So what is a King really for? Pretty jewels? Protecting democracy? Protecting the unity of the kingdom? Convincincg capitalists and dictatorships to make a deal or just to sit in a palace for tourists?
Many of these arguments may sit well with most people in modern day society but what about in 20 years.
Just so you know I’m a massive fan of The Crown television series, I’ve been too many royal events in the past and I really do like Queen Elizabeth the second. But much of royalties steeped in history, maybe that is where it belongs?
Modern day inequality
Most sane and rational people would say they want equality, as most as possible, and less classism and racism. However, the monarchy is the thorn in the side of this point. It’s the glaring hypocrisy of the 21st century. I just hope it doesn’t stay the same in the 22nd century. Surely it’s time we spoke about it?
Whilst we may not want a Donald Trump figure as our head of state, Ferdinand Seventh of Spain who ran away during the French invasion on 2nd May 1808, or Charles First of England who was executed in 1649, are glaring examples of poor unelected heads of state. But that was hundreds of years ago?!? What about recent heads of state or future heads of state. King Charles Third of the United Kingdom anyone?
The notion that they are chosen by god is absurd. More absurd than the people choosing Donald Trump. I may not agree with it but it more credible than being ‘the anointed one’. Yes I know less people voted for Trump, however that is a electoral matter. No one voted for a King or Queen.
It’s not only the heads of state but what about their families? Money laundering by the current Spanish King’s brother in law or the money paid for the minor Royal wedding of Princess Eugenie in the UK, they are all on the take. Apparently there’s no money for commoners and the armed forces which many roles are so proudly figureheads for. There’s money for them though.
The invention of the state and its sovereignty is questionable. We have had monarchies that have last longer then the borders of our current counties. So if borders and government change, then so can those on top of the Christmas tree. Women got the vote as did working men, and people different racial backgrounds. So that is progress, real progress. So when are we going to move further?
Some good…and bad
In the UK the Queen has the ceremonial duty to sign laws: Royal assent. In theory she could refuse to sign a law. Many say if she did this then the government would just get rid of her. Whilst this maybe true, who says we need the hassle? Or she should have the power? Why wait till that point. Queen Elizabeth second has done well, maintains her position and it’s why she’s widely accepted.
Then there was Juan Carlos of Spain, he brought about democracy after being placed on the throne by Franco. He also helped throw off a coup in the 1980s.
Many loved him until he was caught shooting elephants whilst the rest of the Spanish had to suffer under austerity. Before his hunting escapade was caught on camera the media left him alone, now it was a free for all. The news reported on his numerous mistresses. He then handed over to his son, the current King. However the Royal family has always struggled in Spain. They ran for the hills in the second republic.
Power to the People… No Be Quiet!!
Recently in Spain a poll by El Público, a newspaper, claimed 46% of those polled wanted a Republic and 27% wanted a Monarchy and 26% were not bothered.
In Spain you can get in trouble for bad mouthing the Monarchy, which is why I have been nice.
A Spanish rapper, Valtònyc, has been threatened with jail time. The Guardian reported, that it was not only the monarchy he was rapping about but also that he was glorifying terrorism, which obviously I don’t agree with!
The Guardian said “The lyrics for which Valtònyc, 24, was convicted include “let them be as frightened as a police officer in the Basque country” and “the king has a rendezvous at the village square, with a noose around his neck”.
The mention of the Basque country was a reference to violence by Eta, whose terror attacks across Spain left hundreds of officials and civilians dead.”
However, as the Guardian goes on to report Amnesty International have questioned Spains ‘Gag law’, that was set up by the Popular party, to be restrictive to freedom of speech and that it has created a ‘chilling atmosphere’.
The freedom of the press is critical in keeping the balance between the powerful and the people. To make people accountable. That is normally for people that are elected head of state or in elected government. So, surely it should be allowed to criticise and condemn unelected heads of state. When you cannot, you really have to question their power altogether.
We have seen evidence of this in the UK where they have tried to put barriers on the press reporting on aspects of the royal family. Obviously, I cannot go into more details as I might get sent to the Tower of London.
Many people say that they bring in more money than they are allocated by the government but is that really true? A report by full fact could not prove that the Royals are worth it. I mean France is the most visited country in the world and they chopped off their Kings heads!
But, then is it really all about money? Surely it’s about democracy, being able to be held countable and progress in the modern world. We are living history and we make history. Maybe it’s time the Royals were part of history.
Maybe Spain could set a trend having a referendum on having a Royal family, then this could sweep across the continent. The UK could follow suit, I mean, we have had a referendums for everything else!
Price Charles, next in line to the throne in the UK, has been caught trying to influence governments in the past by writing to them in what is known as “the spider memos“.
Apparently he also has his shoe laces ironed daily. Is that really behaviour of a King or more like a spoiled child?