Comment: For all those who seem to believe that the royal family is irrelevant, and purely ceremonial.
April 26, 2011
As the British Royal Wedding draws close, many observers believe that the UK taxpayers rather than the royal family will actually pay for the lavish USD 48 million ceremony in London.
This is while Britons already pay some GBP 40 million a year to maintain the British royal family.
April 29 has been declared a national holiday to mark Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton in London’s Westminster Abbey.
The one-day holiday is also estimated to cost Britain about USD 10 billion.
To compound the situation, the upcoming royal extravaganza comes at a time of worsening economic conditions in Britain, which is struggling with a massive budget shortfall.
The British government is taking austerity measures in an attempt to contain the country’s huge budget deficit. The eye-watering measures have already sparked violent protests nationwide.
This is while more than 2.5 million Britons are also unemployed.
Analysts say Prince William’s wedding is reminiscent of the Queen’s marriage to Prince Philip in 1947, which came against the backdrop of food rationing and post-World War II weariness.
Some observers believe the British government is using the upcoming Royal Wedding to distract the Britons from their economic woes.
Meanwhile, a recent poll shows Britons are far less excited about the Royal Wedding than the extensive flattery of media coverage suggests.
The poll carried out by the campaign group Republic has shown that almost 80 percent of the Britons simply do not care about the so-called big day.
Based on the poll, almost one in three people also believes that the state-run BBC’s coverage of the wedding is biased in favor of the royals.
Pro-democracy activists in Britain also ask how it is possible for a country that claims to be a promoter of democratic principles to advertise hereditary monarchy in the third millennium.
Other analysts point out that England has been behind the establishment of the autocratic regimes that people are rising up against in the Middle East.
In recent months, a wave of revolutions and anti-government uprisings has been sweeping across the Arab world.
The wedding has also raised questions about Queen Elizabeth II’s assets.
While a precise evaluation of the Queen’s properties is impossible due to the secrecy surrounding her personal business empire, it is estimated that her private wealth places the octogenarian among the five richest monarchs in the world.
Furthermore, while it is claimed that the Queen’s authorities are nominal, she is actually responsible for numerous decision makings.
The Queen is the head and source of all branches of public power. She is the head of the British armed forces. She can exercise personal discretion over issues such as appointing the prime minister and dissolving the parliament, and the only person in Britain being able to declare war and peace.
Britain, Canada and Australia’s military involvement in the US-led invasion of Iraq as well the UK’s refusal to join a treaty banning cluster bombs were among the decisions approved by the Queen.
This article was posted: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 9:35 am