June 22, 2017

"Even if I was king, I would do my own shopping. But it’s a tricky balancing act. We don’t want to dilute the magic."

"The British public and the whole world need institutions like it," said Prince Harry.

Also: "We are involved in modernising the British monarchy. We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people... Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time."

80 comments:

BDNYC said...

Oh, please.

Grant said...

If he didn't want to do his own shopping, there would be a problem. Whether he *could* do his own shopping is another question. Overall, I thought he came across as a sensible and compassionate man.

rehajm said...

Is Instacart doing your own shopping? A modern king uses Instacart.

Nonapod said...

The idea of a monarchy in 2017 is really weird. It goes way beyond just being anachronistic. We live in an era where we deconstruct everything, where we're more self aware than any other time in the history of humanity. I guess it's because a lot of people love the unknowable.

gspencer said...

"Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so"

Gee, I guess he's forgetting about his own doofus dad who very much wants it. And Fadda's Day was only 4 days ago.

Robert Cook said...

"The British public and the whole world need institutions like it."

Like Hell!

tcrosse said...

Gee, I guess he's forgetting about his own doofus dad who very much wants it.

His own doofus Dad was a rat to his Mom.

Unknown said...

Well, Democrats certainly love the idea of monarchy and the aristocracy. That's the entire point: They are our "Betters" who should rule over us peasants because it's their right, since they are so much smarter, kinder, and all around better than us, and we are bigoted if we don't recognize their superiority and worship them.

And hey, if they have to "reeducate" a few tens of millions of people permanently, well, them's the breaks, right?

--Vance

Rick said...

We are not doing this for ourselves but for the greater good of the people...

People can convince themselves of anything.

Unknown said...

> "Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so"

Of course people on the outside forget you can read this as: ""Is there any one of the royal family who wants grandma to die? I don’t think so"

Achilles said...

The monarchy could possibly have brought some stability and continuity at one point. At this point the British people are just subsidizing the lives of a few extra bureaucrats.

The problem is if you think of it like that you will realize these are probably the most efficient use/waste of government money. At least these bureaucrats don't deliberately fuck with people as the reason for their job.

traditionalguy said...

A hierarchy is a military organization. And the Monarchy is the human at the top to whom all defer, unless a Parliament usurps 99% of the rule, but then the Parliament needs a borrowed human at the top.

In other words the system of a hierarchy of military authority that empowers the Royals, their Barons and their Dukes, etc. must have a point of human headship.

And as Henry VIII noted, the Monarch must have a hierarchy in Church of England that works that way too. Which is why Episcopalians exist.

Methinks this kid is a Scots Presbyterian at heart.

Bad Lieutenant said...

And hey, if they have to "reeducate" a few tens of millions of people permanently, well, them's the breaks, right?

--Vance


You're assuming that's a bug and not a feature.

Michael said...

I note a trend against tradition on this thread. It is only a very short step to the removal of offending statues. Then, of course, there are the paintings. I find sneers at the monarchy in Britain on the edge of prog thinking about the rich. Unseemly. Wrong.

Michael said...

"We live in an era where we deconstruct everything, where we're more self aware than any other time in the history of humanity."
Apparently not.

" I guess it's because a lot of people love the unknowable."
Non-prog people have an interest in contemplating the unknowable.

Ray said...

My wife and I watched season 1 of the crown. With all the disfunction of the family, it's amazing they have survived and have modernized the institution. Compare Charles wedding Camilla to what happened with Princess Margaret's group captain and the abdication. Plus their initial reaction to Diane's death.

Bad Lieutenant said...

traditionalguy said...

'All I care about is heredity like a fucking dog breeder, but kings are bad."

Fen said...

Micheal, I hear ya, but I have to admit I'm mentally juxtaposing his remarks with recent articles on the London fire. It just feels out of touch.

traditionalguy said...

Interestingly, the Royals were a never popular family of people like us, until 1920 when the survival of the Monarchy was in doubt because their King's BEYOND TOTALLY STUPID War had just shown the Royals of Europe's system worthless and dangerous to the English survivors.

Then suddenly the King and his spouse and kids were suddenly promoted as a Family which suddenly changed their German name to Windsor. But they were still big time Nazi Germany sympathizers.

If not for the eldest son of a New York City lady named Jenny Jerome, asserting his Scots No Surrender Persona in May 1940, The German Monarchy would have gladly surrendered England to Hitler, with Joe Kennedy's Irish blessing.

They need to make Kate the Queen. She is like Jenny Jerome, and she can handle it.

Quaestor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

I guess that's not fair, it's not like they are having a national day of mourning or anything. Maybe it's just the timing.

Oh wait, I remember now. Article said the Queen visited the site 3 days after. That may be normal - she's a figurehead not the Prime Minister - stil, something feels off.

PB said...

I think he realizes the prison he is in, but has a difficult time clearly expressing it. Many presidents have commented on how the White House is like a very nice prison.

Quaestor said...

It's too bad monarchy isn't a meritocracy because "Prince Hal" is the best of the Hanoverians so far, and that includes Victoria. His father the Prince of Wales is a bit daft... no, I take that back, he's thoroughly daft. Who but a crazy man would ditch Diana for that withered crone Camilla Parker-Bowles? Diana was afraid of horses, so Charles fell out of love and latched onto a past-her-prime climber. What a loon the Heir Apparent is. William is ok, I guess, but he takes after his dad in the non-entity department. Unless William has inevident resources of mind and persuasion his reign will be brief and the last. Harry spoke of magic, which is his term for the ineffable qualities of leadership which can't be taught or learnt or by any means acquired. You've either got it or you don't. Chuck ain't got in spades.

Acme of Evolution said...

I'm an American who has lived in the UK for a long time now. The monarchy, at least in its British version, has at least one thing to recommend it: the head of state is different from the head of government. So it is possible to have national celebrations, mournings, events, etc. where someone can represent the country as a whole without being subject to party political hatreds. Not sure this function needs to cost as much as it does, nor would I want them any too close to real political power. But as far as institutions go, it's not all downside.

Rene Saunce said...

Robert Cook - lol.

Agreed. Like hell.

Fagbemi stephen said...

Why Brexit will benefit the world

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Do you have Prince Albert in a can? Yes, well, you better let him out before he suffocates.

There's some good children in politics stuff in that article, relating to Prince Harry being forced to march in parade behind his mother's casket.

Fernandinande said...

Bitter taste preferences most robustly predict everyday sadism in princes.

Ralph L said...

It's all for tourism now.

His own doofus Dad was a rat to his Mom.
Who was bat-shit crazy. Who would want to even kiss someone who vomited regularly by choice.
Amazing they made 2 children.

bagoh20 said...

The Brits love their royals like redheaded step-children.

tcrosse said...

Amazing they made 2 children.

There's some debate about that number.


MayBee said...

I'm an American who has lived in the UK for a long time now. The monarchy, at least in its British version, has at least one thing to recommend it: the head of state is different from the head of government. So it is possible to have national celebrations, mournings, events, etc. where someone can represent the country as a whole without being subject to party political hatreds. Not sure this function needs to cost as much as it does, nor would I want them any too close to real political power. But as far as institutions go, it's not all downside

I completely agree with this!!!
The Prime Minister and his/her family don't become the lifestyle gurus that we have to see our POTUS and First Lady become. The Royals do all the fashion and glam, and the politicians do the politics.

Ralph L said...

There's some debate about that number.

Harry's eyes are too close together, just like P Philip's. William is the one who looks like a Spencer.

Ralph L said...

You'd think the Queen's grandson would know enough of her English to use the subjunctive tense: If I were king (of the Forest), but I heard the Earl of Suckex pronounce the "t" in often.

Lucien said...

Should it be "even if I were King"?

Alex said...

If you watch anime, a lot of future societies have royalty in charge of the state. Apparently Japan thinks democracies are on their way out.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Judging anime from the eyes and boobs, Alex, apparently Japan thinks Asians are on their way out.

john said...

traditionalguy said...

If not for the eldest son of a New York City lady named Jenny Jerome, asserting his Scots No Surrender Persona in May 1940, The German Monarchy would have gladly surrendered England to Hitler, with Joe Kennedy's Irish blessing.

They need to make Kate the Queen. She is like Jenny Jerome, and she can handle it.


Jenny Jerome reportedly handled (as in bedded) the crowned heads of Europe, while also inventing the Manhattan. Is Kate up to that?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Methinks this kid is a Scots Presbyterian at heart

Interestingly, the Royals were a never popular family of people


So if Bonnie Prince Charlie had made the grade at Culloden, I guess you'd have your tongue up the throne's ass like you do Trump's?

Mountain Maven said...

England is cooling to room temp. Even the Royals are a bunch of sissies. In olden days ppl would kill for the job.

readering said...

I'm sure his view of royalty is colo[u]red by the fact that folks are fawning over him wherever he goes. It will be interesting to see what happens in Japan as the emperor is about to follow the Benedict example by abdicating. If it goes smoothly will it influence Harry's granny.

Bill Peschel said...

How important is a culture? Some Brits would be happy to see the monarchy banished. Others not.

As an American I don't have a vote, and I don't know if I'd want a king over us (who it would be, assuming that they made Washington a hereditary monarchy, and, say, Adams the president / prime minister, would be an interesting question to discuss).

But the sentimentalist Anglophile in me would like to see the monarchy in place. Maybe with a smaller budget.

In one of his Discworld books, Terry Pratchett wrote that the dwarves had the Scone of Stone. It was a throne, shaped like a biscuit, and as hard as concrete (the joke was that you'd never starve if you had Dwarvish bread with you; you'd look at it and lose your appetite).

It turns out that, far from being hundreds of years old, the Stone was fake. When this was revealed, the dwarves shrugged and said they would make another one, and that, too, would be hundreds of years old.

You see, it's not that the thing is very important, it's the idea of the thing that is. The Scone of Stone represented who they are, and it's important to remember that.

Perhaps the monarchy fulfills the same thing. Britain has a ruler, and the ruler reflects Britain back to itself.

But then, Americans are known for being in awe of any building that's over 50 years old.

Jim Gust said...

Although I appreciate the benefit of separating the head of state from the head of government, the costs are just too high. Why should one family have the sole claim to heading the state, in perpetuity unless they fail to breed?

It's just wrong. You should have to earn your kingship, somehow.

tcrosse said...

Harry's chances of ever becoming King are roughly as good as Hillary's of ever becoming President: Many, many people have to die first.

Virtually Unknown said...

If Trump said it was a "balancing act" the press would be demanding to see the tight rope or call him a liar.

Virtually Unknown said...

Harry's chances of ever becoming King are roughly as good as Hillary's of ever becoming President

A: At least Harry would be a. good king probably.
B: It would take a civil war to make Hillary POTUS probably, so I am thinking Harry has a better chance.

Ralph L said...

Just 4 in front, and who's going to miss those 2 brats and George and Charlotte.

MayBee said...

Although I appreciate the benefit of separating the head of state from the head of government, the costs are just too high. Why should one family have the sole claim to heading the state, in perpetuity unless they fail to breed?

They owned the property and negotiated the deal.

tcrosse said...

It would take a civil war to make Hillary POTUS probably, so I am thinking Harry has a better chance.

OTOH Harry is probably less likely to kill anyone who gets in his way.

traditionalguy said...

@john.. Kate is well able, as anyone can plainly see. She has borne three babies and has more life and beauty in her than all of the Windsors combined..

Unknown said...

>It's just wrong. You should have to earn your kingship, somehow.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sprrQ1OLW6g

(You know you were thinking about that..)

Achilles said...

Meanwhile British Police are putting people in jail for saying mean things about Muslims.

"The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam"

Barrack Hussein Obama

Char Char Binks said...

It's interesting to me that the most democratic and long-standing nations in Europe are monarchies, but democratic monarchies with a royal family that doesn't truly run the government, for the most part. It's true of Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, most of the Scandinavian countries, and some others.

Unknown said...

Spain is certainly not a long standing democracy

AReasonableMan said...

Obama said ...
The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt -- it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted, “Muslims, Christians, we are one.” The future must not belong to those who bully women -- it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons.

The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country’s resources -- it must be won by the students and entrepreneurs, the workers and business owners who seek a broader prosperity for all people. Those are the women and men that America stands with; theirs is the vision we will support.


The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.

William said...

If respect is to be restored to Britain, the Church of England, and the monarchy, Harry needs to act decisively. He's popular with both the general public and the military. After the Queen dies, I see no reason why he can't behead Charles--who probably not his real father anyway--and force William to abdicate. William's kids could be drowned in a hogshead of wine. This would probably cause him to lose some popularity with married women, but it would send a message to May about the need to respect royal prerogatives. The world's a better place when England is ruled by a strong, decisive king.

Ralph L said...

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed,
One of these is not like the others.

It's true of Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, most of the Scandinavian countries, and some others.
Bicycle monarchies, which UK will become if they start retiring.

chickelit said...

Prince Harry should read and write the King's English.

Bad Lieutenant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bad Lieutenant said...

William's kids could be drowned in a hogshead of wine. This would probably cause him to lose some popularity

Hmm. Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Even if I was king,....

If the subjunctive mood were taught in England....

Etienne said...

The reason a Monarchy works so well, is they take care of societies social needs. They probably give more billions in service to their people than the US Congress.

That leaves government to worry about the rest of the bullshit.

I'm all for a Monarchy. I believe all of the Middle East should be ruled by Monarchs, and it probably wouldn't hurt the USA to rejoin Great Britain.

Certainly nothing we are doing now makes sense.

We just recently had a judge rule that people can't see a law they have to follow, because the law is top secret.

That's the mark of a shit country.

Lucien said...

To be fair, the British monarchy quietly (for the most part) gave up their political / governmental power in return for being filthy rich figureheads.

Now that they have no political / governmental power, certain folks want them to give up the "filthy rich figureheads" part of the deal, too.

Sorry guys. Did you enjoy the peaceful democratic transition of power from the monarchy to the people over the last two hundred fifty years? Then you're going to have to live with the fact that the "useless parasites" who gave up their power without (much) armed resistance get to be rich and also puppet head of state figureheads. Because that was the deal.

And though you may not like it now, with the benefit of your increased power + hindsight, going back on the deal will make it very difficult to convince other totalitarians to peacefully give up their claims on the power of the state. And if you don't think that's relevant, can I introduce you to dozens of countries in Africa, Asia and South America?

wwww said...


Years ago a friend told me Americans ought to elect a King or Queen.

I thought she was nuts. I am now having second thoughts.

If Americans elected a head-of-state, they could elect someone who would "put on a show" be dramatic, or be tabloid fodder. Perhaps then they would have the urge to elect boring people like John Kasich to do the policy-making and run competent foreign policy.

The tweets are only annoying, but my heart can't take too much more of the NATO weakening. The post WWII Pax Americana had to end at some point, but was hoping it would last my lifetime and the lifetime of my children.


wwww said...

I'm an American who has lived in the UK for a long time now. The monarchy, at least in its British version, has at least one thing to recommend it: the head of state is different from the head of government. So it is possible to have national celebrations, mournings, events, etc. where someone can represent the country as a whole without being subject to party political hatreds. Not sure this function needs to cost as much as it does, nor would I want them any too close to real political power. But as far as institutions go, it's not all downside


yeah this!

The President has to do double-duty -- head a political party while representing the people as a whole in a non-partisan way.

If he can't do both, he fails at one of his jobs.

Birches said...

Gee, I guess he's forgetting about his own doofus dad who very much wants it.

This seems true. I suspect both William and Harry would be happy not to be royals. After all, they saw what it did to their mother and aunts and uncles.

Birches said...

I really hope that William and Kate are as normal and happy as they seem. I like to believe that most of us can make up for the mistakes of our parents' marriages.

Lucien said...

The President has to do double-duty -- head a political party while representing the people as a whole in a non-partisan way.

If he can't do both, he fails at one of his jobs.


Until our last President, every President (more or less) has struggled to try to do this but ultimately has tried. GW, Bubba - they both tried hard to be President of the United States looking after "the People" rather than simply implementing the will of The Party. Obama, as far as I can tell, was quite happy to be President of the Democratic Party and was generally up for "fundamentally transforming" the United States so that the people who disagreed with him... stopped disagreeing with him.

I can't tell yet where the current President is going to land on this spectrum, but it's clear where his 2016 opponent and her basket of deplorables was going to end up.

tcrosse said...

Canada and Australia each have a Governor General who represents the Crown and takes care of ceremonial fiddle-faddle. He or she is appointed by the Monarch on the recommendation of the country's Prime Minister and serves a term of 5 years.

khesanh0802 said...

Harry mentions one word that many in this country have forgotten: DUTY. The British have the system they prefer and it is the DUTY of the members of the House of Windsor to perform the tasks assigned to the monarchy.

During WWII King George fulfilled his DUTY as best he could. " In 1940, Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister, though personally George would have preferred to appoint Lord Halifax.[79] After the King's initial dismay over Churchill's appointment of Lord Beaverbrook to the Cabinet, he and Churchill developed "the closest personal relationship in modern British history between a monarch and a Prime Minister".[80] Every Tuesday for four and a half years from September 1940, the two men met privately for lunch to discuss the war in secret and with frankness.[81]

Throughout the war, the King and Queen provided morale-boosting visits throughout the United Kingdom, visiting bomb sites, munitions factories, and troops. The King visited military forces abroad in France in December 1939, North Africa and Malta in June 1943, Normandy in June 1944, southern Italy in July 1944, and the Low Countries in October 1944.[82] Their high public profile and apparently indefatigable determination secured their place as symbols of national resistance."

Were the Brits to be immersed in another existential crisis, most like they would again expect the Royals to be completely immersed in securing their survival and the Royals would accept that responsibility without question.

Bob Loblaw said...

The British public and the whole world need institutions like it

I'm getting more sympathetic to this argument - that the head of state should be separate from the government that actually runs things. The monarchy allows the Brits to separate "Britishness" from the government, so they can criticize the people in power without feeling like they're attacking the country.

traditionalguy said...

OK, maybe we can imitate the Japs. All we will need is a worshipped brat Sun God who is eligible to be the Most Racist little nasty squirrel boy who ever conducted a genocide equally of ALL the other races.

But we will need more suicidal guys than the Muslims have dreamed of doing their fighting.

traditionalguy said...

Seriously, George Washington was the father of this country because he refused to even act like a British King in all its murderous ways. His army was made out of Presbyterians in Revolt.

Jim Howard said...

I lived in England for 3 years, owned a house and lived in a village. Acme is 100% correct wrt having a non-poltical head of state. The Queen really holds the country together in a very real way.

Bad Lieutenant said...

traditionalguy said...
OK, maybe we can imitate the Japs. All we will need is a worshipped brat Sun God

Sorry, trad, Obama can't run again.

wwww said...

Until our last President, every President (more or less) has struggled to try to do this but ultimately has tried.

I'd say Reagan and GW did well at it.

Clinton, GWB, & Obama tried.

Trump either is not interested, or doesn't care to do the job. This is the first time I've been won over to the argument that it would be useful to have separate head-of-state.

readering said...

Hard to see how a monarch holds a nation together when half the nation is republican.

rcocean said...

The problem with an American King is a lack of qualified applicants. Not to mention the insanity of political elite and stupidity of the populace.

Our power elite would give us Queen Clinton.

Put it up to a vote and we'd end up with Queen Oprah.

Big Mike said...

Cookie don't want him no monarchy. He wants him a proper communist dictator. Yup.

Craig Howard said...

His own doofus Dad was a rat to his Mom.

And not his Dad, either.