"The child will be third in line to the throne and is destined to be monarch regardless of its sex, as the British Government is negotiating with all Commonwealth countries to change the law so that a first-born girl can inherit the throne even if she has brothers."
Does anyone else feel this political correctness is really unecessary and over the top? The whole point and “charm” of the monarchy to me seems to be in it’s traditions, so who and why do people feel the need to tamper with it in this way? It’s all Cinderalla and Prince Charming type of stuff, bringing in modern day issues like this just undermines the monarchy and it’s purpose in my opinion.
It’s a slippery slope… …next thing you know, they’ll let a Catholic reign!!!
It is possible (though unlikely) that Commonwealth countries will still demand male primogeniture. That would mean that a woman could ascend the throne in England, but a male would have precedence in Canada or Australia. Things like that have happened before, which is why Victoria did not succeed William IV as Hanover’s sovereign, while she did succeed him in Britain.
Seems unlikely that Commonwealth countries will go that way, but it is - in theory - possible, depending on how their Parliaments act.
In any case, Britain seems to have done fairly well under its Queens. Elizabeth I, and Victoria measure up well or better against pretty much any British King. Depending on how you view decolonization and the relationship with America, Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t been bad. Queen Anne was neither here nor there and was arguably the last British monarch with any real power. Admittedly, Queen Mary didn’t go too well, and Queen Jane (at 15 days) hardly counts. Queen Mathilda was pretty kick-ass it seems, though she lived in very troubled times and was effectively in a civil war with her cousin Stephen.
Nowadays, British monarchs don’t really do any governing. They are mostly a tourist attraction - I’m not kidding. Royal Wedding, Buckinham Palace guards, parades, and stuff like that make money for the UK. So if they want to go the route of “hey, at least we are not sexist”, then sure why not.
But this is exactly why I don’t think they should change it. It’s like suddenly being told that Santa will be able to either be portrayed as man or a woman. It’s traditional that Santa is an old man with a beard, who or why would anyone feel the need to change that? Sure, I guess it’s sexist to not let women apply for jobs as Santas in department stores over the Christmas season, but common…who is seriously going to get uptight enough to think this is something that needs to be changed? The monarchy is all about tradition. If you start changing these traditions, you might as well do away with it all together.
bchad, are you saying this might be a national security issue of some kind? i.e. remove any possibility that an Aussie man might inherit the throne should there only be girls in the current line? If this was the case, wouldn’t this have been addressed hundreds of years ago? Seems more like a modern day sexism issue to me.
Not sure how anyone reads national security into this, except to the extent that maintaining a monarchy that doesn’t actually govern is darned expensive, so why do anything to increas the number of people/estates that need to be supported.
The royal appeal is not just about tradition though… It’s also about glamour, relatability and fantasy (for girls). It’s not history buffs who hounded Princess Diana or who crowded London for Will/Kate Wedding. It was normal people who are fixated with celebrities and larger-than-life images. UK royalty has significance through the image that they project to common people. It’s kind of like Frank’s obsession with Kim Kardashian, but I guess less sleazy. If a female heir broadens the appeal, then that’s probably a good thing.
I believe the monarchy actually has positive NPV, as they attract some $1 billion dollar in tourist revenue a year. So, puttering Queen Elizabeth around in a Rolls Royce actually has economic benefit. (Feel free to check the numbers though…). I would also argue that a monarchy that has governing power would probably be worse, as autocratic regimes tend to be inefficient. That Darren Acemoglu book is all about this… seriously he just rambles on and on about the same point…
I know there was talk about skipping Prince Charles and just making William the next king for this reason, to revitalize the image of the monarchy.
In Australia, there has been a lot of talk and action about getting rid of the monarchy and becoming a republic. It went to the people in 1999 via a referendum but was voted down (a controversial vote as many people saw its failure as being due to politics rather than wanting to oust the monarchy).
What I hear from a lot of Australians is that this might go back for a vote when the Queen passes away. I don’t completely understand it (I’m not Australian), but it seems a lot of Australians see the Queen as part of their national identity, but don’t see the monarchy in the same way (i.e. it’s about the person, not the institution).
Pretty soon in Australia when white Australians are outnumbered by Bangladeshi and Pakistani immigrants you will vote out the monarchy along with whatever vestiage of your anglo-saxon identity you once had. Then you’ll be sorry once they ban christianity and turn the country into an Islamic theocracy with a muslim warlord as king. Sure it will take 50 years, but your already well on your way now with your lack of birthrate outside of the immigrant community.
The beautiful thing about Monarchies is that they ensures that a certain type of people stay in power and on top of a countries social ladder in near perpetuity. Without it, you are far more likely to have upstart minority groups (take CFAvsMBA or Malcom X for example) come along and usurp power. This is entirely undesirable if you are one of the poeple at the top, or one of their apologists in the middleclass who would prefer rich white people at the top over say rich pakistanis with guns.