists and they got rid of the monarchy in the 19th century.

I don't agree with either of those arguments
I know, I'm sure they're lovely as people but I'm not that bothered as well. The palace, the guards, the parades, weddings etc, it's just an expensive show for the Americans and other tourists.

They're benefits spongers really.

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Maz93
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The thing I don't get is there are people starving in this country, we can barely fund our NHS yet we waste billions of pounds on the monarchy and for what ? so they put on a show for the tourists ? not to mention the fact its probably psychologically damaging for the royals themselves. They are not value for money, we spend more on them then we get back from tourism and they are interfering in government which is dangerous as they are unelected. It beggars belief that the majority of people in the country still support them - I just don't understand why ?
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MatureStudent36
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A safety valve to stop politicians going too far.

counsel for the PM.

figure head of the nation.

head of the armed forces.
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Maz93
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(Original post by MatureStudent36)
A safety valve to stop politicians going too far.

counsel for the PM.

figure head of the nation.

head of the armed forces.
But an elected head of state could do all of those things, I'm not talking about a style of republic like France or America, Republic (biggest group of supporters for a republican state) want to see something much more like Ireland or Germany, where the head of state is non partisan but elected, they can act as a referee in times of hung parliament and they can offer counsel - there is no accountability for the counsel the queen gives our PM that is wrong. I don't like the fact that our figure head is an unelected person who is put above us by right of birth we are all born equal.
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MatureStudent36
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(Original post by Maz93)
But an elected head of state could do all of those things, I'm not talking about a style of republic like France or America, Republic (biggest group of supporters for a republican state) want to see something much more like Ireland or Germany, where the head of state is non partisan but elected, they can act as a referee in times of hung parliament and they can offer counsel - there is no accountability for the counsel the queen gives our PM that is wrong. I don't like the fact that our figure head is an unelected person who is put above us by right of birth we are all born equal.
No they couldn't.

Could an elected head of state say what happened in 1962?

An elected head of state would likely be Tony Blair at the moment. Do you want that man and his odious wife representing the UK further?

An elected head of state requires elections. That means every four years a politiciser election and a long standing financial outlay for security for the last president, and the one before and the one before.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.
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bibliboo
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(Original post by Maz93)
It beggars belief that the majority of people in the country still support them - I just don't understand why ?
I think it's because no one really has a choice so they just get on with it and think it's better to like them than hate them. I wouldn't be surprised if the royals themselves agreed with that point. Although people don't realise it, they probably see them as an expensive soap opera/drama series, so they like them as people (even if they probably don't agree with the system).


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Maz93
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No they couldn't.

Could an elected head of state say what happened in 1962?

An elected head of state would likely be Tony Blair at the moment. Do you want that man and his odious wife representing the UK further?

An elected head of state requires elections. That means every four years a politiciser election and a long standing financial outlay for security for the last president, and the one before and the one before.

If it ain't broke don't fix it.
I hate this 'President Blair' argument that monarchists come up - I don't think it would happen, I think a lot of people in this country are very angry over Iraq and I seriously doubt that he would ever be elected as head of state, and if he was and he was terrible we could vote him out anyway. Yes it would cost us money to hold elections etc etc but we wouldn't have all the hangers on aka Edward and Andrew and their children. I think what is important is what it says about us a society, its recognising that we are all equal, we are all born equal and we in this country all have equal oppourunity to reach the highest position in this land the head of state which is impossible, yes you can be Prime Minister but that is not the same as head of state.

People like the romance of the royals - the fairy tale aspect. Kate must have been a godsend for them I mean what good PR a royal marrying a commoner. We do have a choice, there is always a choice we can accept the status quo or we can fight for a republic. People once laughed at the idea of the SNP holding a referendum on independence, my grandad got laughed at in the street when he was younger for supporting the SNP - but look at what they did. If people are willing to open their eyes and not just accept the PR bull**** the royals give out through the BBC etc they could fight for a Republic
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Dilmurod Dilmu
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Maz93
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Hahahaha well yes but I'm sure we can find better reasons for bank holidays than some strangers wedding/funeral/coronation although I do love that meme
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L i b
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(Original post by Maz93)
Okay so its a good thing to have as an advert for this country an unelected head of state ? when we go around criticizing other countries for not being democratic ?
We're a democracy. Our monarchy is a constitutional one, just like Norway's, Denmark's, the Netherland's and so on.

also the tourism argument is nonsense, the highest tourist attractions in this country are like Chester zoo and Stonehenge nothing to do with the royals
A rubbish argument. People don't pay to stand outside Buckingham Palace, but few tourists to London miss it, because of its royal associations.

besides if we didn't have them we could have them open all the time and make more money - I've been to Versailles the french don't have a problem getting tourists and they got rid of the monarchy in the 19th century.
And we've got Hampton Court, a grander, more architecturally significant and more historic royal palace. Who comes to London to look at that?

(Original post by Maz93)
The thing I don't get is there are people starving in this country, we can barely fund our NHS yet we waste billions of pounds on the monarchy
No we don't, no where near. And if we had an elected head of state, it'd cost just as much - if not more.

They are not value for money, we spend more on them then we get back from tourism
Oh really? On what calculation to you base that? Indeed, how - barring direct charges for royal sites perhaps - can you possibly expect to quantify that?

and they are interfering in government which is dangerous as they are unelected.
Better sack all the police, judges, civil servants, senior army officers and so on then. How dare they interfere with government without being elected.

We elect our parliamentary representatives, to whom our government is accountable. The Government is not and never has been elected, but it must maintain the confidence of our democratic representatives. That's why we're called a parliamentary democracy.
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gladders
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(Original post by Maz93)
I'm a staunch republican and I get a lot of hatred from the vast majority of people when I say that I am - they seem to think I'm attacking our national values or something. What I would really like to know if you are a monarchist what good do you think they have done our country ? because I can't think of anything, but then again I'm biased
Well, as a firm monarchist, I hope I can tell you that you won't get hatred from me as long as the debate is respectful

(Original post by Maz93)
Okay so its a good thing to have as an advert for this country an unelected head of state ? when we go around criticizing other countries for not being democratic ?
Having an unelected Head of State is a perfectly democratic thing to do as long as it's something the people genuinely consent to. And seeing as a) support for a republic is low, and b) there are no major republican parties, it should be evident that it's freely consented to.

Moreover, having an unelected state is not an unusual thing. There are plenty of republics who have something similar. Germany and Italy, for example, don't have elected Presidents but have their own parliaments choose them.

The important determinant is what kind of role the office has in a constitution: a ceremonial role, like ours, can be unelected and not impinge on a country's democratic credentials; an executive office though, like the US President, would require it to be a directly elected position.

also the tourism argument is nonsense, the highest tourist attractions in this country are like Chester zoo and Stonehenge nothing to do with the royals, besides if we didn't have them we could have them open all the time and make more money - I've been to Versailles the french don't have a problem getting tourists and they got rid of the monarchy in the 19th century.
I agree with this - the tourism argument is silly for both sides. However, it should still be noted that the monarchy is a huge draw to visitors. The difference is that quantifying what percentage of their money is spent by dint of their attraction to the monarchy. That's difficult, as some of the most popular things are actually free at the point of delivery, such as standing outside Buckingham Palace to glimpse the Queen.

As for Versailles, I don't think that's a fair equation with what the UK has, as Versailles is really the French equivalent of Hampton Court Palace, with a metric ton of bells and whistles added on. Seriously, Versailles is gorgeous, and enormous. Buckingham Palace is a functional, drab, and ugly building. Its true equivalent is the residence of the French President, the Palais d'Elysee, and nobody notices that place.

But yeah, it matters little either way, although I do notice some republicans, in an attempt to undermine the argument of this sort that some monarchists make, over-egg the tourism attractions of a republic.

I can see you argument that monarchy conveys stability - however in the United Kingdom in the 21st Century I find that argument flawed
How so? I am not saying you're wrong here, but you've simply made an assertion that amounts to 'I just don't like your answer'. It would be good to get some elaboration.

The thing I don't get is there are people starving in this country, we can barely fund our NHS yet we waste billions of pounds on the monarchy
Not billions. Around £40 million, roundabouts. The flaw in your logic is assuming that that sum of money is something that goes straight into the Queen's pocket. It doesn't. It's the basic cost for the operation of the office of Head of State in this country. It pays, not for the Queen's jollies, but for building maintenance, travel, staff salaries and pensions, training, food and drink, electricity, uniform repair, correspondence and State functions. All countries have an office that does these things - whether a monarch or a president, and it costs a fair sum. The cost of ours isn't that much different from, say, the German President.

and for what ? so they put on a show for the tourists ?
The Queen has quite a clear role in State ceremony, and also in government. She still exercises considerable Royal Prerogatives on the advice of the Government. The execution of most of these are near-automatically granted routinely, because we are fortunate enough to live at present in a constitutional state and with ministers that work within the constitution. But they could be abused in the wrong hands, so it makes eminent sense to put them formally into the hands of the one person in the land who, really, it would be considered utterly unacceptable to use for her own purposes. The Prerogative is a means of denying a sense of entitlement to a power, which would risk being cultivated if such a power were bestowed in a Secretary of State.

not to mention the fact its probably psychologically damaging for the royals themselves.
I think you overstate your case there. Yes, I imagine it's a role the royals dread doing, but they stick to it out of a real sense of duty. But the fact is, there are tons of occupations that are psychologically damaging and still essential for society. *shrug*

They are not value for money, we spend more on them then we get back from tourism
You could say the same thing about the Prime Minister and Downing Street. Its purpose isn't to be a tourist trap, although I do recognise some monarchists do rely on that argument a bit too readily.

and they are interfering in government which is dangerous as they are unelected.
Not really. If you've read Walter Bagehot's The English Constitution, you would know he mentions the three key rights of the Sovereign - the right to be informed, to encourage and to warn. This entails, and it's been recognised by all ministers and constitutional scholars since the Victorian Age, that the Crown has the right to be as frank with ministers as it likes in private as long as it is scrupulously impartial in public. Furthermore, ministers have the absolute right to ignore or disagree with the Crown, and can threaten them with resignation and scandal if they feel the monarch is being truculent. All monarchs, however, know their rights only go that far and they could never force the issue, as it would be the end of the monarchy.

In short, a minister who is persuaded by the monarch can only be persuaded by a good argument, and if they are, then that minister takes on the responsibility for it. If they ignore that idea, then again, the minister takes responsibility for it.

But an elected head of state could do all of those things, I'm not talking about a style of republic like France or America, Republic (biggest group of supporters for a republican state) want to see something much more like Ireland or Germany, where the head of state is non partisan but elected, they can act as a referee in times of hung parliament and they can offer counsel -
Quite so, and there are plenty of functioning presidencies out there. But they do run some risks - firstly, in a directly elected president, the candidate has to get publicity and support in order to be elected. That entails doing and promising favours in return for money and support. Therefore, they could be beholden to someone else as favours for their victory.

Secondly, before they entered private life, they had private interests, and as they are only temporary in that post, they may be tempted to use their time to steer the ship of state to a certain advantage. Heed the last two German presidents and the scandals that erupted there a few years ago.

The monarch, at least, has the job by inheritance, which is arguably the most incorruptible and impartial means of appointment possible. They owe their position to nobody, have nobody they need to butter up to, and will be there long after the current flock of ministers are gone, and so hold a longer-term view. As a family, with a long line behind them, there's also a built-in concern to ensure the office is passed on intact as much as possible to the next holder.

And even if these differences weren't there, and Presidents were paragons of virtue, all you're demonstrated is that they're no worse than our monarchy - not outstandingly better.

there is no accountability for the counsel the queen gives our PM that is wrong.
Not really. In Germany and Ireland, the counsel that the President gives the PM is still confidential, in an attempt to preserve the public impartiality of the office.

I don't like the fact that our figure head is an unelected person who is put above us by right of birth we are all born equal.
No, we're not. We are equal before the law, this is true, and the monarch is a powerful reminder of that. The Prime Minister, the most powerful official in the country, still has to go weekly and report on his work to his formal constitutional superior. He remains in full control of the ship of state, but here, before him, is someone who has been there for decades, and will be there for years after he's gone, with incredible knowledge, experience, and skill.

It beggars belief that the majority of people in the country still support them - I just don't understand why ?
Well, for the reasons I have put above, but also because the monarchy is fun. It makes this country unique, and we have a living, breathing link to this country's past and origins. It's an enormously powerful tool for national cohesion but also in helping reconcile people to change - a social constant in a changing world.

Vivat! Vivat Regina!

(Original post by Maz93)
I hate this 'President Blair' argument that monarchists come up - I don't think it would happen, I think a lot of people in this country are very angry over Iraq and I seriously doubt that he would ever be elected as head of state, and if he was and he was terrible we could vote him out anyway.
Well, not to put too fine a point on it, he was elected, and by the time he left office it was too late to undo the damage he did. But yes, it is a poor argument.

Yes it would cost us money to hold elections etc etc but we wouldn't have all the hangers on aka Edward and Andrew and their children.
Edward, Andrew and children are not 'hangers on' as they do not receive public funds.

I think what is important is what it says about us a society, its recognising that we are all equal, we are all born equal and we in this country all have equal oppourunity to reach the highest position in this land the head of state which is impossible, yes you can be Prime Minister but that is not the same as head of state.
Why? Telling everyone they're equal is not the same as it being true. I'd rather we spend more time doing rather than tinkering in such a way. Look at America - a republic, but with some of the worst inequality, racism, sexism and injustice in the West, while the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Holland, to name a few, are paragons of social democracy. I know which I would prefer.

People like the romance of the royals - the fairy tale aspect. Kate must have been a godsend for them I mean what good PR a royal marrying a commoner. We do have a choice, there is always a choice we can accept the status quo or we can fight for a republic. People once laughed at the idea of the SNP holding a referendum on independence, my grandad got laughed at in the street when he was younger for supporting the SNP - but look at what they did. If people are willing to open their eyes and not just accept the PR bull**** the royals give out through the BBC etc they could fight for a Republic
PR bull****? Dude, everyone and his cat has a PR department these days, and I don't understand why people begrudge the monarchy having what everyone else has. Republicanism is in a poor state because the arguments put forward by republicans tend to be quite unpersuasive, and miss the mark enormously. Take your point about 'we are all equal'. We're not. I'd love everyone to be, but people know that removing the monarchy wouldn't change anything, and would rather we keep something actually interesting and glamorous than tear down yet another institution for politicians to occupy.
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L i b
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(Original post by gladders)
Having an unelected Head of State is a perfectly democratic thing to do as long as it's something the people genuinely consent to. And seeing as a) support for a republic is low, and b) there are no major republican parties, it should be evident that it's freely consented to.
Indeed. As much as I'm a monarchist, I must admit that switching to a presidential system is unlikely to do our constitution any huge deal of damage. The problem I have with republicanism is that the arguments for it seem to be fairly poor. If there was any objective gain from changing things, I suspect that might lead more people to support a change.
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Maz93
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(Original post by gladders)
Well, as a firm monarchist, I hope I can tell you that you won't get hatred from me as long as the debate is respectful



Having an unelected Head of State is a perfectly democratic thing to do as long as it's something the people genuinely consent to. And seeing as a) support for a republic is low, and b) there are no major republican parties, it should be evident that it's freely consented to.

Moreover, having an unelected state is not an unusual thing. There are plenty of republics who have something similar. Germany and Italy, for example, don't have elected Presidents but have their own parliaments choose them.

The important determinant is what kind of role the office has in a constitution: a ceremonial role, like ours, can be unelected and not impinge on a country's democratic credentials; an executive office though, like the US President, would require it to be a directly elected position.



I agree with this - the tourism argument is silly for both sides. However, it should still be noted that the monarchy is a huge draw to visitors. The difference is that quantifying what percentage of their money is spent by dint of their attraction to the monarchy. That's difficult, as some of the most popular things are actually free at the point of delivery, such as standing outside Buckingham Palace to glimpse the Queen.

As for Versailles, I don't think that's a fair equation with what the UK has, as Versailles is really the French equivalent of Hampton Court Palace, with a metric ton of bells and whistles added on. Seriously, Versailles is gorgeous, and enormous. Buckingham Palace is a functional, drab, and ugly building. Its true equivalent is the residence of the French President, the Palais d'Elysee, and nobody notices that place.

But yeah, it matters little either way, although I do notice some republicans, in an attempt to undermine the argument of this sort that some monarchists make, over-egg the tourism attractions of a republic.



How so? I am not saying you're wrong here, but you've simply made an assertion that amounts to 'I just don't like your answer'. It would be good to get some elaboration.



Not billions. Around £40 million, roundabouts. The flaw in your logic is assuming that that sum of money is something that goes straight into the Queen's pocket. It doesn't. It's the basic cost for the operation of the office of Head of State in this country. It pays, not for the Queen's jollies, but for building maintenance, travel, staff salaries and pensions, training, food and drink, electricity, uniform repair, correspondence and State functions. All countries have an office that does these things - whether a monarch or a president, and it costs a fair sum. The cost of ours isn't that much different from, say, the German President.



The Queen has quite a clear role in State ceremony, and also in government. She still exercises considerable Royal Prerogatives on the advice of the Government. The execution of most of these are near-automatically granted routinely, because we are fortunate enough to live at present in a constitutional state and with ministers that work within the constitution. But they could be abused in the wrong hands, so it makes eminent sense to put them formally into the hands of the one person in the land who, really, it would be considered utterly unacceptable to use for her own purposes. The Prerogative is a means of denying a sense of entitlement to a power, which would risk being cultivated if such a power were bestowed in a Secretary of State.



I think you overstate your case there. Yes, I imagine it's a role the royals dread doing, but they stick to it out of a real sense of duty. But the fact is, there are tons of occupations that are psychologically damaging and still essential for society. *shrug*



You could say the same thing about the Prime Minister and Downing Street. Its purpose isn't to be a tourist trap, although I do recognise some monarchists do rely on that argument a bit too readily.



Not really. If you've read Walter Bagehot's The English Constitution, you would know he mentions the three key rights of the Sovereign - the right to be informed, to encourage and to warn. This entails, and it's been recognised by all ministers and constitutional scholars since the Victorian Age, that the Crown has the right to be as frank with ministers as it likes in private as long as it is scrupulously impartial in public. Furthermore, ministers have the absolute right to ignore or disagree with the Crown, and can threaten them with resignation and scandal if they feel the monarch is being truculent. All monarchs, however, know their rights only go that far and they could never force the issue, as it would be the end of the monarchy.

In short, a minister who is persuaded by the monarch can only be persuaded by a good argument, and if they are, then that minister takes on the responsibility for it. If they ignore that idea, then again, the minister takes responsibility for it.



Quite so, and there are plenty of functioning presidencies out there. But they do run some risks - firstly, in a directly elected president, the candidate has to get publicity and support in order to be elected. That entails doing and promising favours in return for money and support. Therefore, they could be beholden to someone else as favours for their victory.

Secondly, before they entered private life, they had private interests, and as they are only temporary in that post, they may be tempted to use their time to steer the ship of state to a certain advantage. Heed the last two German presidents and the scandals that erupted there a few years ago.

The monarch, at least, has the job by inheritance, which is arguably the most incorruptible and impartial means of appointment possible. They owe their position to nobody, have nobody they need to butter up to, and will be there long after the current flock of ministers are gone, and so hold a longer-term view. As a family, with a long line behind them, there's also a built-in concern to ensure the office is passed on intact as much as possible to the next holder.

And even if these differences weren't there, and Presidents were paragons of virtue, all you're demonstrated is that they're no worse than our monarchy - not outstandingly better.



Not really. In Germany and Ireland, the counsel that the President gives the PM is still confidential, in an attempt to preserve the public impartiality of the office.



No, we're not. We are equal before the law, this is true, and the monarch is a powerful reminder of that. The Prime Minister, the most powerful official in the country, still has to go weekly and report on his work to his formal constitutional superior. He remains in full control of the ship of state, but here, before him, is someone who has been there for decades, and will be there for years after he's gone, with incredible knowledge, experience, and skill.



Well, for the reasons I have put above, but also because the monarchy is fun. It makes this country unique, and we have a living, breathing link to this country's past and origins. It's an enormously powerful tool for national cohesion but also in helping reconcile people to change - a social constant in a changing world.

Vivat! Vivat Regina!



Well, not to put too fine a point on it, he was elected, and by the time he left office it was too late to undo the damage he did. But yes, it is a poor argument.



Edward, Andrew and children are not 'hangers on' as they do not receive public funds.



Why? Telling everyone they're equal is not the same as it being true. I'd rather we spend more time doing rather than tinkering in such a way. Look at America - a republic, but with some of the worst inequality, racism, sexism and injustice in the West, while the kingdoms of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Holland, to name a few, are paragons of social democracy. I know which I would prefer.



PR bull****? Dude, everyone and his cat has a PR department these days, and I don't understand why people begrudge the monarchy having what everyone else has. Republicanism is in a poor state because the arguments put forward by republicans tend to be quite unpersuasive, and miss the mark enormously. Take your point about 'we are all equal'. We're not. I'd love everyone to be, but people know that removing the monarchy wouldn't change anything, and would rather we keep something actually interesting and glamorous than tear down yet another institution for politicians to occupy.
The royals are not equal before the law, they can hide behind the royal secrets act. The position of monarch is influential far more influential than a judge or the police, and they are not equal before the law therefore they lack the accountability as they are also unelected. Charles has done so much damage to the fight against homeopathy for example as he supports it. Charles also lack neutrality which is essential for the head of state - he has also said he will continue to further those interests when he is King - which is wrong. I know that the presidents in ireland and germany also have meetings with the PM but they are elected and there are limits on how long they can be in power - we have no such protection.
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Well in the past they've been a figure to rally behind during various wars but currently the best thing I'm aware that they do is patron various charities such as the RSPCA and the RSPB.
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It costs the tax payer more in security than the charity makes in donations for a visit from the royals.
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