Fix Opinion

A Right Royal Waste Of Time? Not At All

By Nicole Hendry
Junior reporter

BIRMINGHAM, England – When asked in a recent A level English Literature lesson , ‘What do you associate with being British?’ the answer that came before tea, before fish and chips and even before the celebrated Sunday roast, was the Queen.
And personally I think quite rightly, too.
The monarchy is part of our history as a nation. Few countries today have their monarchs and I believe it to be a great benefit to our country to be one of the few to have kept hold of such an institution, and at no cost to our democracy.
It is this history that makes Britain, London in particular, the tourist attraction it is today.
Visitors come from all over the world to see the famous gates of Buckingham Palace and the renowned changing of the guards ceremony.
This is all part of the charm of Britain and the economy would suffer from an even greater strain if it was not for the tourism brought in by this.
But the Queen is not simply a tourist attraction.
There are those who would suggest she has become a superfluous figurehead in modern times, void of any consequential power, but this is simply not true.
She is key in providing a continuity within an ever-changing society. Our system of constitutional monarchy bridges the gap in party politics and provides a consistent head of state within Britain.
And as head of the Commonwealth she represents a positive unity between the countries of the long gone colonial years.
This is vastly important, not only for Britain itself but the world, as the collaboration of countries is vital in a search for a more peaceful cohabitation of the world.
Many say that a war between countries in the European Union is now impossible. The same goes for the commonwealth. A common bond such as this can only strengthen the global community.
The Queen is a figure of great importance to those outside the commonwealth, too.
One only has to look to the masses of American citizens who have lined the London streets this weekend to see the sentiment attached to her. She provides an all important link. She is unique to Britain and so should be something to take pride in.
The other commonly argued concern with the monarchy is the issue of taxpayers’ money being used to fund it.
In fact, the money granted to the Royal Family from the government only goes towards official royal duties and the upkeep of the residences.
The Queen has her own private income from her personal investments and private estates to fund any private expenses. The money from the taxpayers, therefore, is used for the public events that so benefit our reputation and our relationships as a nation.
Other members of the Royal Family, such as Prince William and Prince Harry for example,e have their own military careers that provide not only their income but prove a devotion to the country they head.
The Queen herself is voluntarily subject to the same tax as everyone else.
The Royal Family is not the useless, money-draining waste of time that some claim.
It is, in fact, an excellent contribution to the British identity.
And with the wedding of William and Kate, a new generation of the Royal Family comes through – a younger, more modern couple with all the vibrance and new ideas the world is ready for.
I cannot wait to see the two make their vows this weekend. It is an important day for them, for Britain and for the world as the British monarchy takes a step into the future and history is made.

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