Saturday, 31 August 2019

History of the Monarchy

Following the Queen’s decision to allow the government to prorogue parliament and force No Deal Brexit, many are asking whether the monarchy should be abolished. In the interests of fairness, it’s worth pointing out there is debate over whether the Queen could or should have said no to Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.

Personally, I would’ve liked Elizabeth to defy him, but then again, as a republican, I could be seen as hypocritical if I argued she should interfere in our democratic process. One thing I will say is Elizabeth’s role seems to be purely ceremonial, in which case, I must ask what is the point? I would also like to challenge her legal right to the throne. Here is a brief history of the House of Windsor, laying out why…

Following the Glorious Revolution of 1688-89, the Catholic King James II was overthrown and sent into exile by English Protestants led by Dutchman William of Orange who then became William III. Towards the end of William’s life, there were no Protestant heirs to the throne so the Act of Settlement 1701 decreed all Catholic heirs would be bypassed until a Protestant could be found. Our monarchy was then handed over to the German House of Hanover, and all monarchs since are descended from Sophia of Hanover.

Due to anti-German sentiment during World War I, the monarchy changed its name to the more palatable House of Windsor, but the fact remained a family of German heritage controlled the monarchy based purely on the outcome of 17th century religious conflict.

Foreigners were handed the throne simply because powerful British people approved of their religion. I would therefore suggest there is no legitimacy to the Windsors’ claim, based on the right of accession – a right which is absurd in itself.

We are supporting the extraordinarily lavish lifestyles of this family for no reason, other than misguided sentiment. Royalists will tell you they generate huge sums of money for the economy. The fact is, they are using the Crown Estate – a publicly-owned property portfolio – to further enrich themselves. The monarchy is antithetical to the principle of meritocracy and a symbol of our colonial past and today’s grotesque inequality.

Last year, we funded a hugely expensive wedding while the homeless of Windsor were brushed to one side because, heaven forbid, we could not have the royals laying eyes on the peasants.

So many in this country are struggling to get by, eating from food-banks, and making extraordinary sacrifices, and we are told, rather perversely, to be grateful for the indulgences of a rich German family who stole our country.

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