Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Saturday, 29 December 2007

You See, It's Called a Hereditary Monarchy

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THE MASSES WANT PRINCE WILLIAM as the next King. If the young Prince has any sense, which I suspect he does, he'd reject the idea as abhorrent. It flies in the face of tradition, of course, but the tradition teaches us also that a violation of the hereditary principle undermines the stability of the monarchy. If monarchy becomes merely a popularity contest then its not a monarchy. This doesn't mean that monarchy may exist practically or rightly with contempt for the popular view, it takes them into account as any public institution should. As a national - and Commonwealth - symbol it must speak to national values and aspirations. Victoria provided the model family for a middle class society, George V the grave eminence of a mature Great Power and George VI projected the image of honest conviction and hard effort required to win the Second World War.

Britain favours Prince William over his father Charles as its next monarch, with widespread approval for William's girlfriend boosting his ratings, a poll shows. More than half of 1,000 people polled said they would prefer the second-in-line to be the next to take the throne. Prince William's popularity is greatest among the younger generation, with 70 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds favouring him as the next king. That is compared to just 47 per cent of 55- to 64-year-olds.

"Prince Charles does seem to have a real image
problem," said former royal correspondent Jennie Bond.

"Even though he is undoubtedly the best-trained heir to the throne we've ever had, the public seem reluctant to accept him as king. The damage to his image caused by the breakdown of his marriage to Diana seems irreparable," Bond said.

"I think it's sad; we should be more forgiving as a nation and accept that Charles is a far wiser head on more experienced shoulders than a boy of 25 who still has much to learn and do."

I suspect much of this apprehension will vanish once Charles, whom rumour has it wanting to style himself George VII, assumes the throne. Being monarch in waiting for sixty plus years is scarcely the easiest of positions to maintain, especially with any dignity. It takes an unusual talent to not embarrass one self after so long in the public gaze, a task only made harder by the nature of the modern media. There is one hopeful sign in this report:
Over all, three-quarters of Britons said they were in favour of retaining the monarchy, but the same percentage questioned whether it delivers value for money and want it to use less of taxpayers' money.
Well, if the NHS delivered the same value for money as the monarchy, British health care would be the envy of the world. It costs the average Briton about a Canadian dollar a year to finance the monarchy. Is there any prominent public institution in modern Britain that is so cheaply run? Don't let the gilded coaches fool you, those were paid for some time ago and get used for state occasions. Unlike Gordon Brown's Jaguars.

7 comments:

Beaverbrook said...

I've been looking for an excuse to use this splendid photo of the heir to the throne, which you have now provided, Kip.

It is of course ridiculous to whimsically attempt to find the most popular person for the job - that's why we have politicians. This reminds me of the "Glorious Revolution" where a small cadre of Whig elites and disgruntled Tories deposed of James II from the throne for no other reason than he was a Catholic. For some, the hereditary principle can be a difficult thing.

By the way, I noticed that Professor David Flint of the ACM linked to your earlier post, and thought your comments well considered. So congratulations.

Here's the link

Viscount Feldon said...

Hopefully by the time that William is the King, he's found an identity for himself that doesn't hinge on who is mother was.

Kipling said...

Thanks Beaverbrook. I like the new picture. As for 1688, I'll have to respectfully disagree with your interpretation, rather than making the point myself I'll let Burke, who strongly belived in the hereditary principle too, do the talking (http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1791burke.html):

"The third head of right, asserted by the pulpit of the Old Jewry, namely, the "right to form a government for ourselves," has, at least, as little countenance from anything done at the Revolution [of 1688- Ed.], either in precedent or principle, as the two first of their claims. The Revolution was made to preserve our ancient, indisputable laws and liberties, and that ancient constitution of government which is our only security for law and liberty."

Beaverbrook said...

I'm not a Jacobite so I happily concede the tide of progress that brought about constitutional monarchy from its absolutist predecessor. But. 1688 was a coup d'etat that forcibly removed a non tyrannical monarch as a result of the anti-Catholic sentiment of the times, a King whose great crime was to grant freedom to non-Anglicans throughout England. It was a divided parliament that moved against James II, not the English masses rising up as was the case with the absolutist Charles I. As for English liberty, I suppose it depends on what side of the fence you were sitting on. Catholics were persecuted for their religion for the next 100 or so years as a result. But the revolution did give us the beginnings of parliamentary democracy and gave us a mechanism to freely choose and dispose of our governments.

Aeneas the Younger said...

Roman Catholics may have been socially persecuted, but they still had their Rights as Englishmen. That is the one of the legacies of 1688.

No nation has tolerated minorities better and with greater equanimity than has England. To this day.

That is one of the centrally great things about "English liberty."

You could try and deny or refute this, but you can't.

I think the Prince of Wales will be a tremendous King - but given the genetic inheritance of Her Majesty, he is likely to be a very old King.

Beaverbrook said...

Tell me you are not a monarchist when you look at this portrait photo. The garb and pomp is enough to burn any unceremonious republican with giant dollops of envy.

Kipling said...

It is a beautiful photo. To be honest I've always thought that no one looked better in official robes than Louis Mountbatten. Curzon may have been the best Viceroy India ever had but no one looked the part better that Mountbatten.