For those of us who live in a Republic (for example France, United States of America, Germany and Ireland) our Head of State is elected by the People. There is of course a distinction between Presidents who have real political power (France and USA) and those (Germany and Ireland) who have a largely ceremonial office, a unifying symbol of the nation.
I do not think there is a single Republic that would choose to have a hereditary Head of State like Sweden or the “United Kingdom”, even a “constitutional monarchy defies all laws of Modernity.
There is of course a curiousity about Monarchy. It is partly History, Pageantry, Dressing Up, Fairy Tale and Celebrity. And I think Soap Opera.
This is the context of the Big Interview where Oprah Winfrey chatted to “Prince” Harry and Meaghan Markle, They are occasionally the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
In their own way Harry and Meaghan had a constitutional role. In her own way, Oprah has a constitutional role in USA. Mother Confessor. Grief Counsellor. Fairy Godmother to Celebrity. Director of Emotion for USA. Feeling as Oprah does seems to underscore that you are emotionally balanced.
Personally I always think of England’s Royal Family as a long running soap opera. Like Coronation Street…….literally.
It was always easy to think that Larry Hagman and J R Ewing were the same person. And that Linda Gray was S’wellen.
Or if you prefer Coronation Street that socialist Ken Barlow (in the soap from 1960) is actually played by William Roache a big supporter of the unloved and unlamented Margaret Thatcher.
The characters and actors in the Royal soap are interesting.
The Queen…is of course politically neutral. But a look at the actress, Elizabeth Windsor suggests that she is politically conservative. Just one look at her horse racing stables, wealth and tweedy cousinage of Lords and Ladies confirms she is a Tory.
And what of the Duke of Edinburgh. He may wear a kilt but he remains a very unconvincing Scotsman. Not surprising as he was born in Greece to minor German royalty down on his luck. He of course had a good war record in the British navy. But his cousins also had a war record…with the Germans.
Prince Charles loves helping poor youngsters in inner cities. The actor Charles Windsor is a polo-playing aristocrat. He is a bit too old to play the dashing young prince who fornicated his way around the Dominions and the colonies in the 1970s.
Princess Anne…the designated Scot who could not get remarried in an English church as she was in line to be the Head of the Church of England so became a member of the Church of Scotland for a day and is now contractually obliged to sit in the “Royal Box” at Scottish rugby matches and belting out Flower of Scotland which recalls sending Prince Edwards army home to think again.
Pizza loving, non-sweating Duke of York is temporaliy written out of the series. This is due to his unfortunate friendship with guilty and accused paedophiles.
Prince Edward…….what a guy! As you can see from this pic, he is a very brave man. Just look at that impressive medals on his chest.
The actor who plays this hero spent six weeks training to be a “Royal” Marine……and dropped out.
He has largely disappeared from the Royal Family. That happens a lot in soap operas. In Coronation Street, it is a bad sign when a character moves to Southampton. They are never seen again. In Dallas, people were sent to Knots Landing.
Of course all soaps need to renew the format. New characters are tried out.
Remember the English Rose…Diana. The role of Prince Charming has changed over the years. They used to find a princess by trying to fit a shoe on a foot. Charles had the difficult task of finding a virgin in England.
After producing an heir and a spare, Diana was sent to Knots Landing.
And Charlie took up with another woman. A tweedy horsewoman who liked to hunt foxes.
Then there was Fergie. A good old girl. She ended up in Knots Landing also.
Diana and Fergie…it was just bad casting.
Kate… seems a jolly good sort of gal. Good casting.
But hard to see anything at all in Harry. Nowadays nobody mentions the party where he dressed in Nazi uniform (I am not sure if he hired it or if it belonged to a German relative). Either way, he was a bad boy but thru military service became a hero.
And Meaghan …well it seemed like the casting directors had it right but she and her newly emancipated hubby did not learn their lines, follow a script and the producers of the royal farce knew they had made a big mistake.
Of course it is all very 16th century. A court and courtiers at Buckingham Palace and another court and courtiers in California.
Enter Oprah. Enter Piers Morgan. Isn’t that the same Piers Morgan who was had terrible memory loss in the witness box (actually he appeared by satellite from USA) at the Leveson Inquiry into the British press hacking phones etc.
He doesnt like the Sussex royals. He is agonising about the effect that this will have on Elizabeth (94) and hospitalised Phil the Greek (99).
See that is the problem with the Monarchy.
Attack it as an out of date imperialist undemocratic institution and the Queens fans will say that it is an unwarranted attack on an ordinary family with centuries of service.
Attack the relationships with dodgy criminals and the followers will say that it is an unpatriotic attack on the cornerstone institution in the Nation.
Of course, the fall back position of all monarchists is that the Queen, Phil the Greek, Charlie, Camilla (really?), Wills and the rest are good for Tourism. This might well be true. But Mickey Mouse is good for American Tourism and yet he will never be President.
Luckily I am a citizen of another country so I dont have to agonise. Our Irish national anthem speaks of “not “sheltering the despot or the slave”. It is Equality.
Thats the British system…Undemocratic. Unequal. A pyramid of despots and slaves simultaneously looking up and down.
This is TRULY accurate and hilarious!!! As an American the “new” british monarchy is sooooooo boring compared to the “off with her head” ancestors, but taken in historical context the “off with heads” was probably boring 500 yeats ago!!!! I loved the character break downs!!!
Thank you so much for this comment.
Basically the Monarchy only exists cos the English are too lazy to change it.
I reckon 30% of the English love the Monarchy and 30% hate it.
the remaining 40% just like to be entertained.
The Monarchy is also lucky that Mrs Windsor has rarely put a foot wrong in 68 years. But an heir to the throne at 70 is hardly good news as he has a 1950s look to him.
Any hopes that Wills would be young and dashing now look a bit tattered.
Of course Princess Margaret was a notorious old drunk who was elitest.
And the lovable old Queen Mum was overtly racist. If you notice there was never a black “Guardsman” at Buckingham Palace during her lifetime. And she once said black people on horseback would look ridiculous.
I am glad you noticed the 16th century reference as I think rival courts sums it up. But I put this reference for a friend who lives in Illinois in USA and who is very “Tudor”…….hmmm perhaps you know her. 🙂
Still no word on who the Racist member of the Royal family is. It’s between William or Charles. My money would be on William he gave a speech not so long ago on depopulating Africa. Still the Royal Family have always been for population control it fits in with their whole Eugenics Agenda.
I think that “eugenics” is a word that should be mentioned more often in relation to royalty.
They are royalty precisely because their bloodline is different…better…than their subjects.
So people below them in the pyramid are accepting that Elizabeth, Charlie, Wills and George are different.
Presumably the family themselves believe they are unique.
Of course enlightened members of the Windsors….and none have struck me as enlightened….might say that is tradition rather than “race” and the monarchy is a constiturtional convenience which is outdated.
But for the people in the middle or bottom of the pyramid to believe it….then it makes no sense to marry a “commoner”, marry an American or marry a person of colour as it undermines the bloodline.
There is no such thing as a modern monarchy..
Was it AN Wilson who got into trouble for recording a dinner conversation with the late Queen Mother? Another Journalist called her Alf Garnett in a tiara I believe that the same journalist once said that Harry would one day bolt from the Royal Family and he had heard this via Harry’s friends.
We watched a two hour documentary on Diana last night. Mrs FJH had the remote control. Interesting that on the day of Dianas wedding, Mrs FJH were in the early stages of courtship and went by train to Dundalk to get away from it.
A curious coincidence that Wills and Harry are 38 and 36 and our two sons are 37 and 35.
Bizarre how it was all less than 40 years ago and yet it seems longer….the deference, the nonsense. The tweedy cousinage, the courtiers….I didnt know Camillas hubby was the officer in charge of the cavalry on wedding day.
The “royal friends”, the “Firm”, the media, etc
Much has changed.
Much has stayed the same.
If Diana struck an unlikely blow against the monarchy maybe Harry can deliver a second.
The Queen Mum was not as lovable as her image.. And Margaret was worse.
But it is generally believed that the Old Girl did not like black soldiers inside Palace Grounds and I think there was alleged to be a tape confirming that.
Apparently when she died she owed £4 Million to the bank (Coutts I think). It was said at the time if you owe £100 to a bank youre in trouble but if you owe £4 million the bank is in ttouble.
A truly awful person. She was also extremely rude to Buckingham Palace staff. Her sense of her own entitlement ran deep.
I had not thought of the journo Johna Hari in years.
He was rarely off TV and hailed as the greatest young journalist of the day.
But he had a sense of entitlement also. He was sacked from the Independent for plagiarism and also edited wikipedia entries of other journos.
He completely sabotaged his own career.
I think he has moved to the USA. I saw him on Real Time with Bill Maher.