A view on the monarchy

In the majority of opinion polls held in the last 10-15 years, between 70% and 75% of people in Britain who were asked if they supported the monarchy said they did. However, there are quite a number of people who openly say they would like to abolish the monarchy.

Read what John Bilkerton, from Lincoln, says.

 

Let's Keep the Monarchy!

The flag of Queen Elizabeth II The flag of Queen Elizabeth II I admit I am a bit of a traditionalist, but I really do think it’s in Britain’s interests to keep its royal family. Now, I don’t go all bleary-eyed when I see the queen on television. I don’t even write “the queen” with a capital ‘q’ like many people do. What’s more, I think some members of the royal family have made fools of themselves. But I do think a nation needs a rallying point, and obviously a nation needs a head of state.

The queen, or king, is, in my opinion, the best rallying-point we could possibly have, for the simple reason that she or he is above politics. We all know they are neutral. They never vote. They never say one political choice is better than another. They simply mind their own business, and do what they are supposed to do. Well, not Prince Charles of course – he is always telling us his views on architecture and genetically modified food and heaven knows what else, but the wretched man has to occupy his mind with something, hasn’t he? But the queen never steps out of turn. She knows she has no political power and she respects that.

The very thought of an elected president horrifies me. There are far too many elections already for a start. Secondly, I do not see how an elected president could possibly inspire the same degree of loyalty that the queen inspires. When the queen visits some small town in some out-of-the-way place, the people stand for hours waiting to get a good view of her, and to see her monarchical smile! As I said, I’m not much of a one for that sort of thing, but I respect those who feel that way. The queen inspires …well, the only word I can think of is “love”. Yes, the people love her.

So, let’s keep the monarchy and all the traditions that go with it. Modern life is often colourless and most of the celebrities of our day are a pretty weird lot: pop stars, film stars and overpaid sports stars. They do all sorts of stupid things. The queen, on the other hand, sails through the storms of life with a serenity and gentility that fills me with admiration.

Royal parade in London Royal parade in London

 

Task
 

Answer these questions. If the question leads to a Yes or No, explain why you answer the way you do.

  1. Would you call John Bilkerton an extreme supporter of the monarchy?
  2. Some people might call him a republican. Would you?
  3. What are John’s main reasons for supporting the continuance of the monarchy?
  4. What does he say about the queen’s popularity?
  5. Why do you think he calls Prince Charles “the wretched man”?
  6. John Bilkerton is talking to Miranda, an opponent of the monarchy. How do you think she will reply to him?
  7. Bilkerton says, “There are far too many elections already.” He lives in England. Which elections do you think he is thinking of. (You should be able to mention three.)