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Thread: British royals.

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpicturetaker12 View Post
    True to all of it! BUT if you ever did a London trip, you might have a different take. We had a blast! Did the changing of the guard, London Tower (the crown jewels), outside the palace stuff, the red double deckers, 2 museums, Harrods and I'm pretty sure, every 3rd PUB!
    I've been to London five or six times. I enjoyed it. I'm a big fan of history, so it's great to see places like the Tower of London, that I've read about so often. But I've never had an urge to see the modern monarchs, or to watch the pomp and circumstance surrounding them. For me, the monarchy loses its interest around the time Victoria died, since she was the last to have any real importance in the nation. And even she is of limited interest to me, since her power was ceremonial and cultural. I think the last time an English monarch wielded any real political power was George IV -- after that, the monarchs basically just rubber-stamp parliament's acts, rather than exercising independent authority over things like appointing prime ministers.

  2. #42
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NightSwimmer View Post
    I don't think the difference is as significant as you make it out to be. The monarchy in the UK is vestigial. Most folks considered Tony Blair to be the functional head of state while he was PM. Both Bush and Blair made political calculations regarding going to war, and the Queen certainly didn't prevent implementation of the policy chosen by Blair.


    BTW: We Americans don't consider our President to be a King appointed by God, to whom we owe our patriotic loyalty. We owe our patriotic loyalty to our Constitution.
    There actually are Americans who think that God chose Donald Trump to lead America, which I find both frightening and appalling.
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  3. #43
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpicturetaker12 View Post
    True to all of it! BUT if you ever did a London trip, you might have a different take. We had a blast! Did the changing of the guard, London Tower (the crown jewels), outside the palace stuff, the red double deckers, 2 museums, Harrods and I'm pretty sure, every 3rd PUB!
    I would watch all of this in about the same way I would watch a triumphal parade through the streets of Rome by a general returning from a victorious campaign in a remote province, complete with elephants, bears, and captured soldiers and beautiful women: as a historical curiosity, a relic of the past, a museum set-piece.
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  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkady View Post
    Framed that way, though, I guess I see the tawdry trappings of celebrity as a good thing, to the extent it deprives the monarchy of a misplaced authority. I hate the idea of a nation looking to someone like the Windsors as a moral or civic authority, to warn them of bad turns by their elected government, much less to collapse the government if it is taking what they view as a bad turn. The royal family consists of a bunch of inbred rich people, whose role derives from nothing more legitimate than the fact they're descended from usurpers and thugs who once held real power. I think a nation would do better to reach into a hat and draw the name of a random citizen to act as monarch for the year, if there were to be a monarchy. At least then you'd SOMETIMES get people with something valuable to offer, by way of extraordinary intelligence or wisdom hard-earned from a lifetime of making their way in the world. With an inherited monarchy, the intelligence has effectively been bred out of the royal stock, and they're so isolated from the challenges of earning their daily bred that they'll have no workaday wisdom, either.
    You're completely discounting the fact that the British people like the pomp and ceremony and the kind of fairy tale quality of royalty. You can dismiss it as silly, but it's part of their history and heritage and it's what they want. And I disagree with you and the British people disagree with you about Queen Elizabeth. She has offered a lot of value. And while she hasn't had to toll away in an office cubicle or wait tables she has had a lifetime of making her way in the world in a very different way than the average person, but she has worked hard all her life and has quite a bit of wisdom about the world. Not everyone could do her job as well as she has. I think you do not have that much knowledge of her and what her role is and what she's done all her life. You just assume she hangs around eating bon bons all day or something.
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  5. #45
    Veteran Member cpicturetaker12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkady View Post
    That's my view. The monarchy was interesting up through about the reign of Victoria, since she was the last to have any kind of meaningful power, culturally if not politically. These days, though, they're basically just the Kardashians but stuffier.
    Actually, I think the 'stand in King, after this Queen's dad, was pretty interesting. Shy, paralyzed with an embarrassing stutter, he helped get his country through WW2, seems to have been engaged with his subjects, refused to move his family out of London for their safety. Don't really have any idea how instrumental he was or wasn't with policy or strategy with Churchill.
    Last edited by cpicturetaker12; 16th May 2018 at 05:04 AM.

  6. #46
    Radical Centrist BigLeRoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babba View Post
    You're completely discounting the fact that the British people like the pomp and ceremony and the kind of fairy tale quality of royalty. You can dismiss it as silly, but it's part of their history and heritage and it's what they want. And I disagree with you and the British people disagree with you about Queen Elizabeth. She has offered a lot of value. And while she hasn't had to toll away in an office cubicle or wait tables she has had a lifetime of making her way in the world in a very different way than the average person, but she has worked hard all her life and has quite a bit of wisdom about the world. Not everyone could do her job as well as she has. I think you do not have that much knowledge of her and what her role is and what she's done all her life. You just assume she hangs around eating bon bons all day or something.
    The French liked Napoleon, too.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigLeRoy View Post
    The French liked Napoleon, too.
    Why would you compare the modern monarchy of the UK to France under Napoleon?

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babba View Post
    You're completely discounting the fact that the British people like the pomp and ceremony and the kind of fairy tale quality of royalty. You can dismiss it as silly, but it's part of their history and heritage and it's what they want.
    Yes, they're a very silly people. I suppose some of it comes down to a kind of cultural nostalgia. We're talking about a nation that just a century ago controlled the greatest empire history had ever known, and now they control a small island, and will soon fall out of the top five nations for GDP, In fact, they've effectively surrendered any real political importance on the world stage thanks to Brexit. When you've fallen from such heights, and continue to fall with no end in sight, it's probably comforting to cling bitterly to rituals that remind you of past greatness. But I think that very shallowness is part of what perpetuates their decline.

    And while she hasn't had to toll away in an office cubicle or wait tables she has had a lifetime of making her way in the world in a very different way than the average person, but she has worked hard all her life and has quite a bit of wisdom about the world.
    That's the point, though -- she has NEVER had to work hard in her life. She may at times have chosen to do so. But she always had the power to decide to stop, the minute she wasn't in the mood. That puts her in a whole different psychological category from the vast majority of humans, who actually have to work hard to make their way in the world, rather than being able to work or not as they see fit, while living in the lap of luxury either way.

    You just assume she hangs around eating bon bons all day or something.
    Yes, given her physique, I wouldn't be surprised if there was plenty of hanging around eating bon bons. But that's not the point of my objection to her role in British (and world) culture. Even if she were a much more impressive person, the idea of an inherited role like hers is an embarrassing cultural anachronism that has no appeal to me.
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  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpicturetaker12 View Post
    Actually, I think the 'stand in King, after this Queen's dad, was pretty interesting. Shy, paralyzed with an embarrassing stutter, he helped get his country through WW2, seems to have been engaged with his subjects, refused to move his family out of London for their safety. Don't really have any idea how instrumental he was or wasn't with policy or strategy with Churchill.
    I saw the "King's Speech," and enjoyed it as a film, but I don't think he mattered much... sub in any generic upper-class twit in the role of the King and history would have played out the same basic way.
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  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Babba View Post
    Why would you compare the modern monarchy of the UK to France under Napoleon?
    Obviously, there are big differences, in that Napoleon rose to that power, from a start in great obscurity, by way of his extraordinary skills and intellect, and the series of triumphs they made possible, whereas modern monarchs are nothing but the unremarkable children of prior monarchs. However, there's a similarity in that each very consciously used the appeal of pomp and circumstance to wow the dummies and shore up their position.
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