The Royal family has been at the centre of the country for centuries and they continue to hold importance within politics and community projects across the country. Our editors at Point of Information have varied opinions on the involvement of the Royals and whether it is time for them to take more of a back seat in society.
Members of the Royal Family support The Queen in her many State and national duties, as well as carrying out important work in the areas of public and charitable service, and helping to strengthen national unity and stability. Nevertheless, in this modern age there have been question marks as to whether the Royals should still hold the amount of power that they do and if they still have a duty to influence some political decisions.
Unfortunately, this week our Labour editor won’t be joining us, so we are joined by our Conservative editor and Liberal editor to debate this week’s topic.
Written by Liberal Writer, Max Anderson
Why are we even talking about this? The British Monarchy is nothing but good – a Conservative Article
With an election looming, politicians will have started organising their campaigns in order to get re-elected. This election will be contentious and brutal with clear ideologies going to war. So while this battle commences it gives us a chance to look to the one institution to which we can all rally around to be non-partisan and fair. This is the Royal family. A brilliant economic asset to the UK as well as a vital component to helping people with mental health problems, the Royal family stands for nothing but good for our nation and therefore, we must not even think about abolishing it.
Economically it is silly to abolish the monarchy. Not only does the monarchy draw in huge amounts of money through tourism year on year, but unique events such as Royal weddings are also fantastic in bringing even larger amounts of cash to our economy. “2.7 million visitors a year” visit Buckingham palace and Windsor Castle with this figure expected to rise due to the Royal family allowing more people to come and enjoy the Sandringham estate. Furthermore, these numbers mean that in 2017 “the monarchy’s annual contribution to the UK economy to be around £1.8bn a year as well as an increase in trade, from the Royal Family acting as ambassadors, supposedly worth £150m a year.”
Furthermore, the Royal weddings such as the one in 2011 and 2018 respectively brought in £2 billion and over £300 million creating substantial increase in tourism to the UK allowing more money to be spent on public services, as well as reducing our deficit caused by the irresponsible Labour party who want to abolish the monarchy. In addition, the Royal family provide over £50 million in just souvenir sales as well as Brand finance estimating that “the Royals will bring in a further £42 billion to the UK economy over the next few years. If the economic value can’t keep republicans quiet, then nothing will.
The Royal family is not just positive for our economy, but is a great asset for the whole of the UK’s charity sector. Trusts such as the Prince’s Trust have contributed “£1.4 billion of added value into our society,” over ten years and continue to do such impressive work. Furthermore, you have the new mental health charity Heads together, created by the Dukes and Duchesses of Cambridge and Sussex which does superb work in reducing the stigma around mental health and helping provide support for those who truly need it. The Royal family is an excellent voice which can bring attention to issues that have not been widely spoken about and this is evident in the excellent work of Heads Together. The Invictus games in recent years founded by Prince Harry is another brilliant avenue to celebrate and support injured veterans who have suffered in dedication to their countries. The Royal family can raise awareness on issues which no other institution can do and for us to get rid of this is simply daft.
The British Monarchy is an institution that I feel we take for granted. Due to the pomp and ceremony it is easy for anti-monarchists to claim that the institution is outdated and unnecessary. This could be further from the truth and I refute it profusely. The cost of the Royal family to a single taxpayer is the cost of a first class stamp. This too me is a truly excellent deal for a family who do so much good for us. We must not take them granted as they do so much for us.
Written by Conservative Writer, Jack Kane
Point of information
Missing the key points – a Liberal response
‘Non-partisan and fair’, ‘ A brilliant economic asset’ – these are all phrases Mr Kane uses to describe the royal family but I have my doubts. The royal family certainly do not keep quiet about their political thoughts, and certainly try to influence politics.
The Royal family as an economic assets is questionable. Mr Kane’s statistics are somewhat confusing about whether or not the money is from tourism or from the Royals themselves. However, statistics that are easy to see is the cost of the Royal wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry costing the state a minimum of ‘£32 million’. This does not include the sovereign grant, which are state funds that pay for the upkeep of the Queen’s grounds and her image, which cost the UK tax payers ‘£67 million’ in 2019 alone. This figure does not include the money the Royals make from their farms, private land and renting out sea to wind farms. In addition, doesn’t include the purchase and renovation of Prince Harry’s and Meghan’s new ‘£2.4 million’ house.
I am not saying that the Royals need to be removed, but the power, money and influence over politics does need to be removed or at least held back. It is somewhat baffling to me that the Royals receive the kind of funding and care they get when this country is struggling the way it is.
Written by Liberal writer, Max Anderson
How the royals still have so much power baffles me – A Liberal article
My argument this week is a challenging one. Most people like the monarchy, and even if they don’t what is the point of removing them? When I say removing the monarchy, most will be concerned that with removing them completely, cutting them off from the state as well as removing their title. There is an argument for that, and it may be the final step, but alas, I am not that radical or harsh. I do however, believe their ability to control the press and parliamentary proceedings should be removed, with a certainly more understanding viewpoint.
As I said, there are two critiques for the royals; there are repeated interference in parliament, and their press control and the effect they have on social political landscape. You may think that the royals do not have a major impact in both these regards, and if so the press machine that they have has been effective. Shrouding themselves in mystery is exactly what they wish, and it is not a new trend either. Therefore, we will start with why their overbearing reach of the media needs to be restricted.
At the moment, Meghan Markle is currently taking on the news just like her sister-in-law, Kate Middleton, had done before her. It is a ‘war between the Royals and the press’ and this is not a new war. Whether or not Kate Middleton was justified to do so, the impact it has on bounding the media’s hands is huge and needs to be recognised.
Prince Andrew has been very much sheltered by the Royal family for years even after the continuation of constant accusations, which built up again after the death of Jeffery Epstein. One report claimed that ‘Prince Andrew took part in an orgy with nine girls on disgraced financier Jeffery Epstein’s private island.’ These allegations aren’t new, some which have spanned back to the 1980’s with mostly young girls.
As usual, the royals defend Prince Andrew. The spotlight was then taken off the Prince as the royals turned their attention to unknown news commentator Lara Spencer made horrible comments to Prince George about doing ballet. Although I disagree with Lara Spencer’s comments, the Royal family never comment on these matters. I question the timing that at the very moment scrutiny builds to address this matter and direct attention away from Prince Andrew.
Meghan Markle is trying to gain more control over the royal image, which I think is very dangerous. Why is their power of controlling their image and the media not stripped? Embrace public scrutiny or step away from it.
The Royals also deserve the scrutiny. Whether it is Prince Andrew acting the way he is or any other such scandal, it is because they heavily effect the public’s and parliaments actions which again need to be removed. The media are afraid of holding the Royals to account and will face attacks from the readership and the royals themselves. They cannot be allowed to influence the media and control their image in the way they do.
They also have a huge amount of influence of parliamentary proceedings. Time and time again, royals have tried to influence decisions, which highlighted by Prince Charles’s constant efforts to effect Prime Ministers actions.
This can be easily shown by the release of the ‘Black spider memo’s’, which show Prince Charles trying time and time again to try and change public policy, which includes changing public policy surrounding; Health, supporting badger culling, increasing the armed forces, increasing grammar schools (which we know is a terrible idea) and meddling with London’s sky line.
His effect on the London Chelsea Barracks as well was huge, in which ‘The Prince, who earlier this year succeeded in scuppering a modern flats development at Chelsea Barracks, in London, wrote to ministers in eight departments including the Treasury, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the education department, over three years, it was claimed.’
His interference with education leaves a lot to be desired, pushing for the use of grammar schools despite their obvious flaws, and when told no, ‘Mr Blunkett said Prince Charles “didn’t like” it when his request was refused.’
Prince Charles as well as pushed for the use of Wind power farms to be established on the coast of Britain. Due to the royal family owning all land 10 miles out to sea, the profits will be funnelled to the royal family purely on their status.
The Royals have a huge amount of power due to their birth. They have power in controlling the media and their image, whether or not it being able to attack and remove any negative press about them, controlling what is released and because the public themselves will not stand for any criticism.
The Royal Family therefore cannot be held accountable while at the same time they run off and play a part in politics. How I ask is this fair? How can you not say their power and ability to effect politics is great? Whether or not it is the Queen’s speech or Prince Charles’s meddling in politics, or the Royals war vs the media, you honestly cannot say something doesn’t need to change.
Written by Liberal writer, Max Anderson
Point of information
If Mr Anderson wants to help abolish the Monarchy he might want to step away from the issue – a Conservative response
Mr Anderson’s article this week is anti-monarchist. This must be stopped.
Mr Anderson starts with saying “Shrouding themselves in mystery is exactly what they wish.” However, never before have the Royal family done more interviews, been so imbedded into the fantastic charity work they do, as well as completing so many productive royal engagements.
The Duchess of Cambridge took the French media to court due to an invasion of privacy where topless photos were taken of the the Duchess. She had every right to do so and won this case with closer magazine and two photographers being fined “100,000 euros. Furthermore, the magazine’s editor and CEO were further fined 45,000 euros. The press was out of line and were found guilty. This is in no way similar to Megan Markle and what Mr Anderson suggests. Moving onto Prince Andrew, these are claims with no evidence to back them up so it is not surprising that the Royal family defended him.
I feel that Mr Anderson’s article as in my eyes he has hugely let himself down. Normally he writes with conviction and from facts which we from both sides of the spectrum can debate. Everything he has written this week has no evidence to back it up. He mentions nothing of all the good the Royal family does and only focuses on heinous lies and silly scandal.
Written by Conservative Writer, Jack Kane
I am currently in my second year of reading Politics at the University of Exeter. My first interaction with politics was at the tender age of four years old.
Hello, my name is Jack Kane and I am third year undergraduate at the University of Exeter. I am a studying Politics and will graduate Exeter in the summer of 2020. I have been interested and engaged in Politics since a very young age.
I have just finished my second year at The University of Manchester studying French and Italian and am about to leave the Northern Powerhouse for a year abroad.