As a Brit living in the US I’m often asked questions about the royal family and my opinion of them. Today I was asked how much the royal baby weighed when she was born. When I enquired how I was expected to know I was told “because you are British!” I was unaware that the Queen was going to send me a personal telegram with the news the moment the new arrival popped its little head out. But (some) Americans are fascinated with our royal family so I thought I’d share my opinions on them with you all.
People in the UK often complain that the royal family are parasites and a waste of money, citing that it costs a fortune to keep them in the style to which they have become accustomed. The cost to the UK taxpayer for subsiding them in 2014 was £35.7million which sounds a lot until you realise that it works out at 56p per person, you can’t even buy a bloody Mars Bar with that! Would I rather have a 90% share of a Mars Bar or a monarchy that makes us different to France? When Prince Charles takes over I’ll have the Mars Bar thank you very much but until then I’ll stick with Elizabeth. The cost to the taxpayer would be lower still if Prince Philip was made to have a swear jar. Air Force One costs the US $228,288 per hour to fly and all our queen has is a royal train.
It’s also common to hear that the royal family “don’t do anything”. For Prince Andrew this is very true but most of the family do work hard. Prince Harry has served in the army, Charles spends his time trying to convince himself that Camilla is attractive and the racist jokes told by Prince Philip don’t write themselves. Although Philip has a knack for making diplomatic gaffes I am actually rather fond of him; he served in a dangerous theatre (the Med) in the war and at the grand old age of 93 is still making public appearances. If I make it to 93 I think that spending time around the British public would be the last thing I’d want to do. You only have to be somewhere when the Queen and Philip are making an appearance to see that they are held in high regard by most of the public.
The royal family do have their faults of course. There is no way that they should be given access to the best universities unless they have the grades and they shouldn’t be given preferential access to jobs or in placed in a position where they can take bribes like Andrew. But they bring in a lot of tourists, make us unique as a country and with the exception of Philip’s jokes and anything that Charles does they rarely cause the kind of offence that our elected politicians do. Can you imagine abolishing the monarchy and seeing rooms in Buckingham Palace listed on Airbnb? I can’t.
What are your opinions on the royal family? Do you respect them or revile them?