HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Arts & Humanities » World History (Group) » God Save the Queen: Why t...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 04:34 AM

God Save the Queen: Why the British Monarchy May Not Outlive Elizabeth

Tim Stanley
February 14, 2012 | 12:00 am

Last week marked the sixtieth anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the British throne. The government has already declared a four day public holiday in June, during which Her Majesty will lead a flotilla of a thousand boats along the Thames and a chain of fiery beacons will be lit across the United Kingdom. For a country in recession and at conflict with the European Union over its right to govern its own finances, this offers us a unique opportunity to reassert confidence and historical identity. The default British response to any crisis is to throw a good party.

But enthusiasm for Queen Elizabeth’s anniversary hides the fact that the future of the monarchical institution is in question. Elizabeth II is very popular among her subjects, but her son and heir is not. The tension over the future of the throne raises an even bigger question in Britain: whether it’s appropriate for a 21st century democracy to maintain a monarchy at all.

The British enthusiasm for Queen Elizabeth is about two things. First, it’s about us. The Queen’s reign encompassed an extraordinary breadth of social history, covering both the highs and lows of British life—throughout all of which, the Queen was the one constant. When she came to the throne, Britain still ruled large swathes of the world and was a major power. By the late 1960s our empire was gone and we were divesting ourselves of what remained of Victorian culture—London swung, and hem lines were at an all time high. Britain crashed out in the 1970s (the Queen’s Silver Jubilee of 1977 was celebrated by a country crippled by strikes and inflation), the 1980s brought the harsh medicine of Thatcherism, and the 1990s a consumer boom. To review her history is to review a history of ourselves: like flicking through an old family photo album.

More: http://www.tnr.com/article/world/100708/queen-elizabeth-britain-monarchy-royal-family


Do you think there will be a single monarchy on the face of the earth at the end of the 21st century?

18 replies, 2829 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply God Save the Queen: Why the British Monarchy May Not Outlive Elizabeth (Original post)
ellisonz Feb 2012 OP
liberal N proud Feb 2012 #1
ellisonz Feb 2012 #3
Bucky Feb 2012 #2
ellisonz Feb 2012 #4
fladem2006 Mar 2012 #5
Odin2005 Mar 2012 #6
JDPriestly Apr 2012 #8
Confusious Apr 2012 #9
JDPriestly Apr 2012 #10
Confusious Apr 2012 #11
Matilda Apr 2012 #12
Confusious Apr 2012 #13
Matilda Apr 2012 #14
Confusious Apr 2012 #15
Rittermeister May 2012 #16
Rowdyboy Mar 2012 #7
RFKHumphreyObama May 2012 #17
Bucky May 2012 #18

Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri Feb 24, 2012, 07:46 AM

1. The qustion would better be asked, will there be symbolic monarchies.

Dictators are always going to be around, many of them will surely call themselvs King.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to liberal N proud (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:30 AM

3. Many dictators have taken to calling themselves...

...President, except for Mr. Gaddafi of course, the King of Kings of Africa.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 02:36 PM

2. I'd put good money on it.

It's intellectual navel gazing to question retaining the monarchy. Any serious answer of "no, let's get rid of it" will be followed by the next impossible question, "How?"

Dismantling the institution would work if there's a monarch who won't behave himself. But as long as the person on the throne (do they still have thrones?) is well mannered and upholds the public good and engages in periodic acts of charity and commiseration in times of pain and crisis, the monarchy will remain too popular to be gotten rid of.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bucky (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 27, 2012, 01:32 AM

4. Hey!

I'm a big fan of intellectual navel gazing. That's how I discovered aesthetics!

I have my doubts about the ability of the remaining monarchies to produce heirs who want to retain the title. I think at the very least we could see even fewer left than we have today.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 12:12 PM

5. Charles, will never be king

His mother is in her 80s and in good health. His grandmother lived to be over a hundred. Those two facts that cannot be changed. I think that Charles will never be king and that Prince William will inherit the throne after his grandmother (Queen Elizabeth) dies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Sat Mar 3, 2012, 10:45 PM

6. They will just pass over Charles and make William king.

Charles belongs in a straightjacket, not a royal palace.

The Monarchy is good for tourism, so I doubt they will get rid of it. William will make a good ceremonial head of state, he is intelligent and thoughtful, everything his dad is not.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Odin2005 (Reply #6)

Sun Apr 1, 2012, 04:54 AM

8. I don't know much about Charles.

Why do you think he "belongs in a straitjacket?"

Other than his strange romantic life, what is it about him that you distrust?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 04:12 AM

9. His support of homeopathy, for one. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 12:10 PM

10. He is not the only person who supports that.

I know some very sane people who have lost confidence in standard Western medicine.

Personally, I am not a fan of homeopathy, but I do know that a lot of allergy treatments are based on the same principles.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #10)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 09:05 PM

11. Allergy treatments are not the same


If you have an allergy, your body has a reaction to something.

Trying to cure the plague or something else by putting shit in water and saying it has a memory is pure snake oil and ridiculous hooey.

Might as well get the shavings of a unicorn horn.

.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #9)

Wed Apr 4, 2012, 10:35 PM

12. With respect, the late Queen Mother used homeopathic remedies,

as does the Queen. The Queen Mother was Patron of the British Homeopathic Association.

It certainly doesn't seem to have done them any harm.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Matilda (Reply #12)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 02:07 AM

13. A fool and his money are soon parted


Using your definition, the wall street guys didn't hurt anyone. What's everyone bitchin' about?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #13)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 09:16 PM

14. That's a very odd statement.

I am simply pointing to the longevity and good health of both the Queen and her
late mother - whether it's due to homeopathy or good genes, who can say?

But there is no connection to one's personal beliefs about health and healing and whether one is exploiting other people for personal gain. Your statement is a complete non sequitur.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Matilda (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 04:21 AM

15. Sure there is

Last edited Fri Apr 6, 2012, 02:53 PM - Edit history (2)

The snake oil has to have a salesman.

And if she's lived a long time, it's probably because of genes. To even consider in the slight that it's because of homeopathy is a joke.

We might as well start burning witches again if people consider homeopathy any sort of `medicine.`

It's running away from reason and the enlightenment and into the arms of ignorance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Confusious (Reply #15)

Fri May 4, 2012, 01:30 PM

16. Is the scientific method dead?

Sure seems like it. Maybe that's the result of forty years of renewed religious extremism in the US, mixed with all this new age bullshit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 09:21 PM

7. I'd be surprised if William and Kate's eldest child or grandchild isn't on the British throne....

All the rest may be gone but I think the Brits will hang in there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2012, 01:01 PM

17. Yes...

The British monarchy could go either way. I notice here in Australia (where the Queen is our largely ceremonial head of state, although all her powers and duties are effectively exercised through her representative -known as the Governor General -who is actually appointed by our Prime Minister) that talk about becoming a Republic always revolves around doing it after Queen Elizabeth II dies. We did have a referendum on whether we should become a Republic 13 years ago but our Bushbot PM at the time effectively scuppered it by rigging the referendum question so it would deliberately fail. I think many of the countries that have Queen Elizabeth as a head of state will start addressing the question of becoming a Republic more seriously after she has passed away

As for the actual British monarchy itself, it depends on how it adapts to change. I suspect that Charles will probably be an uninspiring monarch if he succeeds his mother but I could proved wrong -it's interesting to note that everyone had the same low expectations of King Edward VII, whom succeeded Queen Victoria (who also had an exceptionally long reign and thereby made her son wait a long time) and he proved to be quite a surprise -although he only reigned for a short time
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_VII
If/when William takes over the throne, I think he could revive its fortunes at least for the short term. He's young, popular and has some of the charm of his mother and I think his will be a long reign. What happens after that -who knows?

As for monarchy worldwide being extinct by the end of the 21st century, I'm not yet prepared to make that call. I think in some countries it may collapse. In Thailand, for instance, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (the world's longest serving head of state) is revered and beloved by his subjects but his son is apparently unpopular and lacks his father's common touch. Combined with that, the prestige of the royal family there has been undermined somewhat in recent years by the role they played in undermining and overthrowing the government of Thaksin Shinawatra. So that's one country where I think the monarchy may be in danger in the long term. Also dramatic circumstances can end a monarchy pretty quickly (see for example Nepal, where much of the royal family -including the popular King at the time- were extinguished when the Crown Prince went on a murderous rampage with a gun at a family dinner back in 2001. The new King who took over proved incompetent and effectively ran the monarchy into the ground, resulting in its abolition just seven to eight years later)

Also monarchs in the Middle East may succumb to revolutions/pro-democracy movements/Islamic fundamentalist takeovers and whatever else. I doubt many of them will survive till the end of this century, especially since many of them are burying their heads in the sand in response to demands for political reforms and freedoms -which, judging by history, always seems to end badly for them

Yet many of the monarchies in Europe remain very popular with their subjects -particularly in Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark and Noway where the royal families have shown a willingness to adapt with the time and adopt a more common touch in relation to their subjects. Similarly monarchs in countries like Brunei and Bhutan also command a high degree of reverence from their subjects. This may change over coming decades but it certainly should give pause for thought when trying to predict the future of monarchies

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ellisonz (Original post)

Fri May 18, 2012, 05:04 PM

18. I think she should celebrate by commissioning pirates to plunder Spanish shipping...

and then confiscating all Catholic property and then having her cousin beheaded. Go old school, Lizzy!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread