The Real Reason Why Britain Still Has a Monarchy

If you were designing, or aiming to design, the perfect form of government from scratch, then the verdict on monarchy (in whatever form it came) would be, to cite an old Irish cliché, ‘I wouldn’t start from here.’  Whatever view you take of Meghangate, and its ongoing outworkings, there is no easy way to defend a system where the job of Head of State is reserved for just one family.  I don’t know the full details of what was said …

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The royal wedding: an entertainment that is also an investment in the future of the British state

The wedding of the Kilkeels belongs in that part of the human imagination that houses dreams and fantasy.   With identity such a great part of the imagination  on our island,  it is easily recognised as such, although what part of the imagination is affected can sharply differ. My memories are vivid of the pretty decent royal coverage in the Dublin media in 1973  when I was covering  the trial in Winchester of Gerry Kelly, the Price sisters and five others …

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Is it the end of the line for Queen Elizabeth?

Earlier today the bookmaker Coral closed the market on bets around whether the Queen would announce in her Christmas broadcast this year that she was to step down. This would follow the practice of other European Monarch’s who have annouced their abidications in favour of a younger generation. There was a flurry of bets in the aftermath of her speech being recorded by the BBC. Buckingham Palace has denied the report. So, will Queen Elizabeth step down in 2015? David …

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Queen Elizabeth and our attitude towards the Monarchy

It is always a big occasion when the Queen pops over from Buckingham Palace to pay her subjects in this part of the kingdom a visit. Before, I go any further I must declare an interest, I am a republican and  not just in a narrow Irish sense, but I generally think that monarchies around the world are in 2014 pretty redundant. The recent example in Spain of King Juan Carlos having to abdicate because of his extravagant holidays while …

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Martin McGuinness the Queen and Sinn Fein’s “Tiocfaidh ar Lámh”* campaign…

Given the nature of all the agreements made since 1998, the meeting of deputy First Minister and the head of state of United Kingdom (you know the old lady Gerry calls the Queen of England) on Wednesday is probably a good thing. You also have to admit that the headlines it evinced in the main flagship new organisations of two countries was impressive too. Radio Four’s Six O’Clock News gave it almost five minutes as the top headline. RTE’s Six …

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Thoughts on the Monarchy

For a unionist to admit to being less than a wholehearted monarchist is often difficult, especially so during the 60th jubilee. Alex Kane, a unionist and open republican, has a very good analysis during which he almost becomes a pragmatic monarchist. It is worth reading in totality but his main argument centres around the stability the monarchy under the present Queen has helped provide. I have mentioned before that not all unionists are wholly supportive of the monarchy. Personally I …

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British monarchy under threat of being opened up to [Roman] Catholics

It looks like we could be in for yet another installment of false rage now the DUP has endorsed a shared (sic) future platform. The Telegraph is reporting that the political and constitutional reform committee have said that: “The scenario does beg the question of whether it remains appropriate for the monarch to be required to be in communion with the Church of England. “The most obvious difficulty in having a Catholic monarch — beyond the purely statutory obstacles — is the crown’s role as supreme governor of the …

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House of Windsor can claim a role in UK’s future

Interesting commentary on the political and constitutional context for the British Royal Wedding in Westminster from Philip Stephens: “Once she [the Queen] has gone, though, the institution’s long-term survival will depend on whether it manages to adapt to straitened circumstance. Even as they cheer the newlyweds, the monarch’s subjects are contemplating the prospect of many years of economic austerity. George Osborne, the chancellor, says Britain has “maxed out on the national credit card”. It’s a silly, and economically illiterate, phrase. …

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Not Charles for King, says Hastings

Entertainment for a snowed-in day. Max Hastings,  veteran journalist and military historian and mildly maverick Establishment member, urges that the monarchy should pass over Charles and land on Wills, if the heir doesn’t die before the Queen. This won’t happen of course as heredity is an iron principle unless the occupant is actually certifiable and without it the monarchy crumbles (don’t all chorus). Hastings is the sort of opinion former, a man with toff tastes and military knowledge whom the Establishment  might …

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