Royal News

INT21

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One can imagine young Archie saying to Harry, after a visit to his paternal grandfather and family, saying 'Daddy, why can't we live in a big house like Great Granny does?'.

Well, son. We did...once upon a time. Remember the story of Cinderella ? well, same story; different ending'.
 

dr wu

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Being an American, the whole Royals thing is a bit bizarre and antiquated to me especially these days.
I'm not even sure (though I did ask once here) why the Royals exist anymore. They don't really have anything to do with deciding the economic and political future of England....do they? And if so, should they...? Isn't it all about 'democracy' these days? Shouldn't it be?
I would think that the English taxpayer would have had enough of this by now.....not trying to be contentious but being a taxpayer in the US I would be upset if I had to support something like this. It seems to me this is about celebrity and tourism and nothing else...or am I missing something intrinsic here? (Please don't throw any stale scones at me... ;) )
At any rate I think it was great that this couple wanted to live their own life. I do feel that they should not be supported by any British taxpayer funds and I doubt if they need any. Meghan Markle was an actress and model long before she met Prince Harry and should have no problem re-engaging that line of work.
 

Mythopoeika

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Being an American, the whole Royals thing is a bit bizarre and antiquated to me especially these days.
I'm not even sure (though I did ask once here) why the Royals exist anymore. They don't really have anything to do with deciding the economic and political future of England....do they? And if so, should they...? Isn't it all about 'democracy' these days? Shouldn't it be?
I would think that the English taxpayer would have had enough of this by now.....not trying to be contentious but being a taxpayer in the US I would be upset if I had to support something like this. It seems to me this is about celebrity and tourism and nothing else...or am I missing something intrinsic here? (Please don't throw any stale scones at me... ;) )
At any rate I think it was great that this couple wanted to live their own life. I do feel that they should not be supported by any British taxpayer funds and I doubt if they need any. Meghan Markle was an actress and model long before she met Prince Harry and should have no problem re-engaging that line of work.
It's not just about tourism. The Queen has been useful in enabling the UK to do business with other states that have their own royalty. She's also acted as an ambassador and diplomat.
 

INT21

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Being an American, the whole Royals thing is a bit bizarre and antiquated to me especially these days.
I'm not even sure (though I did ask once here) why the Royals exist anymore. They don't really have anything to do with deciding the economic and political future of England....do they? And if so, should they...? Isn't it all about 'democracy' these days? Shouldn't it be?
I would think that the English taxpayer would have had enough of this by now.....not trying to be contentious but being a taxpayer in the US I would be upset if I had to support something like this. It seems to me this is about celebrity and tourism and nothing else...or am I missing something intrinsic here? (Please don't throw any stale scones at me... ;) )
At any rate I think it was great that this couple wanted to live their own life. I do feel that they should not be supported by any British taxpayer funds and I doubt if they need any. Meghan Markle was an actress and model long before she met Prince Harry and should have no problem re-engaging that line of work.
Remember 'The prince and the showgirl' ? Monroe and Olivier.

They can't live 'in the land of the common people' as they will be constantly at risk of kidnap/assassination/ holding for ransom.

I hear that the Royal Family brings in more money than it costs.

I'm quite happy with things as they are. Never fancied a republic.

INT21

:)
 

dr wu

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Remember 'The prince and the showgirl' ? Monroe and Olivier.

They can't live 'in the land of the common people' as they will be constantly at risk of kidnap/assassination/ holding for ransom.

I hear that the Royal Family brings in more money than it costs.

I'm quite happy with things as they are. Never fancied a republic.

INT21

:)
I was not aware that tourism related to this brought in that much money...but I would ask is that Brit money or foreign money..?
If much of it is Brit money it seems like you are paying twice. ;)
As far as the kidnap thing...that applies to many rich people all over the world other than just the Royals...I really don't buy into that excuse.
 

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Does any of that justify the current Royal situation, places, money, lifestyles, etc, etc..? Really?
It is not about "Justifying it."

It is a once hugely powerful institution which has "devolved" over time.
I imagine that any political party campaigning to abolish it would not win a general election...because the Monarchy is part of the identity of the UK.
Could a political party campaign to abolish Baseball and Basketball and win an American General election...I think not?

Whilst it has no authority [technically the Monarch could refuse to rubber-stamp a piece of government legislation, but has not done so for almost 200 years], and has no power, it does have influence.
The Queen meets the serving Prime Minister every week, and it is widely hinted that 93 years life experience most of them spent meeting heads of state and politicians, does count for something.
 

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Does any of that justify the current Royal situation, places, money, lifestyles, etc, etc..? Really?
We're stumbling across a transatlantic disjunct here (that is to say a difference in attitude). The justification is that it works and has worked for a long time. The idea of a philosophically sound political structure is a second-order consideration.

That it may be 'unfair' is a trivial concern in a world filled to the brim with inequity.
 

Yithian

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When you say "it works", what criteria are you going on?
Largely successful country, just about holding together despite recent melodrama, high levels of public support from the monarchy. Relative stability over a couple of centuries of turbulent modernity. Constiutionally speaking, things have been lookiny dicey since 1997 (can't get into why), but the country is safe, democratic and generally adheres to the Rule of Law (there are exceptions, but this is not Zimbabwe). The British on the whole are small-c conservative; they don't want a government-crafted paradise; they like tradition and would prefer politicians that deliver security and stability on which to build their own happiness.

I was against the (near) abolition of the hereditary peers for similar reasons. Nobody would have invented the concept in modern times, but as a revising chamber stocked with both depth and breadth of expertise, they are/were hard to beat.

Pragmatism.
 

blessmycottonsocks

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@GNC

I agree that the some of the press have a grievance with Meghan & Harry over the phone hacking and data privacy cases.

But I truly have not seen race play much of a part in this.
Sure, there will be far-right racists who will dislike Meghan, but no one I know has even mentioned her being mixed race.
Perhaps it's a London thing, but in a city where 40% of the population are "non-white" no one I know batted an eyelid at that.
Exactly. The press certainly can be cruel - remember how they loved Diana but despised Camilla? There were plenty of articles which came close to saying how could Charles leave the beautiful 'Queen of people's hearts' for that old bag?
Even though the media coverage of Diana was mostly sympathetic though, it was the sheer intrusiveness that got to her.
 

Krepostnoi

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Largely successful country, just about holding together despite recent melodrama, high levels of public support from the monarchy. Relative stability over a couple of centuries of turbulent modernity. Constiutionally speaking, things have been lookiny dicey since 1997 (can't get into why), but the country is safe, democratic and generally adheres to the Rule of Law (there are exceptions, but this is not Zimbabwe). The British on the whole are small-c conservative; they don't want a government-crafted paradise; they like tradition and would prefer politicians that deliver security and stability on which to build their own happiness.

I was against the (near) abolition of the hereditary peers for similar reasons. Nobody would have invented the concept in modern times, but as a revising chamber stocked with both depth and breadth of expertise, they are/were hard to beat.

Pragmatism.
To what extent can the Royal Family take credit for any of that, though? Surely there were/are other social, economic and political factors that were much more influential? It would be just as easy to claim that these things happened despite this feudal relic, rather than because of it.

I'm sort of with you when it comes to the House of Lords, although not the hereditary aspect. But a body of semi-independent individuals with, as you say, depth and breadth of expertise, acting as a brake on the wilder excesses of the executive can only be a good thing. An upper chamber consisting of yet more party hacks would not be a positive development.

In a way, that's the only argument I can muster in favour of keeping a monarch - it's better than President Blair/Johnson/[insert political bete noire here]. Frankly, though, I'd rather replace them with a random individual chosen by the lottery draw: once a year, if your six numbers come up, you only get the money if you agree to be head of state for a year. All expenses paid, naturally. Oh, and if the harvest fails, you get sacrificed.
 

Min Bannister

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I would think that the English taxpayer would have had enough of this by now.....not trying to be contentious but being a taxpayer in the US I would be upset if I had to support something like this.
(British taxpayer)* We only pay about 60p per year each for them. Well worth it in my opinion.

(I'm assuming the Canadians, Aussies etc chip in too?)
 

cycleboy2

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Exactly. The press certainly can be cruel - remember how they loved Diana but despised Camilla? There were plenty of articles which came close to saying how could Charles leave the beautiful 'Queen of people's hearts' for that old bag?
Even though the media coverage of Diana was mostly sympathetic though, it was the sheer intrusiveness that got to her.
I'm not sure the press did love Diana - have a look at some of the press coverage she received in the last few years of her life; this is precisely why Harry is so determined that history doesn't repeat itself. The press itself is putting out the story that they loved Diana but I'm not sure the evidence supports that, eg:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/...-divorce-affairs-children-royal-a7918581.html

As for me, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool republican. I take on board Yithian's comments but I can't accept a head of state who is there purely as a birthright. It's literally medieval.
 

dr wu

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I know I'm just a Yank but...it seems that in this day and age no one , even the British people, would still be ok with this system where these people , due to an ancient birthline ,get a free ride and much much more while so many have so little.
How is that a good thing in the 21st century?
I'm even upset with my own elected officials in the US in that I believe they are way overpaid (and too many perks) for the crappy jobs they do.
It was never meant to be this way from the Founding Fathers day.
 

GingerTabby

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I've noticed that when the question 'What do you think of the monarchy?' is asked (in general, not on this board specifically), the real answer being sought is in reply to another question, namely 'What do you think of the royal family?' Many people don't seem to be able to separate the role of the institution from those who represent it. The smooth functioning of our parliamentary system of government is not adversely affected by the questionable behaviour of various members of the royal family. That said, those individuals do the institution no favours with their antics. For that reason, supporters of the institution should be stern critics of royal family members: if the royals' conduct does not reflect well on the institution they should be called out on it, in my opinion.

I'm sort of with you when it comes to the House of Lords, although not the hereditary aspect. But a body of semi-independent individuals with, as you say, depth and breadth of expertise, acting as a brake on the wilder excesses of the executive can only be a good thing. An upper chamber consisting of yet more party hacks would not be a positive development.
This could describe Canada's Senate. The upper house is indeed supposed to be a chamber of 'sober second thought' made up of individuals at arm's length from the government of the day. Unfortunately, it has too often been a gathering of party hacks. That's why I share Yith's dismay at the removal of most of the hereditary peers from the House of Lords in 1999. I realise the hereditary aspect is problematic in our society but at least the hereditary peers weren't beholden to the government of the day. I gather most of the Lords Temporal are now life peers. That makes them more or less the equivalent of Canadian Senators but with ermine-trimmed robes.
 

Victory

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@drwu @krestnopoi

The core members of The Royal Family receive public funding, and live in historic palaces.
They receive police protection.

But they do not simply sit back and shoot grouse.

The Queen, Prince Charles, William and Katherine...they actually work hard.
They work with a lot of charities and go to a lot of events, draw attention to issues of public concern, and the male members of the family by and large serve some time in the military.
They speak out about matters of public concern, they urge tolerance, and in the case of the National Gallery extension, made sure it did not end up looking like a mess.

The are not the freeloaders their opponents might want to portray them as.

A problem does exist though with those termed "Minor Royals."
Prince Andrew is probably the most "major" of the Minor Royals...being a son of the Queen makes him high profile...and he has done military service and worked for the country drumming up trade with emerging economies.

But he also plays a lot of golf and clearly had time on his hands to visit a very questionable man which has now drawn him into disrepute.

Going forward, lessons learned will see the Royal Family substantially stripped down to Prince Charles and William's families, with various Princes and Dukes still helping charities, but having a much lower profile.
 

Krepostnoi

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Many people don't seem to be able to separate the role of the institution from those who represent it. The smooth functioning of our parliamentary system of government is not adversely affected by the questionable behaviour of various members of the royal family.
Interesting. The other side of that coin, of course, is whether or not people would be so sanguine about the institution had QE2 not been so diligent about creating and performing in accordance with a popular vision of what a monarch should be. Should she be seen as an exception to the rule?
 

Yithian

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I know I'm just a Yank but...it seems that in this day and age no one , even the British people, would still be ok with this system where these people , due to an ancient birthline ,get a free ride and much much more while so many have so little.
How is that a good thing in the 21st century?
I'm even upset with my own elected officials in the US in that I believe they are way overpaid (and too many perks) for the crappy jobs they do.
It was never meant to be this way from the Founding Fathers day.
None of this bothers me in the slightest as it affects my own happiness not a jot. It's sometimes hard to distinguish calls for fairness from pangs of jealousy. Personally, I'm far, far more concerned about our lives actually being controlled by multinational corporations more powerful than any current monarch and most governments--they are not constrained by precedent nor constitutional convention and their only duty is to shareholders alone.

More to the point, why do you think the 21st century is so special? Or, indeed, the 18th? There is a tendency in the west (perhaps in the U.S. in particular) to fetishise the modern era, a tendency that is likely to be viewed as touchingly naïve by future historians.

Try The Whig Interpretation of History by Butterfield; this great upward curve of history all leading ever closer to utopia is nonsense. I don't view a monarchy in the U.K. as any more or less anachronistic than a senate in the U.S. (or an electoral college, or a second amendment!), but, in any case, all these are varied means to the same ends: to govern Man and stave off the predations of the darker aspects of our nature. If it works, it works, and waxing doctrinaire about purity of method is a waste of time and effort. If there is any kind of broad incline across the centuries, it will inhere in the general rise in the number freed from slavery, saved by medicine and educated to understand their world, not in who in the number of crowns removed.

The British people, now and in the past, are supremely insouciant (even willfully ignorant) about philosophy, theory and ideology (and that served them especially well from 1789 to the present day). They only lumber in (and it's inevitably clumsy owing to inexperience) when they perceive their natural (not 'paper-based') rights, or their security, or their happiness as being under threat. When they break habit to cast glances around at the rest of the world, they usually reflect that their own history has not been so very bad, nor so very bloody, and they'd rather err on the side of caution and not change too much: if it ain't broke, don't fix it; if it does no harm, why meddle?

Forget 1776 and try 476 if you want an incisive example of the typical run of history. I'm afraid--literally afraid--that the U.S.'s place in the sun may turn out to be even shorter that that of the Empire's, so let's enjoy it while it lasts.
 

Yithian

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To what extent can the Royal Family take credit for any of that, though? Surely there were/are other social, economic and political factors that were much more influential? It would be just as easy to claim that these things happened despite this feudal relic, rather than because of it.

I'm sort of with you when it comes to the House of Lords, although not the hereditary aspect. But a body of semi-independent individuals with, as you say, depth and breadth of expertise, acting as a brake on the wilder excesses of the executive can only be a good thing. An upper chamber consisting of yet more party hacks would not be a positive development.

In a way, that's the only argument I can muster in favour of keeping a monarch - it's better than President Blair/Johnson/[insert political bete noire here]. Frankly, though, I'd rather replace them with a random individual chosen by the lottery draw: once a year, if your six numbers come up, you only get the money if you agree to be head of state for a year. All expenses paid, naturally. Oh, and if the harvest fails, you get sacrificed.
No time to give this the reply it deserves.

Hopefully later.
 

maximus otter

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In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, "I don't see the use of this; let us clear it away." To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: "If you don't see the use of it, I certainly won't let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it."

This paradox rests on the most elementary common sense. The gate or fence did not grow there. It was not set up by somnambulists who built it in their sleep. It is highly improbable that it was put there by escaped lunatics who were for some reason loose in the street. Some person had some reason for thinking it would be a good thing for somebody. And until we know what the reason was, we really cannot judge whether the reason was reasonable. It is extremely probable that we have overlooked some whole aspect of the question, if something set up by human beings like ourselves seems to be entirely meaningless and mysterious.


There are reformers who get over this difficulty by assuming that all their fathers were fools; but if that be so, we can only say that folly appears to be a hereditary disease. But the truth is that nobody has any business to destroy a social institution until he has really seen it as an historical institution. If he knows how it arose, and what purposes it was supposed to serve, he may really be able to say that they were bad purposes, that they have since become bad purposes, or that they are purposes which are no longer served. But if he simply stares at the thing as a senseless monstrosity that has somehow sprung up in his path, it is he and not the traditionalist who is suffering from an illusion.”


G. K. Chesterton

maximus otter
 

INT21

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Meaning what , exactly....?

;)
Simply meaning that our very long history has had kings and queens throughout.

We are a nation formed, quite literally, from the results of many battles between these people. And it leaves us in the position we are now. One Monarch to rule all.

Even if the actual ruling is done by other bodies.

INT21.
 

GingerTabby

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Interesting. The other side of that coin, of course, is whether or not people would be so sanguine about the institution had QE2 not been so diligent about creating and performing in accordance with a popular vision of what a monarch should be. Should she be seen as an exception to the rule?
Good point. Yes, I would say that the Queen is indeed the exception. I should have stated in my earlier post that the only member of the royal family whose conduct does matter is the monarch. The public's perception of her is more important than their opinions of other members. I agree that the Queen has performed her role in keeping with public expectations. Public opinion about the institution would likely be quite different if she had not been so careful. I'm concerned that Prince Charles may not be so diligent. He has occasionally demonstrated a worrying tendency to overstep boundaries, e.g. writing letters to cabinet ministers, and he should know better since he has been groomed for his role since birth.

Going forward, the slimmed down approach to the royal family's official duties, which Victory mentioned, may be the best way to maintain favour with the public. Keeping the focus on those in the direct line of succession would be wise. Any bad behaviour by the peripheral members of the family would be less damaging in terms of public relations since they would have no official role or a very limited one, depending on the individual.
 

Victory

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So what? Plenty of other people do exactly that.
So everything.

They perform a function, work hard, and get paid for it.
But plenty of people do not do exactly what the Royal Family do, or live in the same goldfish bowl.
And most people would flounder if they tried.

They are not freeloaders, and as someone born in a country where a heriditary monarchy has existed for over 1000 years I see nothing strange or unjust in it still existing.
 

dr wu

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The British people, now and in the past, are supremely insouciant (even willfully ignorant) about philosophy, theory and ideology (and that served them especially well from 1789 to the present day). They only lumber in (and it's inevitably clumsy owing to inexperience) when they perceive their natural (not 'paper-based') rights, or their security, or their happiness as being under threat. When they break habit to cast glances around at the rest of the world, they usually reflect that their own history has not been so very bad, nor so very bloody, and they'd rather err on the side of caution and not change too much: if it ain't broke, don't fix it; if it does no harm, why meddle?

.
I guess that kind of says it all....'.if it ain't broke, don't fix it'.
But it's also ...sad, imho, since people usually say that when they aren't particularly fond of something yet don't have anything else to say.
;)
 

dr wu

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Simply meaning that our very long history has had kings and queens throughout.

We are a nation formed, quite literally, from the results of many battles between these people. And it leaves us in the position we are now. One Monarch to rule all.

Even if the actual ruling is done by other bodies.

INT21.
So.....because a thing has always been a certain way means that it shouldn't be changed or that their might not be a fairer or better way..?
:thought:
 
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