To most Kiwi’s the Royals are a quaint remnant of a bygone era who live in big palaces as tourist attracting relics and whose antics are merely a performance to keep us amused and make us feel special because the queen is our “ceremonial” head of state who has no real world power.
She is stinking rich because we let her be and never ever interferes with the matters of state in any of the 19 countries she currently resides over as the head of state.
This is a dangerously naive state of mind I fear and here is why:
- On the 15th of January of 2013 the Telegraph published an article. It details how the Queen and Prince Charles used their power of veto at least 39 times in order to influence laws pertaining to such general subjects as higher education, paternity pay and child maintenance.Not just that but the queen also vetoed the Military Actions Against Iraq Bill in 1999, which aimed to transfer the power to authorise military strikes against Iraq from the monarch to parliament. Keeping the power to wage war firmly in her grandmotherly hands. A power I hope you will agree with me is not a small ceremonial one!
- On the 11th of August an article appeared in the Sunday mail about an astonishing 36 meetings Prince Charles had with various cabinet members and the influence he asserts with what are called “black spider” letters.
- And on the 18th of August another article appeared which alleges that people close to Charles and willing to do his bidding were placed in sensitive positions in order to manipulate the proceedings concerning policy making and the question was posed whether Prince Charles exceeded his position as the “constitutional” monarch in waiting.
- On the 11th of September it was announced that the Queen and Prince Charles had ended a 400 year feud between the Royal palace and the Duchy of Cornwall over the Gold still buried under the soil of Cornwall.
We are not talking about small amounts here. We are talking about millions of pounds and that is not in the English currency but the actual weight of the stuff according to the article. That is real value and a real source of real world power.
- This weekend John Key stayed with the Queen at her hangout in Balmoral. He had a personal meeting with her and spend the time mixing with her family and perhaps even had a meeting with Prince Charles who behind the scene it appears has taken over a lot of the day to day royal functions on behalf of his mother.Even before he arrived at the palace went public with the fact that on behalf of New Zealand, whose inhabitants are subjects of the crown and appear to have had no say in the matter, he would take on the job of championing (another one of those quaint remnants of medieval chivalry) the
orderwish of the queen to have her descendants anointed as the heads of state forever of all of the 54 members of the British commonwealth.
I don’t know about you but that sounds like an awful amount of power in an unelected extremely wealthy family for a very long time and if you think that will only be ceremonial ask the Canadians what it meant for them.