I hear many tiresome arguments about the rights and wrongs of maintaining a traditional monarchy. Most of them come from republicans and the minor radicals, who happen to be odiously left wing, but some come from my fellow royalists. We like to talk about how the monarchy gives us a national identity and culture, about how the monarchy encourages tourism to our wonderful capital and of course we like to bring up our commonwealth of nations. These points are all very true and we will do well to remember them. That being said, the real reason the monarchy is so important is because it separates politics from the head of state, and the monarch represents the people instead of a political party.
The purpose of the monarch in our current system, is to be a politically impartial head of state. Prime ministers are busy running the country, we shouldn’t waste their time with lame photo shoots (I suppose they choose to do this regardless), ceremonies, state visits and hosting events. Who wants a politician to honour our soldiers anyway? It should be someone who actually represents the people and embodies the nation, not someone who has temporarily won over public opinion. Politics tends to divide us, while nationhood and identity unites us all; regardless of race, gender and background.
Without a monarch we would likely elect a president instead of dumping the duties on a Prime Minister. While I am confident that the British people would elect a fantastic Conservative and Unionist president, having a president comes with great costs. Not only does it punish the public purse more than a humble monarch does, but the system is flipped on its head. In a democracy the politicians are meant to bow to the people, work for the people and fear the power of the demos if they fail in their duties. With a presidency it is the other way around.
Just look at Trump and Macron, they are worshiped, gifted palaces, have eye-watering wages, tax exemptions and the military are solely loyal to them; a party politician instead of the nation. No wonder the pair are rather unpleasant and arrogant people, certainly no wonder why an American president can only serve two terms. They know that the pedestal, the worship, the military parades in their name, all gets to the head of a politician, inflating their arrogance to breaking point. A two-term limit is the constitutional equivalent of price caps. If prices are soaring, then something in the economic system is wrong and the root cause must be fixed. In our example, the root cause is having a greedy politician as head of state, not a powerless monarch.
I suspect while hearing royalist arguments about tradition, culture and heritage, many of the left become republicans; they’ve long had a distaste for patriotism after all. Only the real radical ideologues want rid of the monarchy to obtain the position themselves and to remove a safeguard on freedom. That’s the real reason radical republicans want Her Majesty gone, not anything out of principle but for ideological and personal gain. I don’t see Labour and the minor radicals that way. They are too soft and too misinformed, like a newly adopted and very tired kitten. I’ve heard the DRF speak in parliament, they seem to lack the fire, the ideas and the intention to have more sinister motives. Often the parties with the most disturbing names are really just trying to compensate for a lack of the aforementioned mentioned attributes.
Of course, I deeply care about tradition, culture and national heritage, but at its heart the debate is one of constitutional systems. Do we have a powerless and humble monarch, embodying the nation and her people as head of state; or do we have an arrogant, party political politician, using their position for politics, while their head bloats from the worship and their sight blurs from the height of the pedestal? For me the answer is simple, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
God save the Queen.