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Empress 03-03-2009 08:01 PM

Royalty and the Economy
 
Having watched the economic downturn and continuing downward spiral, I was wondering how many of you might have begun to think that royalty is getting to be a bit outdated or superfluous given the current situation of the worlds economies.

I know that I think that Royalty has a place, no matter what the economic situation, however I could understand and see a case made by others, especially in harder hit countries, for a second look at royalty.

Perhaps some of you think that concessions and cutbacks in the budgets of the royal families would be in order, or perhaps you think that they should be disbanded, or perhaps that they should fund themselves. Whatever the case may be I would certainly be interested in hearing everyone's opinions.

Mine is this: I don't want to see anything happen to the Royal Families, however I think that they could take a leaf out of the British Royal families book of the Second World War and economise greatly. Given that people are losing their homes and in some cases can't afford to feed themselves, I think that concessions are definitely in order.

Sonjapearl 03-03-2009 08:09 PM

I don't think they should be disbanded over lousy economies, but they should definitely cut back just like the Danish royal family is.

I also think the British royals - particularly William & Harry - should take their roles seriously, be it military or public engagements, so the British people won't think they are wasting tax payers' money.

As for royalty becoming outdated, that is a debate that will go on until the last monarchy is abolished. Personally, I think royalty only becomes outdated when its members remain out of touch with the needs and suffering of the people. That is why I say William and Harry need to get their act together.

Lady Claire 03-03-2009 09:40 PM

I don't think monarchy shoud be disbanded but they should could cut back on spending. Manarchy should be in-touch with the people and their suffering and show that they care by actions not just words; therfore, they should cut back like their people are doing.

Great thread by the way!

Elspeth 03-03-2009 10:20 PM

I think it's a bit of a myth that modern monarchies are that much more expensive to run than republics. But it's the perception that matters, and as Sonjapearl said, if the younger royals are going to party their way through the recession it'll have some very negative fallout. It remains to be seen whether Prince Charles and Prince Andrew can restrain their offspring, although with Prince Andrew's latest helicopter boondoggle, it does make you wonder.

However, if royal families do make a point of claiming to economise because of the current economic times, they need to do it seriously and not just pay lip service. The media will be on the lookout for hypocrisy, and at least in Britian there are republicans in high places in the media.

Empress 03-05-2009 12:51 PM

I understand what you are saying, Elspeth. However, most of the monarchies today are in countries that also have an elected government, so the taxpayers/citizens/whomever are having to support two separate entities. Double the expense some would say. I also wonder to what extent the monarchies fund themselves?

Al_bina 03-05-2009 01:46 PM

That is one rhetoric question ... Should taxpayers/citizens/ whomever support both elected officials and members of royal family? I think that current economic hardships will prompt royals to work much harder proving their worth, thereby making common people buy into relevancy of the royals. This means that certain members of the royal families should avoid finding lame excuses to milk their positions. Angry tired disillusioned people may not automatically support particular members of the royal families and demand from the families/government to further reduce a number of royals the public is willing to pay upkeep for.

Jacknch 03-05-2009 01:52 PM

That's a very interesting question you ask Empress and the simple answer for me would be that in no way should a monarchy be thought of as outdated or superfluous just because of the economic situation, which in the scale of history is only a temporary problem. It would be awful if people in 200 years time looked back and saw that the institution of monarchy was abolished over a world banking problem that will eventually be sorted out. If it did happen, then I would expect all types of heads of state to be disbanded as well for being too expensive too.
People who live in constitutional monarchies are not really paying double for having an elected government and a monarch - if you think about it, almost every country in the world with an elected government also has a seperate head of state of one sort or another.
I totally agree that the cost of having a monarchy (and any form of head of state) should always be carefully monitored as well as the perks, wages and extras that elected MPs tend to get these days! A constitutional monarchy has to be above and impartial to the machinations of the political world and therefore the monarch cannot fund itself/use its own money for the official/state business of being a monarch. Therefore the monarch has to be funded by the government (tax payer) and must be seen to be worth keeping. The engagements royalty carries out must be of some value to society and to the country - I am happy for a few thousand pounds to be spent sending Princess Anne to Australia to represent the Queen at the memorial after those dreadful bushfires because it was quite rightly recognised as an important event. Whether spending a few thousand pounds to send Prince Andrew by helicopter a few miles down the road (for something that quite frankly I cannot remember what it was might) be a different story! :smile:

Marengo 03-05-2009 01:56 PM

Why would the monarchy be abolished due to the economy? Such a thing would impy that a republic is cheaper than a republic, which is certainly not the case. The Belgian monarchy for example is by no means more expensive to maintain than the Portuguese republic. And in recent research it was said that the president of Italy is the most costly head of state in Europe, more expensive than the British monarchy for example.

Added to that, I have a hard time believing that any government can sell the abolisment of the monarchy as a budget cut. The monarchies that remain have more than enough credit among their population, so such a thing won't be accepted.

IMO economising is not the anwser to everything, so in that light I am all in favor of the royals and anybody else with money to spend as much as they normally would.

Empress 03-05-2009 02:07 PM

I'm not saying that it is my idea. I would be horrified if the monarchies were abolished. But I do think that some serious economizing is in order. If a royal family is to be seen as representing the country that it is from, I hardly think that they can do so when waltzing around in designer clothes and lavish dinners/jewels/vacations/etc, when a proportion of the country that they are representing is barely living in suitable conditions. (And I am not saying that they are doing that per se, but more that those people that are not as serious about royalty as those on this board, could see it that way.)

{Deleted as off-topic political comment/Mandy}

Marengo 03-05-2009 02:15 PM

Well, personally I would think the RF economising to be an empty gesture. They get a certain amount of money, and if they want to spend it on expensive gowns, on diamonds or if the want to throw it in the Atlantic Ocean is their business. But having that said I do understand that f.e. the royal family of The Netherlands buying one property after another in Argentina in the middle of the crisis doesn't look well, so you certainly have a good point.

Still, if they seriously need budget cuts, I wonder where and what. Do we want to stop using carriages? Do we want to stop state visits (which might actually help in strenghtening economical ties with countries). Apart from those issues cutting costs on the monarchy is also not very effective, the Dutch monarchy costs around 40 million euros a year. Now, you can spend a lot of time and energy in looking where they can cut costs but in the end what do they gain with it? 10 million perhaps?

So since these cuts would have very little practical use the main effect will be a psychological one, that the RF is in more difficult times as are others, but still how difficult can it be if you have xxxx million euros on the bank?

Odette 03-05-2009 04:55 PM

I have a feeling that those monarchs and royal families who show some restraint and adopt charities that help their people, will come out winners.
{Deleted off-topic political comment/Mandy}
The younger generations who think "anything goes" and they deserve to party non stop will pay in the end.

rop81 03-08-2009 08:56 PM

I donīt buy the talk about the monarchy beeing more expansive then a republic. The king gets an amount of money that has to cover salurys for the staff, maintainance of the royal palaces, all other expenses that comes with representing the country - the costs for this would be the same with an president. But as most of the persons that works in media are republicans they love all things that can give an negative image of the Royal family. Offcourse the RF should think an extra time before making anything that can be though too extravagant in theese times but other then that i donīt think they should worry.


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