Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2010 03:47 pm
Getting back to the original question...

What real time function does a monarch contribute to a nation aside from poncing around at functions and collecting bottles of wine for their cellar and expensive artworks guiven as gifts by visiting dignitaries.
Stability and security?

Can a king or queen play a political role in todays democratic society if the circumstances were dire enough? ie sack a corrupt prime minister or governmnet? Declare a law invalid?
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2010 03:56 pm
Setanta wrote:

Hehehehehehehehehehe . . .

(Who would you cast, Hugh Grant?)

I'd cast Hugh Laurie.

That would be entertaining.

He could raise money through giving concerts, what with his musical talent.
He can make people laugh, and entertain them with his darn good American accent.
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Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2010 03:59 pm
dadpad wrote:

Can a king or queen play a political role in todays democratic society if the circumstances were dire enough? ie sack a corrupt prime minister or governmnet? Declare a law invalid?

the Governor General still plays a fairly vital role in Canada - on occasion. I was glad Michaele Jean was the G-G, and did play the role she did in a recent political clusterfuck. It made it obvious to even more people what an asswipe our Prime Minister is.
Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2010 04:22 pm
Setanta wrote:

This thread came out of the "engagement" thread about William. Ironically, in that thread, it was Americans rooting for the monarchy, and the Brits either said they were bored, or, in one case, angry about the waste of public funds.

I don't root for the monarchy.

Like dj, my interest in them only comes into play when there's some very public happening, and even then, it's momentary. My interest on the other thread is strictly mercenary, as in "what can I sell on ebay or etsy to make an american dollar off of this?

I figure since the royals have so much money, they could pay for their own lifestyle, off the interest of their funds and assests. They would never have to touch the principle.

Years ago, I remember reading something about what the royals give each other for christmas. It was stuff like gloves, scarves, riding boots. So it's not like they are jonesing to get their hands on high ticket items. They've already got it.

If they want to retain the title of king, queen, prince, etc. let them pay for it.


I do have a question for any Brits reading this. A serious one.

The way it's talked about how much pressure the family in under to behave a certain way. In particular I remember how much that cost Diana. Fergie also who was obviously more of a free spirit.

So, if the wife of a royal doesn't behave, what exactly are the consequences.

I mean, if it's no more than the Queen giving me the hairy eyeball, I could deal with that.

Seriously, if I was in the royal family, what's to keep me from saying "You know what? I'm gonna sleep in today.
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Reply Sun 21 Nov, 2010 07:17 pm
It's really hard to price cultural heritage. You could argue that in the US, we should tear down all the memorials and public museums in Washington DC. It's not like they fund themselves. Board up Arlington cemetery while you are at it. We spend money on these things because they give us sense of nation and community and every country picks its own things to value. The British Monarchy is a cultural symbol known world-wide and it seems to me in a generally positive light. If the Brits feel that is part of their national identity, I'm ok with it.

I completely agree with you about the desirability of preserving of cultural heritage, engineer.
But, if I was a British taxpayer, I don't think I'd be too happy about "royals only" access to so many publicly-supported heritage properties. I'd support public access & public usage of the of those building, as museums, for example.
Check out the list of "royal residences" in the link below. Some "royals" have access to a number of different properties, at different locations. Some of the properties are used only on weekends, or during holidays. Some are occuped by pretty obscure "royals".
My argument would be, if the public funds the upkeep of these heritage buildings, then surely the public should receive some benefit from doing so?

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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 12:44 am
There are 6 more monarchies in Europe beside the British, so one should not just concentrate on one country.
Juan Carlos in Spain is absolutely to prefer to Franco. Under Juan Carlos Spain became a democratic country.
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 01:39 am
Fair enough, saab.

But my interest in the British Monarchy is because it is the one I'm most familiar with.
The Queen of England is still the Queen of Australia. (Though largely in a ceremonial role these days.)
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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 02:00 am
If only... He's still got strong showings in the polls. I liked her too but I think she paid the price by standing up to him.
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 02:05 am
You're talking about your Governor-General, Ceili?
I'd be interested to hear more.
What sort of role does he play in politics?
(Our G-G (in Oz) stays pretty much out of direct involvement politics. Direct political involvement would be a no-no.)
Walter Hinteler
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 03:08 am
saab wrote:

There are 6 more monarchies in Europe beside the British,...

Actually, there are 11 more European monarchies (= independent countries) besides the British.

(One of those is the most forgotten: Andorra - the current joint monarchs are the Spanish Bishop Joan Enric Vives Sicília and President Nicolas Sarkozy of France.)
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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 03:21 am

On the other hand, the Brits have better places to spend their money. I think that the funds given to the Queen and her entourage could be used in a much more productive way.

It is often said, though I don't know whether it's true, that the Queen and the institution of monarchy in Britain bring more in tourist revenues than the cost to the Exchequer for their upkeep.

In other words, they pay their way, indirectly.

(seems unlikely, to me)
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 03:58 am
from Wiki:

Main article: Finances of the British Royal Family
Members of the Royal Family carry out public duties; these individuals receive an annual payment known as a Parliamentary Annuity, the funds being supplied to cover office costs.

These amounts are repaid by The Queen from her private funds.

Though always voluntarily subject to the Value Added Tax and other indirect taxes, the Queen agreed to pay taxes on income and capital gains from 1992, although the details of this arrangement are both voluntary and secret. At the same time it was announced that only the Queen and Prince Philip would receive civil list payments. Since 1993 the Queen's personal income has been taxed as any other Briton. The Queen's private estate (e.g. shareholdings, personal jewellery, Sandringham House and Balmoral Castle) will be subject to Inheritance Tax, though bequests from Sovereign to Sovereign are exempt.[5]

And from the Telegraph:

The monarchy costs 69p a year for every person in Britain, or £1.33 per taxpayer. In return, besides the Crown Estate profits, there is the unquantifiable, but enormous, tourist revenue it generates.


Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 04:46 am
This is what the royals cost the British taxpayer per year, 4 years ago. (in British pounds). Those 60+ pennies per person certainly do add up!
I'd imagine the annual cost would have increased during those 4 years, but haven't been able to find exact details yet:

Royals 'cost the taxpayer £37.4million'
The Queen and the Royal Family cost the UK taxpayer £37.4m in the last financial year, her financial public accounts reveal.

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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 04:55 am
I'm completely throne.
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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 05:08 am

Less than three quid per household? It's a bargain!

God Save Our Gracious Queen.
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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 04:38 pm
What was this thread about?

Oh yeah,

Can Sarah be our queen?

She could fill that role quite well. She already has a Bubba and she is very well qualified as drama queen.

Snowmobile racing is similar to fox hunts, is it not?

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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 05:19 pm
here's the wiki article on the last GG

here's the wiki article on her role in the prorogation of parliament (twice) that caused some controversy

i was a big fan of Jean, her eating seal meat amidst all the worlds controversy was great, and her impassioned speeches during the disaster in Haiti (her birth country) were very moving
Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 06:52 pm
I would say the monarchies that were excessive were the Chinese Emperors with the Forbidden City so huge it was isolated from society. They held back China. Peter the Great's palace was the same so Tzar Nicholas II and family was executed as they were truly cutoff from the normal folks likewise Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette in Versailles.
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Reply Mon 22 Nov, 2010 07:48 pm
Thank you, dj.
Reading now.
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Reply Tue 23 Nov, 2010 09:32 pm
And with the bowels of the last king, we'll strangle the last priest! http://www.anarkismo.net/attachments/dec2009/anarchism.jpg

Good times!

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