The English Royals

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by B_Stronzo, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    As an American citizen I can say I enjoy the phenomenon of watching the English Royal Family from my detached standpoint.

    I'm never quite been sure what the reaction will be when I bring the Windsors up to the British since the opinion of them and the monarchy itself brings such a wide range of response.

    Since we have so many English posters here I'm interested in their feelings (and everyone's) about the propriety of having a monarchy still in place. Is it a detraction to the smooth running of things in Great Britain or an asset to the notion of continuity in the worldwide forum?

    I guess the question here is:

    Does the English Royal family serve a purpose?
     
  2. Hatched69

    Hatched69 Member

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    From my Midwest American point of view, they appear to be nothing more than puppets that are a drain on the UK's economy. Seems to me the money they have could be better used amongst the citizens of England.
    That's just my humble opinion......
     
  3. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    I know that's a popular way of thinking of it Hatched but I think they give the place a tremendous sense of tradition.

    We seem to "elect" Royal families here.

    In the 19th century there were the "robber barons" (Vanderbilts, Astors, Carnegie, etc.) and now some people think of the Kennedys as "American Royalty".

    So it appears there's a need for some sort of titular something for the position in all societies.
     
  4. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    To me Pomp and Ceremony are major factors in the myths surrounding the Royal Family. They do however seem to be using the media to their own end more and more. I also feel that many other countries do Envy and respect our Royals.

    Whilst the cost of keeping the Royal Family is massive this has to be weighed against of the income they generate for the UK. The "draw" they have for foreign tourists and associated income for the UK cannot be readily quantified. Bearing this in mind I think that being pro or anti Royal boils down to personal opinion and politics.

    My personal opinion is that we have a Head of State who is not politically aligned and that is a positive. I also think they are worth a lot more than they cost but as I said before that is diificult to prove.
     
  5. thirteenbyseven

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    The House of Windsor is an odd dichotomy composed of screaming British tabloids and age old tradition; of stiff upper lip in the midst of the latest comedic scandal even while they desperately attempt to hold on to the final dignified strands of an anachronistic peerage. We on this side of the pond are not supposed to notice the uncanny resemblance of young Prince Harry to Major James Hewitt or question why his father is always photographed looking as though a suppository has just been administered. They are simply the beloved dysfunctional Royals.:redface:
     
  6. Hatched69

    Hatched69 Member

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    I agree, but it seems a very expensive way to carry on tradition, especially in this day and age.
    The Kennedy's, the Astor's and so forth all made their money by becoming prominent in their respective fields of work and passed their wealth from generation to generation. Unless I am mistaken, the Royal Family has no specific contibution to society other than ruling England many many years ago. Now they are figureheads, with Parliament doing the deeds of the government. While I recognize their contributions to society on other fronts (Princess Diana's work in land mines, charity work and what-have-you), I would still think there'd be resentment among British citizens for having such expensive traditions solely at the expense of the taxpayers.
     
  7. agnslz

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    I watched the PBS special Windsor Castle: A Royal Year, a while back and remember a man who commented on why the tradition of the British Royal Family was so great. He basically said that England has a history that no other country can match. He took a jab at other 'younger' countries (obviously America) whom he said may be able to build fantastic things and make great innovations, but they (other countries) don't have their (England's) history and traditions to go along with it. I could've taken offense to it - but I didn't! Every person in the world has a right to be proud of their country and its traditions.

    The Monarchy and other traditions (however seemingly outdated to us) still provide something of value to not only UK citizens, but also to people around the world (and here in America as well!) Much of the press on the British Royal Family, occurs in U.S. media. I think our fascination obviously comes from our history as an outpost of the British Empire. We in America created the celebrity culture which it seems most of the Royal Families of the world retain their allure. So, it only seems natural that many Americans are interested in the British Royal Family (since we seem to worship celebrities here.:biggrin1:) I'm sure people who believe in the purity of the Monarchy may be offended by that (celebrity status for Royals), but I don't think it's a bad thing.

    In America we pride ourselves on our own traditions and the power and prestige of our own head-of-state (The President), so I think the British should be equally as proud of their head-of-state (The Monarch), and their 'first family' (the Royal Family!) Most of America's traditions are two hundred or more years old, so the same could be said about them, that I said about the British traditions. All in all, I think the British Royal Family is an important element in the world and think it will go on for at least a hundred more years.

    Also, I believe they no longer are as dependent on the British taxpayers as they've used to be. Actually, I think only a certain number of the extended Royal Family receives ANY sort of things of value (money, homes, security) off the British taxpayers. I think that the Queen even, uses money earned from her 'farms' ("duchies", I believe), to pay for most, if not all, of her personal expenses. I know that even in Britain itself, no major opposition to there even being a Royal Family, has emerged. In fact, I think most Brits are as proud of it, and their traditions, as the man I mentioned earlier. All the better to have those things than not, I think!:smile:
     
  8. DaveyR

    DaveyR Retired Moderator
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    Correct, the monies paid to the Royal Family (the civil list) has been drastically reduced. Prince Charles too generates a lot of his own income from the Duchy of Cornwall.

    The Queen herself voluntarily gave up her right to exemption from income tax a few years back and now pays her dues.
     
  9. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Not surprisingly I agree with my friend Daverock's critique of them above.

    But as for the Kennedys and Astors becoming 'prominent'... well it varies.

    Old Joe Kennedy made his fortune in bootleg alcohol and now we have an Irish American dynasty that some would like to think of as "America's first family". There's no great contribution there.

    Further, the robber barons I cited earlier made their money in a day when their fortunes were not taxed. Subsequent generations, by in large, have not left a very noteworthy legacy.

    To suggest that generations past of the English Royal Family (I cite Elizabeth the first, and Queen Victoria to name but two) as having made no 'specific contribution' is more than a bit off-target from my knowledge of English history.

    And the fact alone the Henry VIII broke with Rome is reason enough for me to laud his praises! (no matter what his horny motivation)

    I'd ask only that some perspective be kept here.

    The Kennedys or the Vanderbilts versus the Tudors, Plantagenets, or the Windsors? The Royal contribution to Western culture wins hands down in my way of thinking.
     
  10. BigPoppaFury

    BigPoppaFury Member

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    The Queen as an independent head of state is laughable, she's entirely void for that purpose no matter what power she's supposed to have. Likewise, the monarchy itself is meaningless and I resent that my tax money goes towards keeping these people in helicopter rides and caviar. The only purpose they serve is to attract tourism, especially from the US where there seems to be a great interest in history.

    For me this begs two questions:
    1) Would these tourists be less interested if we no longer had a royal family?
    2) Do they bring in any more money than they cost anyway?

    To me they are only useful if they are good for the welfare of our economy, otherwise they should get jobs and make thier own damn food.

    I feel England has to move forward in so many ways and it's disappointing to look at Scandanavia not far across the waters and see how clean the streets are, how low the crime rate is and how intelligent the average Joe is. God Save The Queen? No thanks, if there was a god I'd rather it saved my friends and family. I'd love to have a national anthem that I could sing and really mean, I never feel right asking a higher being to save someone I couldn't care less about.

    We do have much to be thankful for (and this IS home, there's nowhere I'd rather live) but the royal family represents to me everything that is holding us back from making ourselves somewhere to be truly proud of once again. We're creating nothing that future generations will thank us for (perhaps aside from cities like London where for the most part cultural ignorance is very slowly starting to ebb away). There is a church where I live that has stood for over eight hundred years, which is still fully functional. I find the fact that one of the sights of home was also that for someone who lived in the 13th century far more capturing of the imagination than some old lady living on her family tree and giving us a speech every Christmas day.
     
  11. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Thanks BPF

    But for this anglophile my answer to your question #1 is a resounding "yes".

    A big part of the mystique of your fair land is its ability to change with the times without doing itself in simultaneously. I think it speaks volumes that England's Royal Family is still intact where France has been without theirs for nearly 200 years.

    It is, for me, a big part of your appeal. I know it is for other foreigners too.

    Of course I don't live there so I couldn't have your hands-on "take".
     
  12. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

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    Please BPF!

    Don't whoop my arse!!! Runs screaming from thread..........:eek:
     
  13. BigPoppaFury

    BigPoppaFury Member

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    We do change with the times, but we never change ahead of time. That is to say where we once had constant innovation on our side we now play catch up, what's more we play it poorly. We were world leaders not just in terms of colonisation- the term 'Made in Britain' was synonimous with good quality, now it barely exists. The monarchy to me is a prime example of our inability to let the past be the past. I don't see the point in maintaining an identity if all it will do is hold us back. Besides, we maintain our land's identity by simply being English people- holding on to our unique humour, keeping our feet on the ground when others are hysterical, using our language just like we always did and keeping up other great traditions such as not making eye contact on public transport.

    Our old buildings and other documentation of our long history should be appreciated, preserved and cherished of course. The royal family should be appreciated as a once great institution of the past but like so many of the worn, handwritten books from centuries ago they should be taken out of use to prevent them becoming soiled.
     
  14. BigPoppaFury

    BigPoppaFury Member

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    You just want me to chase after you :tongue:
     
  15. 34gboobs

    34gboobs New Member

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    They generate more than they're given - something like a ten fold return - through tourist dollars and yen.

    I think of them as our version of Disneyland.

    Only less real.
     
  16. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Can't plausibly blame any relative decline on the Monarchy per se. Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are monarchies too.
     
  17. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    A cogent point. The last time I myself went to England it wasn't to visit the Queen.
     
  18. BigPoppaFury

    BigPoppaFury Member

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    I'm not, I believe it's a symptom not a cause.
     
  19. novice_btm

    Staff Member Moderator Gold Member

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    Yes, after he went chasing after Stronzo, I was afraid to mention that, and glad I'm not the only one that noticed this point. :wink:


    Oh, you really should. She whips up a lovely tea. :tongue: And with the "horsey" mouths that some of the Royals are reported to have, you may finally get that deepthroating from the other thread. :tongue: :tongue: :tongue:
     
  20. eddyabs

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    Hmmm, Stronzo, I remember talking about the Royals with you before....
    Diana
    Although you never replied........

    I believe strongly in our Royals, without them Great Britain, that being England,
    Wales and Scotland would be bereft of a common history, culture and society. (Northern Ireland which gave us the aka ident 'United Kingdom' in the 1920's is now also incorporated under her Maj's royal realm).

    England, Great Britain, Britannia, United Kingdom...whatever you want to call us, we would be stripped of meaning without the Royals. They have travelled with us and as us for almost a thousand years ...(2066 a thousand years since were last invaded)...their dictums and rules founded and formed our Great Isle, and what a history we have!! My particular faves...Elizabeth the First....Henry the Eighth, Victoria...we have an incredible history, awesome in fact, and the majority of the British population would rue the day that the Royals were ever removed.

    It is a strange thing...surreal if you like to be actually part of a 'Kingdom', like a fairy tale if you must....there are Princesses, Kings, Princes, Queens, and there are Brother Grimm elements....(Wallis Simpson, Diana, Princess Michael of Kent), but I for one, and I believe for Millions of British, would feel as if we had lost the heart of our nation....if we were to lose the Kingdom.

    So...tally-ho...Rule Britannia, jolly hockeysticks and chocks away old boys...dear old Blighty we love you as you are....warm summer days and real ale, beautiful English countryside, cricket and croquet on the lawn, G and T's a plenty, and 'anyone for tennis?'...it's Tickety-Boo, Alrighty!!
     
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