Sunday, April 24, 2011

Who Will be king?

Now that the prince is going to marry and there will be a beautiful young princess, are we actually caring about the monarchy again?

Judging by the number of stories I’ve seen lately in the news, I would say that royal-watching is definitely on the upsurge. The internet is abuzz and Princess-to-be Kate Middleton was even on the cover of the Globe and Mail this weekend.

But do we really care? I’m not so sure.

According to the article I read in the Globe, all this attention on Will and Kate is part of a very thought-out plan by the central figures in the monarchy - including the Queen and her husband. Given the indifference verging on flat-out contempt for Charles, there is a very real possibility that many people in the U.K. and the Commonwealth do not want Charles as their king.

Should Charles be crowned, the ever-present, anti-royal murmurs will likely grow louder, as will discussion about turning Commonwealth countries into republics. Elected heads of state anyone?

For awhile now there have been rumours that unpopular Prince Charles might just get skipped over altogether and the crown handed straight to Will. Public opinion in Britain holds this as a favourable option, but apparently the legalities of the matter are not quite so simple as an opinion poll.

The Queen is the head of state of 15 countries (Canada obviously included) and the monarch of a 54-member Commonwealth. A change to the natural order of things (read first born male) would take Parliamentary agreement from all 15 countries. Our government doesn’t seem to be able to agree on anything these days – hard to imagine they would agree with 14 other countries on constitutional matters.

And then, if the elected leaders of these countries were to force a decision on who will be the next to sit on the throne, isn’t that just one step away from Parliamentary appointment – kind of like we do in Canada with the Governor General. Can you imagine an appointed monarch?

There are a lot of big questions circling like vultures around our monarchy. The royals are likely praying that a blow-out wedding and a beautiful bride will distract them.

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