“…a constitutional monarchy can be a source of stability and focus for national unity. But as Britain’s Queen has so often demonstrated, that stability stems not just from the constitutional arrangements but the character of the person occupying the throne.” The Times today.
There are many arguments against monarchical systems but this is one of the best. Royal families are like any other family – they have their “Good” their “Bad” and their “Oh My God” members. Britain’s last but one Monarch was certainly in the last category. Only lust and loucheness stopped us entering the war with a declared Nazi supporter as our King.
We can look at our political leaders today and see them as woeful. They are, but we chose them. To have a head of state who is only in the job because of who his or her father was is almost comically anachronistic. Queen Elizabeth has been good – if you must have a Monarch the old girl’s the type you want. But if she’d sadly not survived into adulthood then Margaret Windsor would have been the Queen. Not an appetising prospect. Similarly you would only have needed the fickle finger of fate simultaneously to Have removed Lillibet and her eldest son Charles from us to have given us King Andrew. See what I mean?
Constitutional monarchies are high risk choices as Juan Carlos and before him Edward VIII have showed. Time to choose our leaders surely ? A President of the people chosen by the people and for the people works well for Ireland and Germany and for many other democratic states. If the Spanish follow suit who could blame them. And so should we.
One thought on “The high risk lottery of hereditary heads of state”
My biggest reservation in abolishing our royal family (gradually) is the dread of all the wonderful ‘royal owned’ buildings, and more importantly ‘the real parks’ falling int the hands of the ‘highest bidders’ who we all know, will be non British. The high costs of underwriting the royal family is good value; it includes the upkeep of so many wonderful places which I fear would quickly either disappear or become ‘out of bounds’ in private ownership! There must be a way to make this all work out without blood, sweat and tears?