Brock Willard editor in chief
The world was rocked by the death of Queen Elizabeth II of England last week. Many people experienced grief. Others experienced different emotions. The thru line being the death of a clearly influential figure during the time she has been on the throne of England. But why in the modern world, is there still a monarch of England? A supposedly free and democratic nation like the United Kingdom has a monarch? That doesn’t seem right.
That’s because it isn’t. Strictly speaking, the modern monarchy of England, sometimes colloquially known simply as “The Royals,” is much different than its historical counterparts. England’s current government is a constitutional monarchy which means that the monarch, formerly Elizabeth and now Charles, exercises their office within the bounds of the British constitution. The ones who truly run the government are in Parliament, which has its own mess of un-democracy for us to examine but that’s for another time. The monarch of England effectively has no major decision powers but instead chooses to vest that power in the Prime Minister, who runs the government in the monarch’s name. Seems simple, doesn’t it?
Well, it is. The problem comes from the issue of why the monarchy even still exists. If the monarch has no real decision power and all their doing is just gallivanting to ceremonies and other countries as they see fit, why would a country keep them around? The answer isn’t as simple as the issue.
The reason the monarchy remains intact is because the United Kingdom wants to hold on to the period of time where they dominated much of the world. World history informs us that a large chunk of the world was under England’s thumb at one point in time and to stave off the hungry masses, the British government needs some sort of fairytale to tell their people. This strategy only goes so far.
In the modern age of telecommunications, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for the British government to soothe their people because they can see everything the Royals are doing and then they can also see the massive inequality right outside their doors. The monarchy of the United Kingdom is a massive drain on resources. Those resources could obviously be put to better use trying to fix homelessness, food insecurity, and other serious issues that are issues everywhere.
Another big problem with the continued existence of the British monarchy is that it serves as a reminder of the colonial past and in fact, many countries today still have the monarch of The United Kingdom as their head of government with their own parliaments. Technically speaking, the monarch is a member of their government even though it was forced on those people.
The death of a human being is sad, but the continued existence of the monarchy in the modern age simply isn’t. Monarchies are obsolete and they need to be abolished in every circumstance.