View Full Version : The Royal Family - Yea or Nay?

Tricky Woo
30th May 2001, 13:08
I don't know about you lot, but I'm bored rotten with the current crop of UK Election-related threads, so I thought I'd post this one, on the off chance that it stirs the pot a bit.

Come on. What do you reckon about Lizzie and the Windsors? (The Queen of England and the Royal Family, to you foreign wallahs and the hard of hearing).

Do you think that Lizzie is gracefulness personified? That the 'Dear Old Queen Mum' (DOQM for short) is simply marvellous considering her age (209 years old next birthday)? That Charles' sticky-out ears and bald head make him look distinguished? Do you think that the tall Greek bloke is a good laugh?

Or do you think that that a guillotine or two at the bottom of Horse Guard's Parade would be a better option?

Let's be having you.

Colonials are welcome to take part in the discussion, seeing as Lizzie's mugshot appears on your stamps and money. Yanks are also welcome, as (a) I could do with the laugh and (b) any money that the Windsors do generate come out of the pockets of Mid-Western tourists.

tony draper
30th May 2001, 13:17
I think a lot of people outside the Uk have the wrong idea about how the majority of us feel about royalty, I think the most don't think about them at all, they are just something that exists. like telephone boxes or double decker buses.
Personelly I couldn't care less whether they are sacked or not.
The thing that's often touted out in discussions like this is how would we like a president Thatcher, or god forbid, Blaire, although Blaire might have a claim to royalty, he can trace his ancestry all the way back to piltdown man.
Why the hell do we need a head of state for anyway.

[This message has been edited by tony draper (edited 30 May 2001).]

ickle black box
30th May 2001, 13:31
A head of state is something for us to look up to, and makes one proud of ones country. What makes Britain special is that we are British. We have a Queen, and Royal Family. Without these, who cares wether we are governed from London or Brussels, it would make no real difference. Britain would lose it's national identity, if we lost the Monarchy.

The Monarchy also provides security for the country. If parliment became corrupt(I know it is now, but I mean really corrupt/become communist) the Monarch has the power to disolve parliment and call a general election. They did this in Australia. The Armed Forces swear allegence to the Crown, not to parliment. Although this power hasn't been used in the UK, it is there, in the background as a stabilising factor incase anything too dramatic is about to occour.

30th May 2001, 13:51
Very very good question.

My answer is Yea.

If you look at it objectively, Monarchy, even a constitutional one, is an seriously outdated and slightly bizarre form of government.

However no-one can doubt the stability, political security and prestige that ours gives us, especially when compared to a lot of the Republics out there (Italy is a good comparison here, without even having to consider Africa).

Personally, I think our Monarchy ain't broke so we don't need to fix it.

If we do ever move to being a republic, and I don't see this happening for a long time, it must be on the Irish non-political figurehead model rather than the US/French executive model. There are too many inherent problems with political executive presidents IMHO.

[This message has been edited by foghorn (edited 30 May 2001).]

30th May 2001, 14:04
Everyone knows that historically the queen is a german, and prince philip is a greek, and no one seems to care.

I have long advocated stringing them up, and dissolving parliament to boot.

If Margaret Thatcher is otherwise engaged, I will happily stand in (and use her as consultant).

You think I'm joking? Not this time.

I do not want to divert the thread, so will hold my tongue on housing benefit, asylum seekers, baby bonds....

Up the revolution! Kill them!!

(And what a wonderful country we live in where we can say .....hang on, I thought I heard at a knock at the front door....

Send Clowns
30th May 2001, 14:11
A head of state outside politics is a great advantage. Lizzie her good self still holds a lot of respect, and Charlie regained a lot of his, curiously much of it with a younger generation because of his environmental opinions. Will of course is just adored by the ladies of any age, and the men want to be sickened at this but he seems so embarrassed by all of it and so respectable that they aren't.

Isn't this much better than having a President Tony? Even a President Thatcher or Ashdown (as leaders of other parties who could have done it)?

'Me here at last on the ground, you in mid air'

tony draper
30th May 2001, 14:17
Have to admit to having a liking for Charlie, anyone who enjoyed the goons, monty python and keeps Jack Russels cant be bad.

30th May 2001, 14:55
A definite YEA!

Apart from the usual lefty rubbish about hereditary royalty, privelege, class, blah blah blah, there is a purely financial argument for keeping the Royal Family.

Whatever comparatively paltry sum the Royals cost us from the Civil List, they bring in literally BILLIONS of pounds from tourists. Take a walk up the Mall on a sunny day and just look at the thousands of Yanks, Japs and countless other nationalities clicking away outside Buck House. While they're here, they also visit museums, galleries, restaurants and countless other attractions, spending bucketfuls of cash. And let's not forget that most of these tourists come to this country on airliners, thus providing employment for countless British aircrew.

The Royals make a lot of money for this country - it's as simple as that, and therefore are a national asset.

30th May 2001, 16:51
Seems to me the answer is easy, those who are for them pay for them the rest have a rebate. Oh, and about the tourists, they visit the Palace when it`s empty !!

Tricky Woo
30th May 2001, 17:05
Interesting... the whole thread seems to have steered towards ER's 'Head of State' responsibilities.


Just how realistic are Lizzie's Head of State responsibilities if they were ever exercised? I know that Tony Blah had to pop over to the Palace for tea and biscuits as a prelude to calling a General Election, but wasn't that a bit of a formality? "Slice of lemon with your Darjeeling, Prime Minister?".

If the Government really cocked up, do you honestly think that Liz would truly have the power to dissolve the Government? Are we talking about our Head of State ordering the armed forces to put tanks onto the streets? Would that happen?

Biggles Flies Undone
30th May 2001, 18:05
Maybe we could try to get this into perspective.

The Royal Family are immensely wealthy.

The Queen & D.O.E. are doing what they do because that is what they were brought up to do. They are continuing a centuries-old tradition.

The civil list payments to the senior Royals are money well spent (even if they don’t need it). The Monarchy is a tremendous boost to our income from tourism.

Charles? I think he is of the same mould, but sometimes I think he has lost the plot a bit.

Anne? Level headed, no bull and I think she does well.

Edward? Better I keep my opinions to myself.

My conclusion: The Royals have moved with the times, which means that the current crop are nowhere as solid as the old hands. Certainly, cut the civil list to the bone and get rid of the lesser Royals and, for goodness’ sake, stop giving airhead Sloanes a title that they then debase.

Tricky Woo
30th May 2001, 18:24

Thanks for the geneology lesson. He'll still be Stavros to the rest of us, though.


30th May 2001, 18:39

The civil list pays for the Queen, Queen Mother and the Duke of Edinburgh, not much room for cutbacks there!

30th May 2001, 18:46
The civil list pays for the Queen, Queen Mother and the Duke of Edinburgh, not much room for cutbacks there!

Good god, think of all the Gin... ;)

30th May 2001, 19:34
I'm never quite sure where the idea of the Queen being german came from. 50% of her is Bowes-Lyons, and that family doesn't have a drop of german blood in it.

30th May 2001, 19:41
Shouldn't we differentiate between the 'Monarchy' or 'Crown' as an institution and the current 'royal family' who are part of that, but not the reason for it.

Our Monarchy is the oldest institution of government, existing for centuries; long before Parliament. The single break in the last several hundred years was when the country was a republic between 1649 and 1660.

So we should decide whether we want the Monarchy to continue, not whether we still want this Queen, or that Prince. All too often the two issues are confused, and because certain members of the royal family, or surrounding Court are unpopular there is a call for the Monarchy to be abolished. It happens periodically, but subsides with a new and more popular incumbent to the position. Look back and see how many times dynasties have changed, either because we threw out the existing King or there was no heir.

There have been Kings and Queens in England and Britain since 802 (with one exception, which since it was so quickly rectified evidently did not suit the British), should we lightly toss away something that old, that has stood the test of time.

Would you trust someone like Gordon Brown, Tony Blair or the Treasury to keep in the Nation's interest the various palaces, houses, contents, jewellery and other national treasures, if they needed to raise billions for some spending spree. I wouldn't - they've not shown too good a stewardship of other historic items.

If we need a Head of State, and I think we should have one who is above party politics, then a Monarch is just as good as any. Would the US version suit us, or the French or German models, would we suddenly have more elections every few years, or would this also be in the 'Gift' of the Prime Minister. What would be done with the existing Crown lands, property etc and how would the Government decide which was state and which personal effects.

Anachronistic maybe, but also an oasis of stability in a changing world.

As for the Queen's german blood, it came from her ancestor Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg, and Princess Mary of Teck; equally she has Danish and Scottish blood. As well as this, the Georges were German original – starting with George 1 rumoured not to speak a word of English when he came to the throne.

The current Queen can trace her lineage back on a convoluted route, but nevertheless fairly easily to Anglo Saxon Kings, so has more than a fair share of mixed blood.

However, how many generations have to be born on English soil before they are considered to be native.

[This message has been edited by Velvet (edited 30 May 2001).]

Ed Winchester
30th May 2001, 21:00
A hearty and resounding YEA!

I am proud to hold a QUEEN'S commission in the ROYAL Air Force. I would have to think twice about holding El Presidente's commission in the Republican Air Force of Europe (Annex A).

As Velv so rightly says, just because some of our present Royals are not the most popular, it does not mean we should, or have the right to, can the whole grand and ancient system.

They are the ultimate ambassadors (and yes, El Greco could do with some tact/diplomacy lessons) for our country, and are hugely popular worldwide. Unfortunately, the gutter press of the moment seem to take great pleasure in trying to make a mockery of them.

30th May 2001, 21:36
A glorious anachronism! Long may it continue, it`s part of that which makes us British. It completely baffles the more logical foreigner and makes the rest jealous.

Paradoxically, I`m probably anti monarchy.

Norfolk and airspeed
30th May 2001, 22:07
So long as H.R.H. The Prince of Wales stays out of the flightdeck... http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/eek.gif

(He did a downwind landing at Islay airport in 1994 in a BAe 146 and not surprisingly ran out of runway. Bump!)

Tartan Gannet
31st May 2001, 02:03
On balance I plump for a King or Queen rather than a President, either Executive as in the USA or Figurehead as in the Irish Republic. Just think President Blair or Thatcher or worse still a suffed shirt like President Dobson or Prescott or, before his fall from grace, President Archer?

I would however like to see it scaled down to the type of monarchy as in Holland or the Scandinavian Countries and the rule of primogeniture abolished. Princess Anne would make a far better Queen than Charles or any of the other Princes.

Tricky Woo
31st May 2001, 03:10
Interesting... so far the discussion is looking more 'for' than 'against'.

The guillotine is getting rusty. Aren't there any Republicans out there? What about the Cousins... no opinions? And the Aussies... after all, she's your Queen as well.

Ed Winchester
31st May 2001, 04:47

I'm not sure, but I think treason is still punishable by death. Mind how you go!

31st May 2001, 04:54
From a colonial point of view, I think you should keep the Monarchy. All the reasons mentioned above are quite valid, especially those of history, tradition and stability.

As for personalities, I think H.M. has maintained the dignity of Her office through some trying times over the course of her reign. From an outsider's point of view, I think she owes it to her subjects to be more approachable. A smile every once in a while wouldn't hurt too much. And her mug on our money is a far sight better than any of a list of politicians we've endured over here during the last 35 years who have done their best to re-formulate Canada away from it's mostly British origins and traditions.

Prince Philip always seemed a bit of a rogue, in a down-to-earth sort of way. IMHO there is validity in his recent critical comments about the Prince of Wales, who I regard as no more than a stuffed shirt...all shell with little substance. His treatment of Lady Di during the course of their 'arranged' marriage was appalling. Maintaining a relationship with a then married woman, and continuing it now after her divorce, and expecting general acceptance displays a lack of understanding for the dignity of the high office that his mother, and those who have gone before, upholds so professionally. Every time I see him in the news, I see an image of a privileged prat, who has never held a job of his own, and unfit for the job of someday being King. You may agree or disagree, but that's the way I see it. When the time comes, I am one of those who would like to see tradition skip a generation and have the Crown passed to his and Diana's eldest son, who appears to have more personality and humility that the job will require in a changing world.

As for the Queen mom, she's a darling. Who will ever forget the leadership that she and her husband, the King, displayed during those dark days of WW2 when Britain was on her knees. I hope that if I ever get to be looking back at a century, that I'll be as spry and as with-it as she seems to be.

Mr Creosote
31st May 2001, 06:12
As most of you probably know, we had a vote not long ago in Australia to decide whether to adopt a certain republican model of constitution. This model basically was to replace the current Queen's representative (the Governer General) with another non-political Australian head of state - the President. This President was to be appointed by both sides of the house - a strategy which, although bi-partisan, lead to the downfall of the model because the detractors said the resulting President would be a stooge of the politicians (even though they currently appoint the GG !)
The general feeling (though some may disagree) was that the population would however have accepted a model where the President was popularly elected, because the pollies couldn't be trusted to appoint someone who would adequately represent the ordinary people of Australia. The irony is that this election process would result in the President being a politician himself - like the French system - with the possibility of the President being from a different party to the Government.
Whether the UK keeps the Royals for themselves I don't really care (even though I was born there), but Australia could really do with a representative that has no other allegences - especially when trying to foster trade with nations where we would be in competition with the UK.
As to the family themselves, Diana at least seems to have increased the depth of the gene-pool - unlike their uncles there seems to be some hope for William and Harry!

[This message has been edited by Mr Creosote (edited 31 May 2001).]

31st May 2001, 07:16
Just a quick reminder that merely "imagining" the death of the Sovereign is high treason and still carries the death penalty. Unusually the method is prescribed in the statute and yes, it IS beheading!

I say, isn't having a monarchy such fun? Johnny foreigner has to make do with wimpy little presidents (Or sometimes in the case of Abdul el-Foreigner, not so wimpy little presidents but that's another story.) We get a little old lady in an oversized gown and funny hat, a gin swigging granny who chain smokes Senior Service, and a barmy old geezer who wanders around the world putting his foot in his mouth and providing a job for the Foreign Secretary. Six foot guardsmen march around the front of their house all dressed up for the Battle of Waterloo while cavalrymen practice for the next Charge of the Light Brigade at the other end of their front street.

I love it. It defines us, its what being British is all about. But don't any of you Johnny Foreigners imagine for a moment that we British take any of it seriously. Step on our toes and we ALWAYS fight! So watch it.

To misquote our half American hero Sir Winston "It's the worst of all systems - except for the rest"

Long Live The Queen!!

Through difficulties to the cinema

Tricky Woo
31st May 2001, 17:02
Treason or not, Ma'am is most definitely going to snuff it one day (*). Just imagine this scenario:

Liz suddenly drops dead during a Garden Party (*) having choked (*) on an hors d'oeuvre. After her funeral (*), all the relative are standing around scoffing ham butties, snorting sherry and waiting to see who gets what (*).

The Lord Chamberlain begins to read out Lizzie's Last Will and Testament (*). Everybody feels a chill as his hoarse voice accurately evokes every nuance of the words of the deceased Queen (*):

"To One's darling Philip, One's loyal and devoted husband for so many years, One leaves One's Maid of Honour, the entire female staff at Windsor Castle, and all of those charming young ladies of the Royal Ballet". Stavros looks downcast for a moment 'cos he shagged 'em all years ago, then brightens up considerably when he remembers that he never did get to nail Darcy Bussell.

"To One's daughter, Anne, One is duty bound to leave bugger all because she's only a girl". Anne bows her head in acceptance, acknowledging that such traditional values are the cornerstone of the Throne. "However, as One's daughter is the only member of the Family who isn't a basket case, One feels, in this case, to make a special gesture, so Anne has permission to put the vac round Buckingham Palace, from time to time". Everyone present is charmed by the gratitude in Anne's eyes.

"To One's sister, Margaret, I leave the keys to the wine cellar, fifty crates of gin, twenty gallons of meths and a gag". Maggie goes into a blind panic as she knows that'll only last her a few days. With practiced ease, she surreptitiously hides a decanter of sherry behind the sofa.

"To One's Son, Edward, One leaves the exact location of the secret peephole into the Guards officers showers, a pair of gols earrings, plus the contents of One's wardrobe, so that he may amusingly dress himself in mummy's underwear whenever he wishes". Little Ted is so overwealmed with gratitude that he flings his My Little Pony into the air. He then collects himself, picks up the My Little Pony and carefully combs it's mane and tail.

"To One's other son, Whatsisname, One leaves a trust fund guranteeing 1,000,000 per year in perpetuity, as long as he continues to keep his f**king name out of the papers". Andy Pandy tries to work out how much that works out per week. After several minutes, he finally runs out of fingers and toes to count on. Enough, he reckons.

"Finally, to One's eldest son, Charles, Prince of Wales, who has faithfully and patiently waited for his ascession for many, many years, One commands that he sits down, because One has a bit of bad news for him. He is not destined to become the King of England after all". Big Ears raises his head to the ceiling and cries "What was it, Mumsy? Was it the 'I want to be your tampon' thing? Or chucking gorgeous, pouting Diana against your wishes? Or perhaps for making a mockery of the House of Windsor with my soppy views on the environment? Why, Mummy, WHY?"

The Lord Chamberlain looks up, sees the despair in Charles' eyes and says, comfortingly: "Actually, it says here that she thinks that you're a bit of a **** ('front bottom')".


(All acts of treason have been marked with an '*' for clarity. If anyone wants me, I'll be in the Tower).

31st May 2001, 18:30
Perfect Tricky xxxxx

I'll bring you a file if they lock you up

Send Clowns
31st May 2001, 20:35
Hey, Blacksheep, our current foreign sectretary has distinguished himself by causing rather more offense abroad than Phil the Greek's rather tame comments (I can't see a nation who call westerners 'round-eyes' being offended by comments on 'slitty eyes'!) Maybe we should send Phil round to clear up Robin's mess?

'Me here at last on the ground, you in mid air'

1st Jun 2001, 20:45
So far TW the thread has seemed rather more pro than con, which would seem to answer your question. The one dissenter has since been ruthlessly weeded out and his head is on a spike on traitors gate as we speak.
My Holy Aunt the thought of the likes of Dentafice Blair, Punchy Prescot,PM in waiting Brown, Cringing Cook and the other rabble that presently lead this country being our only representatives should be enough to give all good citizens of this fair land a pause for thought, and cry God save our Queen

2nd Jun 2001, 22:58
privatise them

Tartan Gannet
3rd Jun 2001, 03:04
I watched King Harald of Norway on the TV during the visit by our own Queen to that country and was struck by the contrast in attitude to the people by the Monarch. I could imagine buying King Harald a pint of lager in the local and having a chat with him! Apart from the great State Occassions such as the Opening of Parliament, the Trooping of the Colour and of course the Coronation itself when that next occurs, I feel we ought to have Monarchy on the Scandinavian model.

I do agree that the idea of some political crawler as President, even if only a figurehead, is enough to provoke vomiting. Imagine, President Prescott, President Dobson, President Norman Fowler, President Roy Jenkins, YEUCH! http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif

5th Jun 2001, 00:12
Erm... who exactly *are* they ? When you look at the lineage going back thousands of years, they are probably just obscure decendants of some village chief (who probably got the job by murdering all the other candidates !). I have never understood the reverence thing... I mean, where do royalists actually think they come from ? Anyway, cousins marrying and all that - anyone remember the fundamentals of evolution ? ...IQ's down the toilet, genetic weaknesses etc...

I have no desire to string them up or anything that extreme, after all, they know nothing else - it's not their fault they were born with a diamond and ruby encrusted platinum spoon in their mouths ! - I *do* think however, that they should be abolished, the immense wealth they have could make a huge dent in third world famine, or any number of other desperate causes.

I advocate making them all get jobs and earn their living like the rest of us...

Imagine the HRH queue in the jobcentre....
"we have a vacancy for a plumber your highness" "splendid - erm.. and what exactly is one of those ?"

However, in reality, they are certain to stay - so all I have to say is 'Oy - Liz, give it up & let your boy have a go !'

5th Jun 2001, 01:18
Well who are any of us when it comes to that, doubt any of our ancestors would have exactly clean hands - mine were certainly involved in rape, pillage and a touch of cattle stealing across the borders (from Scotland that is).

It isn't a question of reverence, just that for most of us the alternative is not an option.

As for distributing the wealth - exactly who would you trust to do that - the corrupt rulers of the third world - it wouldn't make even a dent because it would all be diverted into the same coffers that the existing billions are poured.

What would be a better idea is to empty all the bank accounts of all third world rulers and use that to make a huge dent in the debt and all the other desperate causes that mostly have been caused by wars, bad management, ignorance and corrupt rulers.

5th Jun 2001, 01:23
Amen to that, Velvet - let's start with Robert Mugabe for one...

While we're about it, can we please write off third world debt, so they can stop spending everything we give in 3rd. World Aid in paying off their national debts to us?

5th Jun 2001, 02:30
Peter Mandleson for Prince Regent, after all, he’s the biggest queen around. After Lenox Lewis, of course.

5th Jun 2001, 03:45
Sponsore them. just imagine, charlie and camilla's big day, on the balcony of buckingham palace (adored in neon lights advertising everything from coca-cola to mcdonalds - even harrods). there's old queenie in her nike crown. as the crowed cheer (or perhaps jeer) she mechanically waves and slowly reveals a packet of cheerios from beneath her m&s gown

5th Jun 2001, 10:06
I'd like to keep my head of state (Q Eliz II of NZ) but put my bloody PM's head on a spike outside a casle gate.

Tartan Gannet
5th Jun 2001, 16:57
Cribble I agree, a full hang drawing and quartering for Phoney Tony would gladden my heart, (first of all however Mr John Reid Ulster Secretary and MP for Hamilton North and Bellshill would mount the scaffold before his leader!)

At the risk of skewing the import of this Thread, or heaven forbid "hikacking" it, I cannot see that writing off third world debt can be anything but a pious but totally impractical wish. Banks loan money on the basis of repayment on a set schedule of both interest and capital and thus can loan to further individuals and organisations and pay interest to savers. If the repayments from third world countries do not arrive then I could see a serious liquidity problem arising . No finance to loan, loss of jobs etc in Northern Hemisphere countries, less tax revenue, no spare cash for Overseas Aid. Its a bit like Nike etc being forced to pay European wages to those who make the trainers. It would no longer be economical so they would have them made nearer their market in Europe or the USA if they had to pay their overseas workers the same rate. Result, these families would lose what to them is a good income in relative terms. Net result a "lose-lose" situation. There is not a simple answer to such problems Im afraid, much as many might wish there to be. http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/frown.gif

[This message has been edited by Tartan Gannet (edited 05 June 2001).]

Tricky Woo
5th Jun 2001, 17:17
I find it ironic that the calls to dissolve The Royal Family's assets which could then be used to repay Third World Debt are pooh-poohed on the grounds that some Banana Republic El Presidenti would simply nick the dosh. True enough...

Hmm, I wonder how our blue bloods got their money mountain in the first place? Clever investments on the stock market? Hard work in the office? Part time newspaper rounds? I think not.

5th Jun 2001, 19:59
No Tricky, I'm saying that the debts could be probably be more effectively paid off if we used the money corruptly obtained by the current officials and rulers of the third world. Instead of allowing them to use this to feather their nests and have exorbitant bank accounts which they are incapable of spending even in 100 lifetimes.

Billions is languishing in foreign bank accounts which has been siphoned off from foreign aid, third-world treasuries and corrupt practices. Why should we not use this fraudulently obtained wealth to a) pay off any debts the poverty-striken countries have and b) ensure that it is used in the people's own interest, not that of some gold-plated lifestyle for some petty dictator who has stolen from his people and us (as taxpayers funding foreign aid).

Additionally, would you really trust Tone and Gordon to distribute this fairly to those in need (or fund some more crazy schemes which don't benefit anyone), or just gets dissipated.

5th Jun 2001, 21:53
westerners (sigh) - hard life isn't it?

gul dukat
6th Jun 2001, 00:43
my favourite member of the royle family is Jim .....as for the rest of them !MY AR$E ...or have I misread the thread ?

6th Jun 2001, 18:30
Mmmm, just thinking, if you abolished the lot of them do you think there is scope for turning The Mall into a runway to meet the ever increasing demands of the South East. Buck House would make a pretty good upmarket airport terminal with parking on the grass of Green Park.....


Radar Departure2
7th Jun 2001, 16:41
I think Nepal has got it about right. A Crown Prince forced to ignore his true love for an arranged marriage?

Let 'er rip, Charlie.