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A Brief Account Of The Monarchy

In this article, I will define the system of the monarchy. I include details about the differences between elective and hereditary monarchies, how many monarchies in the world have now ceased to exist, being replaced by republics. I will detail how some democratic countries retain a monarchy, becoming a constitutional monarchy instead. I also explain some of the many misconceptions.

In this article, I will start by defining the system of the monarchy. My article includes details about the differences between elective and hereditary monarchies, how many monarchies in the world have now ceased to exist, being replaced by republics. I will detail how some democratic countries retain a monarchy, becoming a constitutional monarchy instead.

I explain how much of the United Kingdom’s national properties are held by the Queen, on behalf of the nation and are mistaken as the Queen’s private property. I go into the British Royal family’s wealth and what they get from parliament. I then finish off by giving my points of view on the monarchy and its place in the modern world.

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Portrait of The Queen, taken in 2002 © John Swannell/Camera Press

A monarchy is a system of government that uses a monarch as its head of state. Monarchy comes from the Greek words monos (One) and archein (to rule). Monarchies are normally hereditary with the monarch being appointed from an Order of Succession. However they can sometimes be elective, with the head of state appointed, only for their life time, this form of monarchy does not get passed down to their children, unless they too have been elected.

Monarchies are one of the oldest forms of government in the world, (which is a reflection of the leadership of tribal chiefs) and arguably one of the most successful.

In most kingdoms the monarch serves as an emblem of continuity and union. Since 1800, many monarchies have ceased to exist, and many of the countries that have retained this institution have limited the monarch’s power quite considerably, in turn becoming a constitutional monarchy.

In a constitutional monarchy the monarch is the head of state but a mere figure head, with the real power lying with the Parliament. Unlike an absolute monarchy, the monarch is not the sole source of power.

In an absolute monarchy (of which there is some remaining today) the monarch has complete control over every position of state. Most monarchies in the past could be considered to be absolute.

One of the topics that have plagued the British monarchy for many years is the issue of finances. Many people have a misconception that the monarchy has an unlimited supply of the tax payers money; this however, is not the case.The Monarchy costs the tax payers £40 million a year, which is approximately just 65 pence a year per tax payer. In contrast to the £500 plus million that the Monarchy makes in annual tourism alone, which is from visitors to places such as Buckingham Palace, and does not include the extra money that places like restaurants make, nor the extra money and tourism events such as golden and diamond jubilees make.

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The Queen Arrives at Trooping of the Colour 2012 © Tracey Fuller

The amount of money Her Majesty has personally is private, as is the case for anyone. However, in 1993, the Lord Chamberlain said that estimates of £100 million and over were “grossly overstated”. Another misconception is that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II owns the Crown Jewels and the palaces and art in the Royal Collection, but these are in fact only held by the Queen, in trust on behalf of the nation.

The Queen receives a private income from the Duchy of Lancaster (a container of property, land and assets held in trust for Her Majesty, in her role as Duke of Lancaster). The Duchy of Lancaster's main purpose is to provide an independent source of income, mainly used to bear the cost of expenditure, not met by the civil list. All profits from the Duchy of Lancaster are subject to income tax.

The ‘Privy Purse’ is the phrase used to depict the income from the Duchy of Lancaster that the Queen gets to meet official expenditure and private expenditure incurred by the Queen as Sovereign.

The Monarchy is a good source of tourism for England, not just as people come from around the world to visit the royal palaces but because tourists come to the UK with an image of the Monarchy as England; almost as if there had never been any other monarchies in the world. The wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton in 2011 added at least a £2 billion boost to the British economy. If you were to ask an American what they thought of first when you say England, I am sure most will say 'The Queen'.

References:

http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/monarchy/

http://www.royalinsight.net

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/monarchys-500m-for-uk-tourism-238499

Portrait of The Queen, taken in 2002 © John Swannell/Camera Press

The Queen Arrives at Trooping of the Colour 2012 © Tracey Fuller (http://www.myfinepix.co.uk/user/tuksumdoin)

wwinter86

wwinter86

I was born in Somerset, moved to the Highlands of Scotland in late 1998. I am writing a horror novel of which I have done over 23 000 words. I can trace my family tree back nearly a thousand years to 206 AD. I am a direct descendent of all the european royal houses (and some others farther afield) including King Alfred The Great, William the Conqueror and others, I'm related to Napoleon and Buffalo Bill Cody and I am half American. http://www.williamcodywinter.com
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