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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

The grotesque, feudal British monarchy belongs in the dustbin of history

The Gold State Coach which is one of two coaches that will be used during the coronation.

With the feudal spectacle of the coronation of a new king looming in England many -- quite rightly and understandably -- are decrying the sickening absurdity of the public purse being used to pay for a lavish shindig anointing an incredibly wealthy man who was literally born into staggering privilege.

While the British government has been predictably tightlipped on what will be squandered for Charles' big day out, estimates say it will likely be in the neighbourhood of £100 million. Graham Smith, chief executive of the anti-monarch campaign group Republic said of this “Charles is already king. There is absolutely no need to go through with this expensive pantomime. At a cost of tens of millions of pounds, this pointless piece of theatre is a slap in the face for millions of people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis."

Which it certainly is. It is also extra galling given just how fantastically rich Charles is.

As the Evening Standard reported when he became king:

Not only has King Charles inherited his mother’s crown and the throne, but the Duchy of Lancaster estate has also passed to him upon the Queen’s death.
In 2021, the estate made just shy of £22 million in revenue for the Queen. The Crown Estate, which is separate, has £15.2 billion in assets, which fund the treasury and royal expenses, of which 25 per cent of the profits are given to the Royal Family, as the Sovereign Grant. The Sovereign Grant for 2022-23 is £86.3 million – equivalent to £1.29 per person in the UK – the same as it was in 2021-22.

Remember also that according to the Sovereign Grant Act 2011, “the Monarch is not legally liable to pay income tax, capital gains tax, or inheritance tax". When thinking of their wealth it is also worth recalling all the thousands of pieces of art, stolen jewelry and gems and other day-to-day bits of ill-gotten opulence that they are allowed to surround themselves with.

So hardly a surprise that the spectacle -- which will also involve the use of two different cartoonishly gaudy coaches -- does not sit well with many after decades of austerity and attacks on workers, social programs and public infrastructure by successive governments of all stripes. Even in the very heart of the kingdom 52% of Londoners felt the public should not be on the hook for the party.

But, it is important also to remember that the trouble with the monarchy as an institution is not that it is expensive, but rather that it is grotesque, medieval and fundamentally runs counter to the most basic democratic ideals.

The royal family -- past and present -- is a disgraceful, retrograde bunch of extremely wealthy welfare cases who have done nothing whatsoever other than be born or to have married fortuitously to merit any of their immense privilege and the absurd reverence in which they are held. The nausea inducing relentless propaganda campaign waged in the wake of the death of Elizabeth II showed to just what lengths the media and politicians will go to try to justify its continued pointless existence.

The reality of this comes home through the ridiculous pomp with which they are greeted and the inane and offensive rules surrounding speaking to them or even touching them on the shoulder (a big no-no) as if they are some special class of human.

It would be hard to imagine a more clueless and contemptible group as all their recent soap operas accentuate.

There are countless examples of just what a gigantic prat Charles is such as this recent lowlight:

Back in 2018 it was reveled that he had his shoelaces ironed, got servants to retrieve stuff he dropped a few feet away from himself, wanted an inch of toothpaste placed on the royal toothbrush for him, etc.

Many decades ago the holdings and wealth of the royal family should have been placed fully in public hands. It is a direct holdover from feudalism and has no justification morally or democratically in the modern era even if one accepts the premises of a "constitutional monarchy".

While, as Sweden has, the British could keep the monarch but truly nationalize almost all of their holdings and make them what amounts to a regal public servant, at this point the far more obvious thing to do is to rip the whole rotten edifice down and send it into the dustbin of history where it rightly belongs.

The Diamond Jubilee State Coach which will also be used.



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