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  #21  
Old 05-22-2007, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyK
Denmark, for example, has almost a 50% income tax! .
Only last week they said 63% straight for the top income classes on TV (and with top income you are not rolling in money.....)
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  #22  
Old 05-22-2007, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by LadyK
I think the problem would be justifying the tax increase, as monarchies generally have very high taxes, but provide its citizens more services, such as state healthcare. Denmark, for example, has almost a 50% income tax!

I would love a royal family, don't get me wrong- the glamour, all of that, but I'm just being painfully realistic.
I see your point but that would also mean tax cuts elsewhere wouldn't it? The amount for healthcare? I for one don't know since I have been in the military for over 20 years but do understand that health insurance puts a lot of strain on a families income. Are there any educational benefits?

Realistically, a monarchy isn't something that we could adopt today since we've never had it. I have often wanted to live in one of the countries with a constitutional monarchy. I would love it, too.
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  #23  
Old 05-22-2007, 07:37 AM
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Monacrchies and taxrates are not really related to another. It just happen to be the case that most surviving european monarchies are the monarchies of welfare states, which have high taxes. In fact a monarchy is not much more expensive then a republic, if they are more expensive at all.

Now unlike most of my coiuntrymen I am a monarchist too (most are Orangists). I believe the monarchy can be a strong unifying and binding force. It is at least a neutral and a-political head of state that is usually supported by 90% of the populatio, much more then any Christian-Democrat/liberal/socialist president ever would be.
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  #24  
Old 05-22-2007, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Marengo
Monacrchies and taxrates are not really related to another. It just happen to be the case that most surviving european monarchies are the monarchies of welfare states, which have high taxes. In fact a monarchy is not much more expensive then a republic, if they are more expensive at all...
That was my point, that it would probably even out.
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  #25  
Old 05-22-2007, 08:07 AM
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This is a topic of considerable debate in my country. We held a referendum (defeated, obviously) to decide whether Australia should become a republic. There are still many republicans in Australia, however, and the debate certainly hasn't gone away.

The Australian (and New Zealand, Canadian etc) situation is complicated by the fact that our Queen doesn't live in our country and isn't a "citizen" of our nation. However, my personal opinion is that a constitutional monarchy has more reliable checks and balances, offers tradition and ritual (necessary for the functioning of a healthy society) and isn't prey to, or influenced by, the lure of the mighty dollar in the way that some republics seem to be.

I like being part of a constitutional monarchy, I like the continued ties QEII provides to Great Britain and the rest of the Commonwealth. Long live the Queen.
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  #26  
Old 06-24-2007, 11:04 PM
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I've just written this for a magazine article and wanted the opinion of my fellow Royal watchers on it. It's my copyright so I can post it in full. It's quite long and so I've put it into chunks but let me know what you think anway, either here or through PM.

-------------------------------------------------------

This year I went to Trooping of the Colour. It's become a ritual for me in which I don my finest and take my place amongst the great and the good as we watch the impressive display and are transported en masse to another era. Without instruction, top hats are doffed and salutes are given as the Royal Family make their way onto the parade ground. Last to arrive is our Head of State, our Sovereign Lady - Queen Elizabeth II. Now usually I sit back and let the magnificent wave of military music waft over me whilst reveling in the warm glow of that very special friend that is tradition but this year I found myself slightly out of kilter and a question that I had been asked just the night before by an American friend, popped into my head. What if Britain were a Republic? Had you asked me last year whether I was a monarchist, I'd have said yes without a hesitation but now you can expect a delayed reaction as I give you a politician's response full of phrases like "well, I see this as being an issue with 2 levels" and "I think what we really mean by that question is....". I think the answer has to now be - I don't know what to think anymore.

The House of Windsor has my utmost respect. The present Queen has a flawless reputation in my mind and she is all that is truly British (or as British as a German Dane can get). I have a portrait of her on my wall, I feel as if I should bow when I pass Buckingham Palace and she inspires a strange kind of awe that is only rivalled by the grandest of religious ceremonies that are so well stage managed by the Orthodox Church. Majesty and mystery are encapsulated in one woman, one symbol and a few decades ago, the British people lapped it up. They were the Royal Family and they were above criticism or complaint. Nobody dreamt of seeing the Queen in the privacy of her own home and it simply wasn't any of our business - then 'Elizabeth R' came along. It was 1992 and already cracks were beginning to show in the jewel-encrusted facade of our Royals, as the "Annus Horribilis" well and truly took hold. Many probably thought the Queen was describing the immediate situation the House of Windsor found itself in but with hindsight, one has to wonder if the Queen was showing us a hidden talent of predicting the future. "1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure", Her Majesty said with a croak in her regal tones (the result of a cold apparantly), "In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondants, it has turned out to be an Annus Horribilis". First there had been the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of York were to seperate. Then it was the divorce of Princess Anne and Mark Phillips, which set on a background of toe-sucking and tax queries did not make for pleasant afternoons. As if things couldn't get any worse, the Queen's favourite residence, Windsor Castle burned and the Prince of Wales became the third of the Queen's children to announce his seperation from his spouse. So, we could look back on it as a nasty 12 months - or we could look at it as a year that set the future of the Royal Family.

The York seperation gave us not only scandalous paparrazi shots of Sarah Ferguson indulging in holiday hi-jinks, it also gave us the media brand that became Fergie and it has yet to go away. The Duchess of York was a comedian's dream but she was the Queen's worst nightmare and it seemed that she had an almost erotic pre-occupation with telling the most intimate details of Royal life to interviewers like Michael Parkinson who could hardly believe their luck. To this day, Sarah is still talking and though we recently saw her attend Garter Day at Windsor, things aren't looking any better than they were in 1992 because now we have an unofficial Sarah Ferguson - at least when she was the Duchess of York with those ghastly yellow ballgowns and flaming red hair, one could politely ignore her. The taste for information on Royal life was opened up by "Elizabeth R" and Sarah Ferguson fuelled the public's interest. When Princess Anne divorced, she simply carried on in the usual Anne style which seems to be 'head down, get on with it' but the seperation between Charles and Diana would of course set the Royal Family up for a big fall which it experienced in 1997 and thanks to the Queen, managed to keep it's head above the tide that swept Britain like a nasty case of Spanish Flu. Suddenly, the Royals were fair game. Stanley Baxter had mocked the Queen for years with his "Duchess of Brenda" sketches and "Spitting Image" had been anything but deferential, but this was different - this was actually directed at the Royal Family. Real questions were being raised by ordinary people and MPs shuffled nervously as it looked like 'that debate' was about to be unleashed on a Tory Government that was still trying to make it look like Humpty Maggie had her great fall without any pushing from her colleagues.

The Queen weathered the storm with her usual dignity and wisdom but it would lead to 5 years of "he said, she said", conducted through our newspapers and TV screens as we sat agog and asked our nearest and dearest who was this Camilla Parker-Bowles woman and was it really true that the Queen used tupperware? When Diana died in 1997, there was a sudden explosion of hysteria and people who had never given the Royal Family a second though before were now standing outside Buckingham Palace with snot-trails running from their noses and holding photographs (kindly provided by a media who were covering the tracks of a planned hatchett job on Di that very morning). What did the Queen do? Nothing. Well, eventually she did but it took time and during that silent period when the world watched the House of Windsor dance a gay gordon on the brink of disaster, we all wondered what would become of Britain. Would this really be the event that brought the monarchy to an end? Ten years have passed but thanks to the Daily Express and a hoard of faithful fanatics, Diana is still with us. But so is Camilla. We have lost the beacon of sentimentality that was the Queen Mother and the first racy Princess that was Margaret Rose. But a certain Royal death was rather poignant for me. Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester died in 2004 and her death was reported on Radio 4. She got two pages in Hello! magazine but that was it. Here was a Royal of the old school who did things Queen Mary's way and had the decorum and elegance of a real blue blood which she used in her darkest hours. Despite losing a son in a plane crash and a husband just two years after that tragic accident, Princess Alice remained - a Royal. Her death marked something important for me as a monarchist - it was the end of real British Royalty. The Duchesses and Princesses who had attended the grand banquets of colonial Britain, bedecked in tiaras and grand sounding gongs that glimmered like stamps of authority on their perfectly coutered gowns, were gone and every Royal trait they had personified was on it's way out.

You'll notice however, that I say it was the end of real British Royalty. Britain isn't the only country to have a monarchy and other nations seem to have evolved a little where the relationship between the Crown and the people is concerned. King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway gave an interview to the BBC in 2005 in which they explained that they could go to the cinema if they wanted to and that if they fancied a McDonalds, it was unheard of for them to have to send someone else to collect the Fillet O'Fish because going themselves would cause a mob. It isn't that Norwegians don't respect their monarchy, it's just that the House of Oldenburg has moved with the times and as a result, it's more popular than it's British counterpart. A former divorced single-mother is their future Queen Consort and the King's grandson doesn't even have an HRH - it's all very unBritish. It isn't only Scandinavia, though I should mention that the Queen of Denmark often wanders the streets of Copenhagen with just a bodyguard to keep her company, in the Netherlands the relationship between Queen Beatrix and her subjects is one of great respect and dare I say it - love. Her approval rating must make her cousin Elizabeth drool with envy and the Dutch monarch enjoys such a special relationship with her people that her Silver Jubilee was more a case of "We just called to say we think you're bloody marvellous" than "Oh well, we better do something for it I suppose". Not that the Brits don't have their moment. The Golden Jubilee was a spectacular display of admiration but was it for the institution itself or as I suspect, was it actually a display of affection for a lady most of us have grown up with?
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  #27  
Old 06-24-2007, 11:05 PM
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On a practical level, the Queen works. Having a Royal Family works economically and I almost died laughing when a Republican suggested that the 8m from the Civil List would be better spent on the Olympic Games. What we give to them, they bring us back tenfold and so on a financial level the monarchy is sound. It costs us only 62p a head (how many walnut whips is that Ken?) and when one considers the enormous cost incurred by the Americans to look after every living President, we have things pretty easy. Now comes the clincher - does the monarch work socially? On principle, is it a good thing? I used to identify as a Tory - now I find myself drawn to Ming Campbell who seems to talk alot of sense - and so it was almost a natural response to defend the monarchy totally, but in the last two or three years things have changed. On the one hand, we were given a new hope in the Duchess of Cornwall. On the other, we became all too aware of just how useless Princes William and Harry really are. The Monarchy is not a popularity contest between members and the moment we turn it into a "Britain's Got Talent" style reality game where the one who gets the most cheers gets to wear the Crown for a few years, it's time to call it a day, but I have grave reservations about the future.

The Queen won't abdicate. Of that I am almost certain and I think that's right. Her funeral will be a vast and elaborate one and I'll be genuinely devastated to see her gone. She's been a model of composure, level-headedness and intelligence and that can't be ignored. In the haze of the funeral march, we shall offer our comfort to her son the Prince of Wales who will become King with his Queen Consort Camilla - and here is where things could go horribly horribly wrong my dears. I have absolutely no doubt that Charles and Camilla will be amazing as a team because they are now. Princess of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall, call her what you like but admit it that Her Royal Highness really does serve those three little letters before her name. Every engagement has been handled with a style and a professionalism that reminds more than just Gyles Brandreth of the late Queen Mother. Whether it's a state banquet or Royal Ascot, Camilla shines and she makes the Prince of Wales more acceptable to us because he has lost the surly, sulky image that was presented to us from 1997-2005. He actually looks as if he could be King now and he appears ready for the job. Camilla seems able to support him in that role and his many years of experience, coupled with her natural flair for charming people, will make them excellent ambassadors for our nation. Politics aside, they're delightful. But bounce a few branches down the family tree and if you can see them through the beer bottles, you'll find the real reason I'm not longer hopeful for the monarchy and why I think the House of Windsor might be better to go out on a high after King Charles III has shuffled off the ermine-trimmed coil that is Royal life.

Prince William has to be the most boring thing to grace our TV screens since Sir Patrick Moore said, "I think I'll buy a telescope". Boring can work - the Queen isn't exactly lively and the similarity between Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret can be made quite convicingly between William and Harry, but something just doesn't sit well. The question has to be asked - what does William actually do? He isn't learning to be King because that's his dad's job and he isn't really doing anything useful in the army because as we now know, the change in the way of world warfare has rendered it impossible for our Royals to go on active service in battle zones. The same goes for Harry, who seems to be taking the whole "We're not sending you to Iraq" thing very well by getting rat-arsed every night and falling out of a variety of clubs without so much as a "Well actually I was looking for Osama Bin Laden". After the Kate Middleton debacle, we saw a slightly gawky 25 year old who seems to take no interest at all in taking on Royal duties. His patronages are all sports related and when he did try the Di technique by hugging a baby, he almost killed the thing by holding it the wrong way. My problem with the boys stems from the interview they've given to Channel Five in which they ask to be treated like normal people. News flash guys - you're not normal. William is apparantly going to be King one day and Harry......well we like Harry. But liking them and giving them our allegiance and taxes are two different things and some will begin to look elsewhere, just as those who dislike Charles are looking to William as the saviour of the throne because he fell out of the blessed womb owned by one Diana Spencer.

So let us imagine that William and Harry both take the strange route of giving up their rights to the throne - who are we left with? Princess Beatrice has well and truly marked her cards by stating she wants to be a "mini-mummy". Beatrice dear, your mummy wasn't that mini and coupled with all the diplomacy, tact and charm of a boiled whelk, that was why she was unpopular with the British people. Aiming to be Fergie Mark II spells disaster. Eugenie doesn't promise much either and poor Zara tries her best but seems to have shacked up with a regular from "Only Fools and Horses" - will she be racing greyhounds next we ask ourselves? With no decent monarch material, is it really time for Britain to become a republic? If Britain did become a republic, I'd be sad. It would be an end to tradition, pomp and pageantry and of course, we'd lost the safety net of the constitutional benefits the Queen brings - at least thats what I always believed. Recently, I have been looking more and more into the workings of the EU. As a Europhile of the highest order, my trousers do moisten slightly when I see Angela Merkel tackling the Poles and in one tiny country, I saw a possible future for Britain - Latvia.

The outgoing President is a lady called Vaira Vike-Frieberga and with her typical Baltic build and cheshnut coiffure, she was recently called "Latvia's Queen". Vaira has been President for ten years and with her smart two-pieces and customary hats, she has racked up an impressive trophy cabinet as well as the adoration of the Latvian people. When I showed my Grandfather a picture of Vike-Frieberga greeting King Albert II of Belgium, he asked me, "Is that the Queen of the Netherlands?". And yet, Vaira was the leader of a Republic. She was an elected Head of State and yet she has the bearings of an Empress. The only snag is that we can't be assured of securing our very own Vike-Frieberga and it's here where I waver. How could we be sure that we got the leaders we wanted? Well....we vote for them.

The American way has never appealed to me. I find the alledgedly corrupt politics of Washington stomach-churning and to be frank and in stark contrast to the wonderful President that is VVF - we have the disaster that is George Bush. I don't believe for a second that the American system could work in Britain - but the Latvian system could. Instead of a House of Commons, we have one parliament. There are no Lords who have payed their dues to get their bums on the soft red plush to hold things up. There is simply one legislative body with one elected Prime Minister who in turn appoints his Cabinet. And parliament in turn, elects a President who serves five year terms. There is a constitution that the people have voted for and the whole thing seems very appealing and very workable. It therefore pains me to declare that my allegiance to the House of Windsor has suddenly been stamped with a sell-by date. With William behaving like some third-rate Paris Hilton wannabe, I see that the old Royal ways are sadly dying and what we have in William is a perfect opportunity to call it a day with dignity - and being English, I like things to have a little dignity. Charles has been trained for the job, it's a job he'll do well and it's something he's spent his whole life being prepared to do, to me it would be unfair to deny him what looks increasingly to be a very short reign.

After Charles, we'd have to train little Willy up to fit the shoes of his grandmother - and my faith in him to do that is non-existant. If we had the bright future that Norway, Denmark and Sweden had with their heirs who are all secure in their roles, I would probably change my mind. Crown Prince Frederik or Crown Princess Victoria would be a true blessing to the UK but William doesn't command the same respect they do. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden puts her cousin to shame and she is already displaying the qualities of an amazing monarch with a bright future set against a shimmering sea of Swedish democracy. Sadly, Britain has been reduced to a muddy puddle with a bit of sick in it. If a referendum were held after the death of King Charles III, I'd plump for Baltic democracy any time. I never thought I'd actually see the day when I became a Republican but it looks like that day has come. As the House of Windsor loses the two icons of the last 50 years, their duties carried out well and their affairs put in order, I believe it's the right time to move on. Until that time, all I can say is - God Save the Queen.
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  #28  
Old 06-24-2007, 11:54 PM
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BeatrixFan:all I can say is wow!
I think you nailed the issue very well, the young British Royals are quite "lost" from what they should be, we're not asking them to be like they used to be in the XVII century, but they should understand they can never be like us and never can behave the way we do, it makes monarchy a real stupid thing, it makes it loosing its magic, its pull, its entire symbolism; because if they can behave like us, then they ARE like us and what's the point of having a monarchy where the royals are just like the rest of the people? what would make them special? nothing and then it's better to have a republic where we can choose who's gonna eat with our taxes
the only "serious" grandchildren of the Queen are Peter and Zara and I don't think either one would be even remotely prepared to follow through the hard life a monarch is bound to have
I like William and I like Harry but they are disgracing everything their grandmother has done in her long reign and it seems like neither one realized who they truly are and where they come from, the huge weight of the historical institution is something neither one cares about and I think if that saddens me, what would the Queen feel about it?
In this moment, most of us are monarchists, because we have Queen Elizabeth II, most of us haven't known any other person as Chief of State, and it's hard for us to think about our country without her; but when she's gone, well, not everyone would be a monarchist, because in this particular times, the Queen is the glue that keeps the institution together, when she's not with us, the institution will crack and maybe we won't see King William V
As BeatrixFan said: God Save the Queen
and God Save this country when she's gone
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  #29  
Old 06-25-2007, 04:45 AM
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I'm signing after crisiñaki, that was really a wonderful article (now I seem to remember someone asked you to give him the first copy of your book, I demand to get the second one ).
You actually expressed everything I feel about the Monarchy in a marvellous way. I like William and Harry, they are nice boys, but both better understand they are Princes of the United Kingdom and future King ans second-in-line, not some pop stars.
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  #30  
Old 06-25-2007, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Crown Prince Frederik or Crown Princess Victoria would be a true blessing to the UK but William doesn't command the same respect they do.
A crown prince who does few engagements each month and sail around the world would have any chance in UK ? UK's press and general public are a lot tougher and demanding than the tiny countries' up north. I don't find comparing William to the heirs of the other countries is fair at all. William is not a heir, his father is. Prince Charles always has great sense of duties, his work ethic and accomplishment can put some heirs to shame.
I like the the article until the comparison. It's too much 'the grass is always greener on the other side' IMO.
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  #31  
Old 06-25-2007, 02:12 PM
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Thanks guys. Love the comment. DonnaK - I thought about this and though it's fair to say that William isn't the immediate heir and Victoria is, I think the comparison is still justified. Victoria not only carries out Royal engagements in Sweden but she represents Sweden in other countries and she seems to be present at every state event. In return, she has alot of respect and though William has Charles to go through before he gets his place as King - he should still be preparing for it, especially as he isn't doing anything else at the moment. At the end of the day, the question that will be asked of him is "Why is he qualified to be King?". And at the moment, he isn't.
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Thanks guys. Love the comment. DonnaK - I thought about this and though it's fair to say that William isn't the immediate heir and Victoria is, I think the comparison is still justified. Victoria not only carries out Royal engagements in Sweden but she represents Sweden in other countries and she seems to be present at every state event. In return, she has alot of respect and though William has Charles to go through before he gets his place as King - he should still be preparing for it, especially as he isn't doing anything else at the moment. At the end of the day, the question that will be asked of him is "Why is he qualified to be King?". And at the moment, he isn't.
William is in the military school right now. That's part of his training to be the King. Victoria is a woman and has not gone through years of military schools and service like her male colleagues, thus she started a little bit early on her duties. But so far she hasn't done anything special other than the routine royal duties as a heir, the rest of heirs are pretty much doing the same, or even more.
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Old 06-25-2007, 02:41 PM
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I think this is a very well-thought-out argument, but (ain't there always one of them ) it seems to me to hinge too much on personalities. While you're saying that things will be OK through Charles's reign, there are quite a few people out there who don't want to see his reign happen and who would even prefer that he stand down from the line of succession in favour of William. Not everybody apparently sees William as boring. I think also that since he's just in his mid-20s and not settled down to anything yet, it's too early to know anything about him for sure.

Equally, what if the Latvian president hadn't been such a regal lady? These electoral systems throw up their fair share of third-rate people, and the saving grace is that the bad ones can be got rid of faster than a monarch - but the good ones also have to go at the end of their term of office regardless of how successful they've been.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:00 PM
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William is in the military school right now. That's part of his training to be the King.
Is it? In this day and age, why do we need a King who is trained in the ways of shooting and bombing? And he can't actually go to any war zones, so what was the point? It has turned out to be a waste of time and money that is designed to make it look like he's doing something. His military training will have no bearing on his role as King at all. Surely he'd have been better off in the diplomatic service?

Quote:
Equally, what if the Latvian president hadn't been such a regal lady?
Aha. And therein lies the conundrum. I suppose one takes the rough the smooth and if there's a dodgy president in office, you use your vote to get them out which in the case of a dodgy King or Queen you can't do.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:02 PM
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Well done, Beatrix Fan. I enjoyed the article very much.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Is it? In this day and age, why do we need a King who is trained in the ways of shooting and bombing? And he can't actually go to any war zones, so what was the point? It has turned out to be a waste of time and money that is designed to make it look like he's doing something. His military training will have no bearing on his role as King at all. Surely he'd have been better off in the diplomatic service?



Aha. And therein lies the conundrum. I suppose one takes the rough the smooth and if there's a dodgy president in office, you use your vote to get them out which in the case of a dodgy King or Queen you can't do.
It simply is all about tradition and continuity. You see this in all monarchies. It is also a bit weird that hundreds and thousands of soldiers have to make a solemn oath of loyalty to King and Country and fight in the name of the King, of that same King apparently has never seen or experienced parts of military life.

This is not meant to drill William of Wales into an active combat. This is meant to create a strong bond between the future monarch and the armed forces of the realms which once will be under his sceptre.

I'm bit of amazed that you were not able to see this by yourself.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:22 PM
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There's tradition and then there's an actual waste of resources and possible insult to real soldiers. A 24 year old soldier died last week in Iraq - he trained and he went off to fight. That's what soldiers do. In this day and age, how can we really justify letting Wills into the army just so he can wear a pretty uniform and swan about in the Mess whilst his peers are doing real soldiering? In 2007, the monarch can't go to war. The troops go out in his name only, his name or an oath to him doesn't stop them being killed. I did indeed see the intention of sending him to Sandhurst what I also see is an anachronism. It's a grand version of a dressing up box and I personally find it out of date. If he's not going into active combat, he doesn't need to be in the army and to try and justify such a thing with "tradition" is a bit weak IMO. George Bush wasn't in the army, Gloria Accoyo wasn't in the army, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf wasn't in the army - yet they can still do the job of sending the troops out. It makes no sense and it seems to me to be just a waste of resources and an insult to real soldiers who sign up with a real intention to serve their country.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:22 PM
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It simply is all about tradition and continuity. You see this in all monarchies
Exactly.

As an obvious outsider, it seems, to me, that it is the institution not the indivdual with whom the people bind themselves to.

The institution of the British monarchy has weathered larger crises (hence the Abdication of 1936) than those that have beset the present royal family, and the monarchy has adapted, re-grouped, and continued in existence. By adjusting to the sentiment of the times even, as in the case of Edward VIII, by sacrificing one of its own. Again, it is the institution of the monarchy that matters, not the individual.

Of course, I could be completely wrong since I am an outsider.
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Old 06-25-2007, 03:28 PM
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Why can't you swear loyalty to a President though? For that matter, why does it have to be the troops swearing loyalty to a person - why not just their country? If it's a tradition to have people play-acting the parts of soldiers when they actually aren't, it's a tradition we're best out of.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeatrixFan View Post
Why can't you swear loyalty to a President though? For that matter, why does it have to be the troops swearing loyalty to a person - why not just their country? If it's a tradition to have people play-acting the parts of soldiers when they actually aren't, it's a tradition we're best out of.
Well we still do not have the Scottish Republic or the Republic England but the United Kingdom, with all its logics and unlogics which add to the charms of it.

The male Heir performing military service is as traditional as strawberries with cream at Wimbledon. No matter the fact that since the Napoleontic era no any West European monarch him- or herself has actively acted as Commander in Chief of their armed forces.

You can put question marks to everything. Why should the Dutch Queen wear a long robe and travel in a Golden State Carriage to Parliament? Why can't she take a car?

Why is there a lavish State Banquet in the Palais de l'Elysée when the president of Germany visits the president of France? Can't the good man simply take his German friend to a bistro at Boulevard Montparnasse?

Etc. Etc.

It are the absurdities of life which spices our everyday's boredom.

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