Is the British monarchy economically advantageous

Pros and Cons: Republic or Monarchy?

A juxtaposition of the blessing and the curse of royal rule. According to a recent poll, only 13 percent of the British are opponents of the monarchy.

London / Rei. According to a recent poll, only 13 percent of the British are opponents of the monarchy. And in the climate of the current William Kate euphoria, the scattered group of antimonarchists is particularly reluctant.

Currently, however, only a dozen politicians sit in the 650-seat lower house, which openly advocates the abolition of the monarchy. The most prominent Republican is the Liberal Democratic Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who has not wanted to comment on the subject since he took office in May last year. Labor - traditionally anti-monarchist in the past - has now made peace with the Windsors.

It offers "many advantages for a modern, multicultural Great Britain," wrote the influential Labor MP and historian Tristram Hunt in a recent essay. The royal house is the identity of the nation and strengthens its social structure.

Pro: "The monarch's mistakes are bad for us all"

Sometimes external impressions are not misleading. As a board member of the “Constitutional Monarchy Association”, Jacques Arnold invites you to tea in the noble Carlton Club. There is a huge portrait of Margaret Thatcher emblazoned on the wall, although there is a small crack in the lower right corner: "That was the craftsman, but I do not assume that it was a political motive," said Arnold.

Isn't there a lack of binding rules for the monarch?

The Queen decides at her own discretion, but within the framework of tradition and experience. The first Prime Minister the Queen saw was Churchill. She's seen it all.

Isn't that too much of a responsibility?

It's a huge responsibility, but it can be done. If the monarch makes a mistake, it is bad for all of us, including royalty. But the ruler must decide what is best for the country based on the people's choice. The Queen can lead the party leaders to drink, they have to drink themselves.

What if Parliament proclaims a republic tomorrow?

Then the monarch has to accept that. If MPs pass a law tomorrow to execute the Queen, she'll have to sign it before she's beheaded.


Cons: "Most Britons are indifferent to the royal family"

Graham Smith, on the other hand, works from his apartment near Tower Bridge. He is the spokesman for "Republic", whose goal is the end of the monarchy. The "Observer" wrote about the activist: "The only man in Great Britain who is paid to be against the Royals."

Why do you want to abolish the British monarchy?

The monarchy has great power and does not use it, but transfers it to the prime minister.

But the prime minister has been elected.

No, we elect parties and the monarch chooses the prime minister without any guidelines.

But who needs a majority in parliament.

Once parliament has appointed a prime minister, he can do what he wants.

In theory, parliament could proclaim a republic tomorrow.

Yes, but that's not in the interests of those who really hold power. We have no supervision over the highest state organs, instead we have a completely unnecessary head of state.

Do you feel support for your movement?

Most British people today are completely indifferent to the royal family. But ten years ago the demand for the abolition of the monarchy would have caused horror. Today we can discuss it openly.


("Die Presse", print edition, April 29, 2011)