Friday, April 21, 2006


Queen still going strong but is the monarchy?

Happy Birthday to herI see DUP leader Ian Paisley is leading tributes in the North to mark the 80th birthday of Britain's Queen Elizabeth.

Dr Paisley, who turned 80 himself two weeks ago, said it was a privilege to have Queen Elizabeth as monarch, describing her as "youthful in soul".

He said the "beloved" and "gracious" Queen had shown everybody that growing old was not a condemnation, but a coronation.

Her royal footprints, he said, had left behind "welcoming marks on the sands of our times".

Well that may be so for monarchists but I have a feeling that there will be a sweeping tide of republicanism that will seek to wash away any lasting footprints that Charles hopes to leave.

I've said this before here on United Irelander but I feel the British monarchy will begin to die whenever the Queen eventually dies. Johnathan Freedland, writing in the Guardian today, makes a similar point (hat tip Slugger). You see, while the Queen has the respect of a large section of the British public, Prince Charles on the other hand has been villified by the British media for years and I don't see him having the admiration of the country if he accedes to the throne.

His son William might be a different story but it's hard to say if or when he'll get his opportunity.

Republicanism isn't so bad anyway. Alot of the arguments against it from monarchists seem to centre around silly stuff like, "Oh, you want to see President Blair do you?" and "Look at the state of the Presidency in the US", however Ireland is proof that a President, and indeed a republic, can work and work well.

I've never understood the fascination with monarchy. Propping people up on pedestals and awarding them luxury due to their surname and bloodlines. If I ever meet the British Queen I'll shake her hand and treat her with courtesy but I won't pretend that she is better than me because she is not. She is my equal. She eats, sleeps and farts just like the rest of us.

I'd rather live in a country that looks on all people as equal than a country that fawns over an unelected family.

I suspect that the British public will come to agree with me in the not too distant future.


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