Monarchy Essay, Research Paper

Does the Monarchy have a future? By Jake McNeill For Modern Britain “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown” -William Shakespeare McNeill 2 Do the Windsors have a future as the most popular tourist attraction in Britain, and, oh yeah, as the patron monarchs of Britain? Yes they do. The Royal Family makes a priceless contribution to Britain in many ways. I will discuss some of their major contributions. The Royal Family provides continuity and a stability in an ever-changing unsure society. The Royal Family provides glamour and a face to a dull and sometimes boring and stuffy political arena. The Royal Family also doesn t interfere in politics, but lends tone to it. Most of all, Britain s Royal Family is a guarantee of their national identity, who or what could replace that? First of all, the British have more history on their little finger than any other country that can be thought of, and the monarchy is a living testament to that. In most people s minds the idea of Buckingham Palace brings to mind Shakespeare, Dickens, and Chaucer. The British people have no bill of rights or constitution to rely on, and is thus based on inherited rights and privileges. The monarchy is a large part of British heritage. To abolish the monarchy, although Oliver Cromwell had tried it, would be to really trash the whole system that has been going on for centuries. Some would argue that it is dragging down the nation, but I disagree. They aren t involved in politics directly and still Head of State and Defender of the Faith, because the nation has an official religion. And again I ask, what would they replace it with? The best part of the monarchy is that it lends an element of dash and colour to an otherwise boring political agenda, and most governments are in sore need of it. McNeill 3 Tourists from all over the world flock to Britain just to see the changing of the guard and other Royal activities. I included, have been to England to see all the “Royal Tourist Traps”, as we lovingly refer to them. At any rate, the revenue generated from tourism alone is enough to justify keeping the monarchy. They are the number one tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, as well as the rest of the world. Disbanding them would hurt the United Kingdom as well as outrage tourists. Since the signing of the Magna Carta, the monarchy has been gradually passing down the power of rule. Today the monarch does not take part in day-to-day politics, but chooses to stay neutral. The monarch is not powerless, as is often thought (and is often true in many other countries with monarchies). Here, for example, are things that HRH Elizabeth II or her ministers may do as an exercise of the royal prerogative, without choosing to make themselves accountable to the Commons or to voters (1): 1. Make orders in council 2. Declare war 3. Make peace 4. Sign and ratify treaties 5. Grant pardons 6. Grant charters 7. Confer charters 8. Confer patronage appointments 9. Establish commissions 10. Select and appoint Prime Minister McNeill 4 The list on the opposite page shows that the monarchy is not all glitz and glamour, but does retain some responsibilities, though hardly ever exercised. Realistically, we probably won t ever hear a monarch declare war without first consulting someone, but it can be done within the confines of the British political system. The monarchy is something you do not find in presidential governments. The monarchy is something that a presidential government, like my native United States, could use in some capacity. The Royal Family are the goodwill ambassadors to the world from Britain, and thus perform all the diplomatic ceremonies that

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