The British Monarchy

A monarchy is political system based upon the undivided sovereignty or rule of a single person. The term applies to states in which supreme authority is vested in the monarch, an individual ruler who functions as the head of state and who achieves his position through heredity. Succession usually passes from father to son or follows other arrangements within the family or the monarchical dynasty. In particular, the British monarchy is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom and its overseas territories, which traces its origins back to the 11th century.

With regard to the statement that the British monarchy is an outdated governmental structure that has no place in the modern world, as far as I am concerned, I do not agree with it, because I believe that the British monarchy has its advantages and disadvantages and should not be labeled as outdated in our modern world, because being outdated does not mean that it does not work properly. First of all, if the British monarchy is outdated, then we could deduce that all the other monarchies are equally outdated, not just the British.

If the problem is put whether the British monarchy specifically is outdated, then the inference would be that all the other monarchies are fine, and only aspects of the British monarchy may need addressing. In respect of this particular interpretation, some critics say that a constitutional monarchy is fine, but that it doesn't need to be as grand and expensive as it is. They look at more modestly operated monarchies such as the Dutch one as being a better model. Another argument is that the Royal family should attempt to be more down to earth and make a better connection with their citizens.

Obviously, the Queen is of an age that makes her distant from younger people and William and Kate may have closer connections with the public. Their generation of Royals is only the second that were educated in schools with others (albeit there were very good private schools). To be fair, the Queen's parents gained a great deal of polarity by staying in London during the WWII blitz, having their own palace bombed and making the effort to visit ordinary people who had lost their homes. If I came to discuss the whole idea of monarchy in the modern world as outdated, some critics see the whole idea of monarchy as being anachronistic and that

privilege and state expense should not be given to people based on birthright rather than merit. These critics may also argue that the existence of the monarchy helps continue and justify class division throughout other layers of society and this enforces a lack of social mobility such as "the old boys’ network" where powerful and influential positions are only shared among a few families. Aristotle once wrote: “Monarchy is the one system of government where power is exercised for the good of all. ” Almost 2,500 years later this still bears true.

This year, are celebrated 60 years of Queen Elizabeth being on the throne and, despite some ups and downs, she remains as popular as ever. Time and again, polls show that an overwhelming majority of the country wishes to retain this system. The reason why the oldest form of government is still prevalent is that it is constantly updating to stay relevant. Alternatives are frequently promulgated, only to fall by the wayside. Countries such as Spain and Britain have tried to abolish the monarchical system, only to revert to them a short while later.

Despite the drawbacks of the British monarchy, which can be found in all the political systems, the question is: if the British monarchy is to be abolished, what should replace it? With a presidential system, people have a vote, which is good, but still, I tend to believe that the British monarchy nowadays is more efficient and prosperous than a lot of countries with a presidential system. In addition, to abolish the British monarchy in a time of economic crisis means a lot of expenses which, to be fair, are unnecessary in my point of view.

After all, the Queen, by all accounts, is quite a nice lady who has done her best over the last 60 years to balance privileged inheritance with a strong sense of public duty. She remains hugely popular among working-class communities that have not enjoyed her lifestyle. She brings in a lot of revenue from tourists who flock to see the pomp and ceremony of royal traditions, even though most of them date only from Victorian times. Economically, she is worth more than she costs. There seems to be quite a long list of pros for the British monarchy, not to be mentioned that the United Kingdom was and still is one of the most

powerful countries in the world. To make a comparison between monarch and elected leaders, I think we could all agree that elected heads of state are often concerned more with their own political futures and power. Monarchs are not subject to these influences; however, they know that in the 21st century they are only in power by the will of the people. If they step out of line they can be deposed. A monarch represents centuries of history, where elected politicians often undo the achievements of their predecessors and lay booby traps for their successors.

Monarchs, with their secure tenure, think only of the good of the country. A long-reigning, experienced monarch can put enormous experience at the disposal of transient political leaders. The royal family incorporates a number of trained people who have acquired knowledge and interest, through performing ceremonial and charitable duties. The Queen can never be corrupted, bribed or bullied. While an elected head of state or politician can be tarred with real or alleged corruption, monarchs are generally above this.

The monarchy is particularly relevant in these hard economic times. Contrary to popular opinion, the monarchy doesn’t cost very much at all. The Queen is only the 50th richest person in the United Kingdom, and costs each taxpayer only 69p a year. The prime minister and other parts of the government cost the taxpayer far more. The royal family’s wealth originally came from their ownership and taxation of all the land in England; now the civil list is voted on in Parliament every year. This list basically agrees that the nation will support the Queen and her husband, Prince Philip.

Prince Charles, as Prince of Wales, is supported by the proceeds of agricultural rents in the Duchy of Cornwall. Nevertheless, recent changes have shown how the monarchy is modernizing. The change in the law of succession has long been sought, with at least eleven attempts by MPs in recent years. It signals a marked break with British history, and will change the future of the monarchy forever. It means that if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a daughter before a son, then she will be first in line to inherit the throne, and will remain so even if a subsequent son is born.

This in itself is a monumental change in the British monarchy, which finally brings it into line with the gender equality that is so highly valued in our modern world. The idea of overlooking females for younger and therefore less experienced male heirs is contradictory to the core beliefs in the British society. The marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton combined the tradition of monarchy with the dawning of a new era. They have served as a reminder that there is a new generation of royals, and have proved to be the force of urgency pushing against the drag of inertia.

Kate also followed in the steps of Princess Diana in not vowing to ‘obey’ her husband. This modernization of traditional religious vows reflects a further move towards a more accessible royal family. To draw a conclusion, my point of view is that the monarchy is part of what defines the people living within the United Kingdom as British. It is an instantly recognizable image of this country across the world. The current monarch is approaching her 60th year on the throne. Whilst the Prime Minister and the government are the fundamental machinery of running the country, the monarchy is the face of Britain that is remembered.

To abolish the Royal Family would be to discount centuries of history and tradition. The monarchy is an institution that Britain should be proud to claim. It offers a link with their history and I for one think it would be a royal shame to abandon that. Sources: http://www. totalpolitics. com/opinion/313322/is-our-monarchy-outdated. thtml http://thecourieronline. co. uk/2011/11/is-the-monarchy-still-relevant-in-modern-society/ http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Monarchy_of_the_United_Kingdomю