Strangely, I couldn’t care less about Prince Charles’ marriage. If we insist on keeping the royals, can’t we at least reform them?
There used to be a time where to be anti-Royal made you a radical ‘loony leftie’. Nowadays, the constant stream of drivel about the dysfunctional family has convinced many that we ought to just scrap the whole thing. The biggest question, of course, is what would we replace it with? There’s even less enthusiasm for having a US style President, and making Tony Blair head of state won’t win much support. There is, and will always be, a substantial number of people who still cling to the Royal family because they’re traditional and ‘mostly harmless’.
Having said that, we need to do something. The idea that two people getting engaged is big exciting news is embarrassing, and barely a day goes by until one Prince or another cocks-up, again. So how about we compromise here, and reform. In the end, this would be in everybody’s best interests, and allow the tradition to continue without causing so much grief.
Firstly, we should cut it down to size. Think about it – every institution is forced to restructure and streamline itself at some point, from the NHS to the BBC. But the Royals are allowed to go on expanding, with distant third-cousins, 500th in line to the throne, getting ridiculous privileges at our expense. To most people, the Royal Family means the Queen, her husband, and their children and grandchildren. That’s it. And could someone remind me why they need all those castles? Last time I checked, residents of ‘Modern Britain’ were having enough trouble paying the mortgages on one house, let along several.
The axe also needs to be taken to the huge array of assistants, butlers and general ‘hangers on’ that surround the Royals. I mean honestly, if you think paying Paul Burrell’s wages was a good use of your taxes, you need your head examined.
Next – we need to get the Royals to pay tax at the same rate as everybody else. We’d all love to pick and choose which taxes we pay, and we’re considerably worse off than Queen and Co. If they’re finding it difficult, then they can auction off a few tiaras, or go on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! (only kidding) Oh, and I want full accounts published so we can see how the money is spent, not just some half-arsed attempt to tell us what they want us to know, and hold back what they don’t.
Here’s the great news about these reforms – they wouldn’t do a thing to damage that sacred cow, tourism revenues. No body is going to cancel their trip to Britain because the Queen’s butler’s friend’s maid’s sister has been made redundant, they just want to see her wave a bit and walk by the guards with the stupid hats. And maybe buy a few postcards. That’s it – so stop worrying.
So, we have a choice. We could leave things how they are – an extravagant, expensive system that will one day give us King Charles (I shudder just thinking about it) and yet more pomp and ceremony, funded by us. Or we could decide exactly what we want from a Royal Family and ditch the rest. The money saved could even be used to build some more multi-million fountains which don’t work. “To remember them by.”
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