The Closet Royalist

I’m a reader of the Guardian newspaper. I’m a big believer in equality of opportunity. I’m not a fan of a class based society. I should be very much entrenched in the republican camp, dreaming of the day the monarchy is abolished. Plotting, perhaps, to bring about its downfall. But I don’t identify as a republican.

When I got back from Mexico in 2011 I went along to see the Royal Wedding. It was a good day out. A year later Mrs P and I braved the rain* and went to see the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London. Last week we went to see the HMQ90 birthday celebrations at Windsor. We even saw Her Maj herself, albeit from a distance. So I’m a royalist. By some definitions. Except I don’t really identify myself as a royalist.

I would describe myself as a status quoist. Not the band, obviously. They are terrible. But the Royal Family for me are nothing more than another old institution embodying the traditions and history of the country. Just like a castle or palace. Or a Shakespeare play. Or a Constable painting. It’s something to look at. Or when an anniversary is due, something to celebrate.

It is true that our Royal Family is a ridiculous concept to stick to in the 21st century. Bit it’s not the most ridiculous aspect of modern British society by a long shot. The royalists and republicans argue  endlessly about the costs and benefits of maintaining the royal family. Both sides cherry pick data and offer frivolous and/or misleading opinions dressed up as facts.

Either way, I just can’t quite get excited enough about these alleged costs and benefits to really care. Because they simply don’t have sufficient impact on my pay checks to really matter. And besides, if we abolished the monarchy then we’d end up with an equally expensive and unrepresentative presidency. Frankly, our new president would likely be as an obnoxious a twit as any monarch we’d ever had. And there is the true benefit of a monarch in that we have someone to represent the country internationally who is not a politician.

What I do benefit from are the occasional extra bank holidays to celebrate a wedding or jubilee. We can’t be too far away from having a day or two off to mourn at a royal funeral either. And then there’s the shows. We enjoyed catching the end of the Royal Windsor Horse Show. And we enjoyed the queen’s 90th birthday show in the same arena later in the evening. We hope to enjoy a few more royal celebrations in the years to come. To see the (fairly poor quality) photos I shot with my iPhone, click here and you will be whisked off to Flickr.

*This is a little bit of a lie. The crowds were too deep and the rain was too heavy. We ‘braved it out’ in a Cafe Rouge near Charing Cross station and watched it on their television while eating a boeuf bourginon.

6 Comments

  • At one point, Benito Juárez considered the idea of Protestantizing Mexico, but decided against it, since they didn’t have saints’ days and feasts to break up the year, and provide an excuse for a good blow-out. I suppose as a substitute for religion, the Church of England not cutting it any more, the monarchy and its pageantry is as good excuse as any for parading around some serious bling and giving the hoi polli a reason to party.

    • For whatever reason, Akismet sent your comment to spam. Have you been up to no good, senor?!! 🙂 Hopefully it won’t happen again.
      That’s an interesting story about Benito though. It rings bells. But I’ve been away from Mexico for so long, the bells chime ever so dimly these days. (Although my long awaited return to CDMX is nigh, albeit only a vacation).
      Juarez should have considered both protestantization and monarchisation*.The latter is normally the greater priority for heads of state with a finite term of office, after all.

      *If no such word exists, it is not a mistake on my part. It is innovation. We protestants are famous for it…

  • Even though Betty still looks down on my doings from the post card you sent me a couple of years ago, getting rid of the German monarchs was one f the best things we ever did. Had we not, we would simply be South Canada. And that alternative history would keep me in posts for months.

    • Judging from your recent posts, your nationality would be much less complicated if you’d kept those German monarchs. Now, if you guys had just held on for a century or so longer, we had some far more reasonable regents waiting in the wings…

      Glad Betty is still keeping an eye on you though.

  • Your Queen keeps horses, races them even and dogs for the lap. Just for that, I like her. Your queen is old, real old, I like real old people, it gives one an abstract goal in life. To get real old and still have my marbles, wouldn’t that be grand. Even Chuckie has some good points, environmentalist, farmer-sort of, an almost normal chap really. The grandsons went and learned about your military, up close and personal. That can’t be a bad thing for a future figurehead. Yeah, I’m a royalist from Ohio, I guess.

    • Our royals have generally been fairly active in the armed forces. Harry being the latest example. Harry would make a popular king. But he’s moving down the line as rapidly as Kate is thumping out little royal miracles.

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