Great Britain To Junk Monarchy, Become Republic?

All the love for the late Princes Di aside (and those handsome sons of hers), are the people of Britain ready to put the House of Windsor in the museum, and become a republic? I would say that the pomp and pageantry has becopme outdated, and now that Britain is a multiracial culture, attachements to the royals is going to fade away pretty quickly…by the middle of this century, most Britons will probably not care.
So, would most British people opt for replacing the monarchy with a republic? Or will there still be a monarchy? :cool:

I do not see it happening. The present form of government is not a major source of problems and so the ancient maxim “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” applies.

The danger is not in the Monarchy, that is the ‘Devil we know.’ The danger lies with the ‘Devil we don’t know.’

Anyone want to see a form of government that would have made Margaret Thatcher Chief of State? (or for that matter, Jim Callingham)?

In a modern parliamentary democracy, the head of state itself is rather outdated, whether it is a president, king, emperor, pope, council of seven (Switzerland), president + bishop + 3 princes (Andorra) or two “captains” (San Marino). The Queen is the head of state of 16 countries, not just the UK.

There seems no reason to change the head of state into something other than a monarch, given that the UK is no less democratic than presidential democracies. And if it brings in the tourist revenue from the Americans and Japanese, why, let us leave the inbred old German woman in the palace, and simply strip her of all possessions and simply provide her (or her replacement, decided by vote if necessary) with a luxurious lifestyle.

The monarchy is good for tourism. Until that stops being the case, I doubt the monarchy is going anywhere.

Why get rid of the thing Britain is probably most famous for? And besides, just because Britain is multicultural as you put it, doesn’t mean there would be lessening support for the crown, otherwise, why’s Canada and Jamaica got the Queen still as head of state?

Ain’t never gonna happen. Most of us are in favour of the monarchy (and even tyhe most ardent republicans tend to have a large measure of personal respect for our current Queen).

It’s part of being British, just like rain, good beer and crappy pizza. Still mustn’t grumble.

There’s a tendancy amongst all people to treat the head of state with a sort of reverence and patriotism not so much because of who they are or what they’ve done, but just because they are a symbol of the state. In the US, where the head of state is also the chief executive, it leaves some of us rather conflicted. You hear things about “not criticising the president” or “talking bad about the prez overseas” because he’s not only the guy responsible for the day-to-day running of the gov’t (which citizens of a democracy should feel free to critisize), but also a symbol of the US itself.

So to me seperating the office of the chief executive from the ritual and pagentry of the head of state seems like a good thing. If nothing else, one would think that it would leave the PM with fewer duties, and I would think it would leave people to be more free to be critical of thier gov’t. I suppose our brit/japanese/etc. dopers can tell me if this is indeed the case.

I understand that the cost of supporting the monarchy (with all the attendants, palaces, castles, etc.) is far, far offset by the amount of tourism it generates in return.

Think about it. If you were to visit England, what would be some of the places you’d visit? Probably a whole bunch of castles and palaces. Now change that to France, and your answer changes. Some think that this is because England still has a viable, working monarchy.

Now, if they were going to cut the monarchy back a bit to be like the monarchy in Spain or the Netherlands, that would be a different matter. I think they’d get an even better return on their money if they got rid of all the dukes and duchesses, and princes four times removed.

To sneak in a GQ, how much does all that cost. I presume that the royal family actually owns some of those castles, palaces, jewels, etc. Does the british gov’t actually own bukingham, windsor, and the crown jewels or does Elizibeth II? How much money does the state pay the royal family?

I’m sure you can google for some current figures, but the situation is a little complicated: the Queen owns a good deal of land, property etc (and I mean a lot), but some time in the past (I think around the time of George III) an agreement was reached where parliament would pay the royal family an annual amount, in return for the revenue from these properties.

I believe that the revenue (or possibly the potential revenue) is greater than the amount that is payed for the upkeep of the royal family (and these days it really is just the immediate family who get a share – no princes four times removed – in fact I’m not sure if Charles even receives anything from the civil list, having the income from the Duchy of Cornwall etc to live on). So it could be argued that removing the Queen from her position as head of state could cost the country money, since she would likely say, “OK, I’ll just have all the revenues from my own property back, thanks very much”.

On the other hand, estimating the Queen’s personal wealth is a bit tricky, since she apparently considers that much of what she has is not hers in her own right as a private person, but is hers as head of state, and therefore merely held in trust for the country.

As things stand, this is all well and good – Elizabeth Windsor is also Elizabeth II, Queen of England, Scotland (etc) so the question of in what capacity she has possession of any particular item doesn’t arise – but if it ever came to the point of liquidating the assets of UK Monarchy plc, I can imagine there’d be a good deal of arguing over who owned what.

I see a figurehead of state being much more valuable than a head of state. A figurehead of state does the visual diplomatic action of going places and being seen, whilst the state is run by a government of people who are allowed to be seen to be in conflict with one another over various issues.
This is much better IMHO than the American system where the figurehead is also the head of state, and as such an attack against the qualities and actions of the head of state is often mistaken as an attack against the qualities of the state itself.
I would like to see the Royal Family completely removed from all aspects of Parliement decisions (even though those decisions have been in effect controled by the parliement for the last x100 years). And to become purely symbolic in such roles as the opening of Parliement, and the appointment of members of the House of Lords. Also the succession rules to be changed to be sexually equivalent, so the eldest heir succeeds despite gender.

There are very significant reasons to have a Head of State who is not Head of Government – without engaging in Bush-bashing, I might point out the strong partisanship of the present U.S. Administration, and the position it puts a loyal Democrat, Libertarian, Green, or Independent in with regard to support of his/her government.

The P.M. can be just as partisan as he (or she) chooses to be, as the extremes of power are withheld from him/her, reposing in the person of someone who may not use them at personal discretion herself, but only on “advice” – which may theoretically be rejected if it is seen as a controversial power-grab. Whether that person is an elderly woman of average intelligence who has been trained to the job from childhood – i.e., the present Queen – or a senior statesman or stateswoman who eschews partisanship – European Presidents and Commonwealth Governors-General – is of little import; arguments can be made for the value of each. What is significant is that ultimate power is kept out of the hands of the partisan political leaders who conduct day-to-day governance, but is there in case of emergency when it might be required, in the hands of someone trained not to use it him/herself but to dole it out sparingly as circumstances require.

Hmmm…actually the answer doesn’t change for France or even for Germany. If I had the opportunity to visit France I’d hit the castles, old Roman forts, a Notre Dame. I would imagine that France gets plenty of tourist dollars out their old buildings. When I was in Germany you can bet your socks that I hit as many castles as I could. Neuschwanstein is one of the most famous palaces in the country and brings in quite a few tourist. At least it did the three times I went.

I don’t buy the claims that the modern royal family brings in the tourist dollars. The Tower of London, Salisbury Hill, Windor Palace, and all their other historical sites would be there without the royal family. Maybe I’m wrong though. Does anyone have any evidence that the modern royal family is a huge revenue generator?

I do buy the claims that they are a symbol of Britian and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.


I see no real reason to remove an entity with litle to no real polical power, just like that. As it has been sais ''if it aint broke, ect." Tossing out royalty wouldn’t do any good. The job of monarchs in modern society seem to be limted to looking good on currency, and other ceromonious things.

Some of us, God forgive us, still thing of her as Elizabeth Baddenberg, descendent of the Wee German Lairdie.

My people still dwell on the Rough Wooing, the Suppression of the Clans and the Highland Clearances, although Grandma celebrate Victoria’s birthday. The Queen can call herself Windsor until she turns blue but she is still a daughter of Hanover.

And – isn’t the UK a parliamentary republic in all but name?

One aspect of the US President combining this dual role that I find a bit worrying (though, again, it’s worked well enough thus far) is the suspension of thinking, reflction and criticism that it can lead to. Up to now, this seems not to have been a problem (if, indeed, such a state of affairs is accepted to exist in the first place). But I do find it odd when people who are one minute mouthing off Bush as a lying and moronic human are the next minute honouring him as the holder of that geat office, the Presidency of the United States of America.

As I have said more than once, I think that both positions are often little more than formulaic, conventionalised, codified stances - shadow boxing, if you like - in a country without the polemical tradition of, say, Great Britain. So long as this doesn’t lead to the abolition of thinking (and there are few signs that it will), I don’t think it’s a bad state of affairs all in all. Again, because it works and does little harm, and involves minimal moral attrition.

Regarding the UK, its monarchy and changing sociocultural and ethnic conditions, it’s often those from different backgrounds who become the biggest fans of a foreign system. So long as they are able to flourish within that system. The monarchy’s as close to a non-issue in Britain as anything can be.

A lot of the nobility in the UK own a large amount of private land, in fact Britain’s wealthiest man the last I checked was a noble and his wealth was primarily in the form of land. So even if these people or families were stripped of their status and their titles they still have huge personal wealth that it would take some serious legal maneuvers and probably in fact some outright unfair theft to remove from them.

Anyways, I think I read once that Queen Elizabeth as Queen is worth over $16bn (crown jewels, et cetera), but Queen Elizabeth the private person has something like $500m in assets that are truly hers.

That’s no longer the case, thought the man you’re thinking of is #2

Yeah, it’s not surprising. When your money is tied up in land it is pretty static, while a guy who seems to have his hand in tons of pots and be a general investor will have more fluctuating funds.

Gerald Grosvenor’s wealth will gradually rise while some enterprising types can probably see theirs skyrocket enormously and then fluctuate greatly.

A good example is Bill Gates, his personal wealth was pushing around 100 bn at one point, but it would vary by several billion per day and now it is much lower. And he really hasn’t lost any tangible assets, just mega-investment fluctuations.

What’s amazing is how wealthy is off of such a small amount of land.

I personally own about 100 acres of forest land and my Grandfather and father own combined around 8,000 acres of land, which I stand to inherit, and when I do I wouldn’t be considered “wealthy” by any common American standards.