Monday, 13 January 2020
The Royal "crisis."
I'm well aware that, as a died-in-the-wool Liberal by all logic I ought to be a republican. However, I take the view that, in the unlikely event of my doing something brave and being awarded a medal, I should prefer to receive it from one of the Windsors than from a fromer politician, and certainly not from Mrs Thatcher, Tony Blair or Theresa May (nor, for that matter Charles Kennedy, though maybe from Jo Grimond).
However, I'd like to see a "slimmed down" monarchy, possibly on the Scandinavian bicycle model.
It seems to me that the best way to slim down the monarchy is that, once the heir to the throne has an heir, then the rest should drop out.
In contemporary terms that would have meant that as soon as Prince Charles, the current heir, had his first child, William, then the Queen's other children, Anne, Andrew and Edward, should drop out, although perhaps Anne should be retained in order to keep a gender balance between the younger working members.
In practical terms that would have been ideal, since Princess Anne seems to be well respected and seen to do a good job, whereas both Andrew, (his unsavoury friendship) and Edward (a "Royal It's a Knockout" have hardly brought much credit on the institution (though we should acknowledge Andrew's active service in the air-force).
Now that the heir to the heir also has children (Prince George, with his sister as a "spare"), Prince Harry now, barring an unlikely tragedy which wipes out William's entire family, becomes irrelevant to the succession. So his departure from "royal duties" does no great harm, though it would be a pity, since he has developed an attractive personality and espoused important good causes in concern for mental health and his mother's campaign against land mines.
I can't see why boys outside the direct succession should become dukes. They could be princes, and the girls princesses, until they move out of the direct succession, when they could revert to being Mr or Mrs. In fact, I think Princess Anne's children have never been princes or princesses.
Once they've reverted to Mr or Mrs they could earn their living like anyone else. I believe Princess Margaret's son has developed a successful business as an up-market carpenter. There should be a barrier to their using their former royal status to attract customers or achieve appointments, though this would not stop those in the know fawning up to them because of their connections. Maybe that explains the success of Princess Margaret's son's business.
We shall see within a few days, we are told, what the Royal Caucus comes up with. Maybe they'll read this blog and award me a medal for my services to the continuity of the constitution.