The history of the monarchy of Great Britain has roots from the distant history. Since the inception of monarchy of Great Britain, it has endured many changes. According to Hunt (2011, 167) the monarchy has influenced to structure national identity, moral sensibility, foreign policy and political system. It has survived the test of time during the centuries. The UK is a constitutional and hereditary monarchy. The current sovereign is Queen Elizabeth II. It is important to evaluate the roles of the current monarchy of the United Kingdom because if Britain would have new monarch, the fate of it could be the same or another.
Although the monarchy has many roles, this essay will investigate three main roles of the monarchy of the United Kingdom: serving to society, to be responsible for Parliament, and demonstrate spiritual leadership through attendance at religious services and public exhortation. This essay will attempt to analyze the three main roles of the British monarchy and endeavor to extent what fulfills its purpose. The monarchy plays a main role in the life of society and has direct impact on it. People respect or no respect their monarch in varying degrees.
Her presence affects the public and makes the event more authoritative. For instance, she opened the London Olympics. “I declare open the Games of London, celebrating the 30th Olympiad of the modern era” said Queen Elizabeth II. Royal family had a busy schedule at that period. Some members of the royal family had their own duties to perform. One of them attended to start different sport disciplines; others encouraged and supported sportsmen by sitting in the stadium (New York Times, 2012). Also, the Queen holds the opening of new schools and hospitals. However, there is a flip side of the monarch’s serving.
The palace spends a lot of money than government departments do. Therefore, the United Kingdom’s people have high taxes. Public money spends for up keeping the palace, royal visits and for official entertainments. The monarchy spent about $64 million from treasury in 2011 (McAlister 2012). It is the main reason that provokes people to criticize the royal family. It seems like the royal family uses a majority part of income taxes and messes to economic improvement of the UK. Nonetheless, monarchs spend money on charities not only for royal necessity. The monarchy of Britain shows moderate fulfilling of the role.
A lot of effort and money is spent to maintain the quality of life of the people. On the other hand royal necessity for serving needs a lot of funds. That leads to increasing of taxes. Sovereigns play an important role in the construction of political relations. Theoretically the sovereign has liberty to choose or fire the current Prime-Minister, open and dissolve Parliament, and take part in military actions. Nevertheless, in reality most of them perform by government; however, “royal prerogative” has power to influence elected government (The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited, 2002).
Nonetheless, even if monarchs have power to influence, some of their prerogatives have not been used for about 3 centuries because of the fear that this action can lead the monarchy to the end (Commentary Reflections on Monarchy). Monarchs do not fulfill their purpose in politics because people claim that assigning officials by hereditary system is not allowed because of democracy. Moreover, Hunt (2011, 167) reports that the monarch is the head of 15 countries. Each country has own religion, language, culture, laws, self-determination. All of them separated and bounded by the Queen.
It gives benefits for British monarchy and lets it to rule them flexible and harmoniously. Furthermore, Queen visits other countries to strengthen relations and hosts dinners for foreign leaders. McAllister (2012) reports the Queen had 251 official overseas visits to 128 different countries, and had more than million people in her parties held in her garden. The monarchy fulfills this role slightly. Despite the enormous amount of time spent for international political relations, in their own country do not have a big impact in politics.
Monarchy and religion were closely linked from the deep of history. Due to Bradley (2012) coronations, royal weddings, funerals and national services used to be hold at church. The coronation of the current monarch Elizabeth II took place in 1952 with all the rules that brings essentially spiritual and sacred nature to British monarchy. Including religious symbolism binds church and sovereign; as a result, authority of monarch can be based on the Christian and God. It means that monarch has responsibility to rule wisely, justly and beneficently. Also the Church has benefits like royal protection.
Bradley (ibid) reports that “The pattern of Christian monarchy has three main prongs: civic duty expressed principally through philanthropic and charitable activity; the development of ceremonial and ritual to emphasize the mystical aspects of monarchy; and personal example through private lives, which are supposed to accord to high moral principles and family values”. On the other hand, modern Britain includes not only Christians; also Muslims, Hindus, Jews and people of other faiths. It imposes more responsibility in keeping balance and peace between religions by promotion tolerance, understanding.
The next monarch Prince of Wales (Prince of Wales 2012) plans to hold a multi-faith coronation and be the symbol as Defender of Faith. British monarchy shows worthy fulfilling of the role. Due to the flexible management of cases, the monarchy maintains stability between people of different religion. In conclusion, monarchy brings together multi-cultural Britain by serving them and acting in different areas of social life. Sovereign continues to be part of political system and being the traditional symbol. Religion is key point in developing of monarchy and the main thing that gives authority to it.
In various aspects the monarch fulfills its role in different extent. It does well with religion, badly copes with the policy, but tolerably serves the people. After accession and coronation of Elizabeth II, the political environment and social started to go into new condition. In the long years of ruling the Sovereign suits in depending on the requirements of the time. The next monarch has to do the same to save monarchy and its reputation even if it needs to neglect the core of ideas of monarchy and traditions. Reference List: Bonney, Norman. 2010.
“The Monarchy, the State and Religion: Modernising the Relationships”. The Political Quartely 199. Bradley, Ian. 2012. “Still Sacred? ”. History Today 10. Hunt, Tristram. 2011. “Monarchy in the UK”. Public Policy Research 167. Jones, Dan. 2012. “ More Ancient than Modern”. Today’s History 18. Munson, James. 2012. “ The queen’s diamond jubilee’. 294. New York Time. 2012. “For Royal Family, Busy Schedule at Games”. Last modified July 25. http://www. nytimes. com/2012/07/26/sports/olympics/for-royal-family-busy-schedule-at-olympics. html? _r=0. The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited. 2002. http://www. eiu. com.