Every country has an aristocracy and royalty. Every single one. Some are hereditary and appointed, like the UK. Some achieve their status through riches. In America, lacking a bloodline hierarchy, we have sadly substituted sports stars and entertainers. I think the Brits, and other nations like Spain who have constitutional monarchies, have it right. True, my mother told me I am the grandson, through marriage, of a Spanish marquess. So perhaps I’m just looking out for family interests. Nevertheless…
I am, as you can note above, a constitutional monarchist. I think a hereditary monarch, as opposed to a smarmy politician chosen by a mob, is properly suited for the role of head of state. Though the Crown should stick to that generally ceremonial and advisory role, as in the United Kingdom.
Running the government should fall to a Prime Minister sitting in the legislature of a bicameral system. Again, like the Brits. Though the Lords have been defanged in the UK, a true upper house should not. One could almost make the case that the Prime Minister should come from the upper chamber of such a system, as opposed to from the lower House as in the UK. But, I digress.
The Royals matter to this country because they are an ideal of public service to look up to because, at the very least, they have to pretend to be brave, noble, and decent. Our celebrities are not charged with that duty and thus run amok in the manner of brutish animals. Some of our populace emulates those celebrities and thus we have our present culture.
Granted, the personal lives of the last two generations of British Royals have been disappointing. The Queen herself and Prince Philip are and were exemplary. But Charles is an indecisive slightly dotty but well meaning walking banality. Fine service record though.
Diana was a neurotic wretch, though Charles didn’t help matters by his liaison with Camilla. Andrew is a mess. Though again, fine service record. Anne is excellent and Edward is nobly low profile. The man who will be William V, good service record, and his stunning and graceful wife Katherine seem to be perfect for their roles. But then you have Harry. What can you say?
An unprepossessing young man with a fine service record meets an exotic adventuress and loses his head. Shades of Edward VIII. At the behest of his hideous wife he’s gone PC, abandoned his duty to his country, embarrassed his family, spouts the most awful gibberish, and comports himself like a henpecked mannequin. So okay, if America is looking for royal inspiration perhaps we should skip a generation and a half.
But that still leaves Her Majesty, Anne, Edward, William and Kate as a family who remind us of why lifelong courageous service to nation should matter. They deserve our admiration and respect.