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So what’s the deal with royalty?

July 1, 2011

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Now first and foremost, I have no problems with Will and Kate, or any of the royal family for that matter.  What I do have problem with, however, is the very concept of royalty.  It seems that now would be an appropriate time to voice this, as Will and Kate are honeymooning in Canada and all of my news coverage, well some of it at least, is dedicated to watching the two wave, shake hands, and smile for the camera.

So what do we celebrate?  Well this is what seems to confuse me, because as far as I’m concerned, we’re celebrating the remnants and the history of the British Empire.  An empire that had colonies around the world, with the sole purpose of nothing other than exploitation, whether that be people or natural resources.  We should never forget or confuse the fact, that the sole purpose of colonies is to expand the interests of their colonial power.  This is nothing to celebrate.  Even in Canada, and today being Canada Day makes this even more appropriate, our country’s primary purpose was to send primary resources back to Britain.

I don’t propose that we take any action against the monarchy, or try to exact any revenge, but rather that we recognize what it is we are celebrating when we give legitimacy to the monarchy.  The way I see it, and its certainly not the only way to see it, the fact that we still celebrate royalty is the only reason that it still exists.  Nobility only has power, because we give it power.  The entire royal family are no different than you and I, they’re simply ordinary people born into privileged families.  So why, then, should we hold them on a pedestal?  Why do we celebrate the excess waste that went into the royal wedding, fantasizing about how wonderful it is and how great it would be to be them?  We should be appalled!  When I see the Abbey, I don’t see the magnificent architecture or the beauty of marriage, but rather noting that the Ivory and Gold that line the place came as a direct result of the exploitation of slaves abroad and the labour of workers who were hardly paid enough to feed their children.

It doesn’t have to be like this ‘though.  What gives royalty power, is the support of the people.  When collectively we decide that we’ve had enough, only then can we redirect our energies to more productive things.  Assuming we believe that democracy exists, then it is us, the people, who make the decisions.  Let’s turn them into ordinary people for goodness sakes!

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