In 1603 the Scottish and English monarchies were united and at the beginning of the eighteenth century, the monarchy of the United Kingdom was deprived of the decision-making privilege they once had. For the purpose of this essay, I intend to examine the many different arguments both for and against the British monarchy being abolished. Proponents argue strongly that the monarchy symbolises all that is British throughout Britain and the Commonwealth Realms. However, contrary to this, the monarchy receives exorbitant financial aid from the British taxpayers to maintain the monarchy. Does the monarchy have a place in the twenty first century?
The monarchy symbolizes unity and traditions, which is unique and treasured to the nation. The monarch universally known as head of the Commonwealth, she is voluntarily recognised as the Head of State to 54 independent countries (The British Monarchy, 2013) The Queen to modern Britain, is an icon, who cannot simply be swapped for an elected politician. The British monarchy has played huge importance in British history, which is integral to our national identity. The Queen reined for 61 years and she provides an existing connection between the past, present and future. This is exactly what a politician could not offer to the public; for instance, Tony Blair, prior to 1997 was unknown on a state level, as he had done nothing significant for the British public. The monarchy’s traditions are famous not only in the United Kingdom but throughout the world. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II is the ruler of sixteen other countries including Britain. Whilst the queen receives many privileges as head of state, it does come at a personal cost. Her privacy is limited as she is consistently scrutinized from the press reporting on her speeches and her wardrobe.
Due to the monarchy, Britain has a prosperous tourist industry. Many tourists travel from all over the world to visit the famous grounds owned by the royal family. In 2012, according to visitbritain.org, roughly 26 million tourists flood London each year in the chance that the may see the changing of the guards or get a view of the queen. Despite the sites of London being a huge selling point to tourists, the British tourism agency never uses monarchy in any of its advertisements. However, I do not believe that the monarchy is solely responsible for the high levels of tourists visiting each year. The United Kingdom has many tourist attractions which are independent of the monarchy such as Edinburgh Castle, which generated 1,230,177 visitors in 2012, and Stonehenge, which attracted 1,043,756 visitors in 2012 (AVLA, 2013). These statistics reinforce my argument that examples such as Stonehenge and Edinburgh Castle are highly attractive tourist attractions that have no affiliation to the monarchy in Britain today.
On the other hand, there are numerous arguments to support abolishing the monarchy, and a powerful monarch...