IT’S TIME TO END THE BRITISH MONARCHY
By Richard Davis
If you want to see an institution out of step with the world in 2022 then look to the British monarchy. It was created in the 10th century when Anglo Saxon England moved from an elective monarchy to a primogeniture system after England was conquered by the Normans in 1066.
That means that British citizens have accepted this family business over the centuries and they have done little to stop one family from accumulating massive wealth while strutting around like peacocks. The royal family has had some power to alter history over the years but in 2022 they do little but bolster some of their pet causes and promulgate a lifestyle of pomp and circumstance.
The royals have been indirectly responsible for allowing or supporting some of the worst cases of human suffering. The Mau Mau Rebellion took place in the British colony of Kenya from 1952-1960. British troops killed over 10,000 Kenyans during that period when the Kenyans were trying to overthrow British rule. In 2013, the British government formally apologized for the brutal tactics it used to suppress the uprising and agreed to pay approximately £20 million in compensation to surviving victims of abuse. Kenya became independent seven years after the uprising ended.
It is interesting to note that Princess Elizabeth became queen while enjoying a tourist safari in Kenya when her father died on February 5, 1952. British troops were sent into Kenya in October of that year. One has to wonder if the new queen had discussions with the British government about the state of affairs in Kenya.
But it is the massive wealth held by one family that should be of concern to citizens of Great Britain. According to Yahoo News, “Every year the Royal Family gets a single chunk of cash from the UK government, that is paid for by taxpayers. This yearly payment was known as the civil list until the introduction of the Sovereign Grant Act in 2011. It is used to pay for His Majesty’s official duties and upkeep of the occupied royal palaces, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and St James’ Palace. The royal household receives the grant in exchange for all the profits made from the Crown Estate — a massive collection of property around the UK that is owned by the monarch but run independently. In theory, this means that the reigning monarch is given an amount of money equivalent to 25% of the Crown Estate’s profits every year.”
There is little appetite for abolishing the monarchy among the subjects of the royal family. In an MSN story it was noted that, “Nadine Batchelor-Hunt, political correspondent at JOE.co.uk, argued that the royals are “becoming increasingly out of place in contemporary society” due to the family’s past and present scandals. “The time has come: let’s abolish the monarchy,” she said.
While some countries, including Greece and Bulgaria, abolished their monarchies through public referendum, royal commentator Marlene Koenig said the process is more complex than people think. “It would take legislation, an act of Parliament, and signed by the Sovereign to end the monarchy,” Koenig, a royal expert for History Extra, previously told Insider. However, Koenig added that “the monarchy is not going anywhere anytime soon.”
“There are no protests. The republican movement is small,” she explained. “The political system is stable. Nonetheless, that’s not to say things couldn’t one day change if there were to be a greater call for Britain to consider the future of the monarchy.”
The royal family is worth about 88 billion dollars. They live in a number of opulent castles that they technically do not own. How much of a hardship would it be for them to downsize to one castle and let the British government sell off the remaining properties to benefit the 68.5 million citizens of Great Britain?
It was noted in the New York Times on September 13 referring to King Charles III, “Today, he ascends to the throne as the country buckles under a cost-of-living crisis that is expected to see poverty get even worse. A more divisive figure than his mother, King Charles is likely to give fresh energy to those questioning the relevance of a royal family at a time of public hardship.
British citizens will be facing hardship in affording fuel to keep warm this winter. The supply is predicted is expected to be low and that will make things more problematic. If the royal family were to feel a greater sense of responsibility to their subjects they could find a way to use their wealth to keep their subjects warm this winter and prevent suffering and death. That would set a new and modern precedent for the monarchy.