The Paperless Press
Weekly Digest #116
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In this digest-
1. Article- Is the Crown going Down?
2. Happiness Quotient From Around The World
3. Did You Know?
4. Entertainment Quotient
Is the Crown going Down?
By: Abhimanyu Rao
The 6th of May 2023 marked a historical occasion- the official coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla. This was the first British coronation in 70 years, the last one being way back in 1953! However, the pomp and extravagance of the coronation has got me thinking - is the royal family even relevant anymore? Their palaces, extravagant lifestyles, and major reduction in influence are all things that indicate that the monarchy may be inching closer and closer to obsoletion. Today, we see if they are still relevant or not. To do that, I will present both sides, the for and the against.
Its time has come (against):
There are multiple issues with the existence and status of the Royal Family. Firstly, their multiple residences and extravagant lifestyle needs to be economically supported by something. This ‘something’ happens to be money, and while some of their expenditure is supported by their own endeavours, a lot of it is simply money provided by the treasury. The monarch also owns the Duchy of Lancaster, and all income produced on that land is taken to provide for their lifestyle. Now, if the monarchy comes to an end and the money is no longer needed to support it, that money could go towards other endeavours that are more important, and maybe help benefit the world more than just helping maintain several palaces!
Secondly, the monarchy has no real power, and is simply symbolic. Since Britain is a constitutional monarchy, the monarchy is simply in place to project an image. It has no power to openly affect parliamentary proceedings.
Thirdly, the monarchy reinforces the same class system that people have been trying to abolish for years. This system of a hierarchy based solely on birth has been something that a democracy was made to destroy. The royal family are seen as deserving of a rich lifestyle simply because of their birth, and as the world evolves, the number of people who agree with this ideology of dynastic titles are decreasing rapidly. Let us not forget that the monarchy is an enduring, painful reminder of the excesses of colonialism, thanks to which many parts of the erstwhile Empire remain in poverty, their great colonial master having robbed them hollow.
Lastly, the existence of the Royal Family as the royal family is not necessary for the tourism aspect. One could argue that the lack of a royal family, as well as the subsequent opening of their residences to the public, could be much better for the economy, especially since there would now be economic returns on the price of upkeep of the palaces. For the family themselves, they would still be able to live comfortably, especially since their name would still carry a lot of importance and respect.
It is relevant:
There are a few arguments in favour of the relevance of the Monarchy. Firstly, while they may not have actual governmental power, the symbolic power of the monarchy itself can play a major role in influencing the public, and by extension, the government. The Constitutional Monarchy is the type of monarchy that Britain follows. While there is a democratically elected government, the monarchs take the role of Head of State, and have several ceremonial duties without having much say in the legislation process.
Despite this, the public has had a great respect for the Royal Family for several decades, and this has led to their actions being especially impactful. One prime example of this is when the late Princess Diana shook hands with an AIDS patient. This single act managed to significantly decrease the stigma associated with the disease. While the princess had nothing to do with law making or policy, her actions managed to significantly sway public opinion.
The members of the Royal family are also celebrities in their own right. The simple fact that they are well known worldwide means that anything they support, by association, also gains major popularity. This is great for all the hundreds of charities that they are involved with, since these charities get a lot of attention for simply being a charity of choice for the Royal Family.
Secondly, the Royal Family’s status and image is itself a great source of both national pride and tourism in Britain. They are what is left of the “great British Empire”. Also, being one of the most famous monarchies, people from around the world flock to see it, giving Britain a lot of its tourist income. For almost everyone visiting London, Buckingham Palace is a must-see place. This means that the removal of the Royal Family may negatively impact the economy of the nation itself.
This article has gone over several arguments both in favour of and against the existence of Britain's royal family. There are many reasons why it should remain; however I personally feel that it is time for the monarchy to go. It has had a good run over its many years, and has done a great many things for the country, but as times change, I think that the country needs to change as well. There is no longer a need for a monarchy in the modern United Kingdom, and even to those who believe that it is a good thing, all I can say is that all good things must come to an end…
By: Agastya Rao
By: Mihir Rao
Entertainment quotient for the week:
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