HRH The princess Royal
one of the hardest working royals.
As I mentioned the other day, here in the United States we are in the middle of a heated political election season. In my life time I do not remember things this heated. However, reading US history perhaps this political season is mild compared to those of the past. On Monday it was reported that Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney called 47% of the electorate victims where dependent on the government. This has been part of the so called “class warfare” between the Republicans and the Democrats. This heated debate, and I suspect it will only get hotter in the coming weeks, proves a point that I have long held; that Monarchy is a system that can help rise above these bitter partisan fights. It also points to the wisdom of having a head of state that is not connected to any political party which gives them the ability to be a representative of all of the people not just a few. No matter who wins the 2012 election in the US there will be some people who view the winner, no matter who it is, as someone who does not represent them. Embodying the office of Head of State with that of Head of the Government in the same person is one of the flaws in our system of government.
That doesn’t mean that I want the US to become a monarchy. That ship sailed over 200 years ago. Here is an interesting article which discusses how supportive politicians and average people were toward the Monarchical system of government back during the times of the founding of this nation.
It should come as no surprise because a monarchy was the type of government most people knew and had experienced. It was ingrained in the cultural Zeitgeist. It was an essential aspect of almost every culture in Western Civilization at that juncture in history.
One of the things I admire about the monarchies of today is their work in service. I highly recommend reading the book Royal Bounty: The Making of a Welfare Monarchy by F. K. Prochaska. In the book it describes the evolution of the service work attached to monarchies. Emperors, Kings and Queens and Princes and Princesses have been working for charities and supporting organizations that support the poor and needy. The book gives a detailed account of the impact that a royal working in service has had on the charities. I watched a PBS special here in the states which also mentioned this phenomenon. I apologize for not remembering the show, I have seen so many in the Diamond Jubilee year, but it was stressed that when a royal is a patron of a specific charity the amount of money that goes into those charities and the awareness of the work and needs of that charity rises greatly.
Often people who do not follow royalty wonder what is the point in having them? There is a notion that they do nothing and only live a life of privilege. In truth these people have given up their lives and freedoms in a way only few of us could know or imagine. If you read the Court Circular from any Court in Europe you will see that the royals in these families have extremely busy schedules.
Although having a Head of State who is above partisan politics is no guarantee of stability and success or does it mean it will shelter them from criticism, it does greatly lessen the probability that the monarch will only represent a small faction of their nation. Having a symbolic hereditary Head of State that is there not by Divine Right, but by the will of the people, demonstrates the great responsibility the members of the family have to live lives above public criticism and reproach. This is why Prince Harry’s most recent escapades were such a PR nightmare. If things like that continue on a large scale you could quickly see Buckingham Palace turned into a museum.