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08/06/2011

Dynasty or Democracy?

Following the shocking-for-some-but-not-for-republicans news that William Windsor and Kate Middleton plan to move into Kensington Palace and hire servants, Sophia Deboick, writing in the Guardian today, makes some important points about the fundamental nature of monarchy which the British public subjectry seems to have willingly overlooked (or have been cajoled into overlooking by a good media campaign):

"The wedding itself showed us what we are really dealing with here. This was purely about securing heirs and shoring up the hereditary principle. It was about continuity, not change. Kate being given her mother-in-law's engagement ring could hardly make the point more starkly that William and Kate are just part of the unchanging pattern that defines monarchy. As the patsies in this sordid arrangement, this couple are about as anti-modern as can be imagined. They are willingly accepting that one of their children will be head of state simply through accident of birth – something that defies every principle of modern democracy. If William himself is intending to become our head of state without referring to the will of the British people, he has little grasp of the sort of values that most deem to be fundamental – fairness and justice."

"Ultimately, there is nothing modern about a hereditary head of state and there is no modern kind of monarchy. Monarchy is always the same – that is its point – and to a younger generation facing bleak economic prospects, the narrative of William and Kate being a modernising force as they go on to employ a legion of personal staff rings hollow indeed."

If Britain truly aspires to be a fair, just and wholly-democratic society then the stark conclusion we must reach is that there's nothing British about monarchy.

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