God Save the Queen?

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?

27 thoughts on “God Save the Queen?

  1. I have mad respect for Elizabeth II as a tough as nails feminist icon who had to take on such responsibility at a young age. I am a little biased because of my g-gama supposedly served her father’s household as some type of nanny (so many traditions rubbed off on us from her). She dearly loved the Queen, and I know she would of been pleased to see monarchy still alive. When you think about it, the royals do a tremendous amount for charity. Beyond that they draw in an enormous amount of money for the government in tourism every year and also have to expend a great deal to keep up many estates and attractions that draw in revenue (some of them she can’t even upkeep). In a way I think even though some despise her, it’s a weird working relationship. I understand how some in England feel though – it’s hard to empathize with someone of such lofty status, that hasn’t got to do the real hard working class stuff for little money. Perhaps the more rebellious of you would actually like to see more of a Democracy rather than how the government is set up now and some of the resentment felt is not exactly entirely directed at the monarchy as a whole but the government system. I often do feel a bit odd about it though. A Queen is a queen, but she has so little power, I do wonder the purpose of it. It must be frustrating and an isolated life. I am not fond of Charles at all. And for the complaining about the monarchy, really, if the people had wanted it to end, they could have done so long ago. I can’t imagine the UK without the royals. We may have broken away, but we still look back fondly.

    1. She does have very little power, although if she was feeling mischievous she could choose to not allow the victor in today’s elections to form a government! I’m glad you share my view of Charles but like you I couldn’t imagine the UK without the royal family.

  2. I think the younger royals work very hard – I had massive respect for William and Harry for helping out with the Somerset floods last year. My opinion of Charles grew a little for being the first official on the scene and for speaking out about climate change in a government that couldn’t care less about “all that green crap”.

    Do you still get a vote by the way? Did you vote?

    1. I respect William and Harry too but Charles just annoys me every time he opens his mouth! Expats are allowed to vote until they have been out of the UK for more than 15 years. 🙂

  3. Aakansha

    When I heard the news about the Royal Baby, the one thing that popped in my mind was how she would be referred as ‘Princess’ in the year 2015. I don’t know why or how to explain it but I found it slightly hilarious. Someone being called Princess in these times.
    Before reading your post I always thought the Royal family did nothing except making the front page of newspapers for wearing a new style of clothing or eating a different cereal. 😛

    But you sorted out some things there.

    Needless to say, that baby is one lucky infant.

  4. Cuppiesncream

    In the past I’ve felt quite impartial often agreeing with comments that they are pointless! But now I live closer to London I see a different side, people love them! I think they feel almost special and proud that we have a royal family & they give people hope too. It’s exciting when a royal baby is born or Harry gets wasted and does something hilarious. 😝

    1. I’m rather proud of them too, they may be slightly strange and live a life of luxury but they are ours. The alternative (having a president like France or Germany that will still be costly) doesn’t bear thinking about.

  5. Lol. I’m glad I found your blog through the Community pool. I live in the US currently and I’ve never met anyone originally from Britain. I have always wondered what people think of the royal family. They’re so posh, as portrayed by the media, but what do their countrymen really think? Aaand, I read this post. Haha. Following you now! Feel free to follow me and comment on my blog too. I’d love some feedback.

    -Romina @ http://www.dietyogaenergy.com

    1. I’m glad you found my blog too! I just checked out your blog, it looks great and is full of good tips. I need to make my “about me” page as good as yours too! Following you now 🙂

  6. Hi Tom,
    I love your blog title! Very clever! I lived in New England for many years and love it there!

    Found your blog in the Community pool and thoroughly enjoyed reading this post! I think your tone was perfect! Informative, but slightly cheeky!

    Perhaps the interest in the latest news about the “royals” is to somehow indicate that people know a bit about what is going on in ‘your’ world.

    I am a high school teacher and recently had occasion to talk to my students about some of the European monarchies. When I mentioned that many of the young royals are marrying ‘commoners’, some of my girls’ eyes lit up as if to say, “There is hope for us yet!” Some comments were, “She is living the fairy tale!” and “Such a wonderful life!”
    I laughed.

    I write a little travel blog which has been rather neglected lately. I have a few things in the pipeline and will have a few new postings soon! http://www.theamblingblog.com

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed reading my blog, thank you for your feedback and for your thoughts! I’m now following your blog and I look forward to reading your new posts when they come 🙂

  7. E.James

    I’m not a British but I do really admire the United Kingdom because of its rich history and the Royal Family is the symbol of that long colorful history of the Brits.

  8. A.PROMPTreply

    Wow. Someone with my sentiments exactly! Really been enjoying your blog today! Look forward to following along!

    1. Thank you! Glad that you agree with me on this. Your blog is great, I’m now following you too. I’ve already found out lots about lifeguards from you and I look forward to reading your future posts 🙂

      1. A.PROMPTreply

        Hah. Lifeguards was quite a surprise on this end for sure! Thank you for the follow, I really do look forward to more of your posts! You have a great writing style!

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