The Earth-shattering news has been announced that females are now equal in the line of succession for the British crown.
Wow! I can finally sleep now knowing that that issue has been put to rest.
Sarcasm aside, this news simply gives me an easy hook to type up this recent ceditra entry from October 9. My random process for generating topics to write about (this process is fifth in a direct line of processes dating back to the early 1990s) brought me to question number 2,661 from the book Know It All, by Marsha Kranes, Fred Worth, and Steve Temerius.
In today’s age, what is the purpose of a monarchy?
In some of the countries listed above (e.g., England ang Spain) the monarch doesn’t even run the government. They are titular heads who solely serve as the head of state for ceremonial purposes. The Queen of England opens Parliament in a grand and solemn event full of pomp, but it’s not as if she could actually negate any law passed by that body.
From a cost-benefit analysis, the monarchy appears to be a drain on an economy. How much did the wedding of Catherine and William cost compared to how much it brought in? How much does it cost England to maintain all the relatives of Queen Elizabeth II? I’m guessing there is some level of tourist money that comes in because people want to gawk at Buckingham Palace and the Crown Jewels, but it can’t balance out how much it actually takes to run the monarchy.
I suppose there is the concept of tradition that keeps a monarchy alive. Folks may come from different backgrounds and experiences, but all Norwegians share the same monarch and all Danes share Queen Beatrix.
But is that enough?
Would removing the monarchy make a citizen of Luxembourg less Luxembourg-ish? Would a resident of Vaduz feel less connected to Liechtenstein? Is the reigning monarch the only thing keeping the French-speakers and the Flemish-speakers together in Belgium?
Granted, I am biased because I hail from a country that was born by throwing off a monarchy, but I do wonder that while it may be good to be the King, is it good for the country in question?
Back to today and I would leave it up to those ten countries to answer that question for themselves.