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Friday, 7 June, 2002, 08:25 GMT 09:25 UK
Change our minds
Can you change Lucy, Dougald and Deborah's minds?
Can you change Lucy, Dougald and Deborah's minds?
We have selected three 25 year olds who were born in 1977 - the year of the Queen's Silver Jubilee. They all share different views on the monarchy.

Deborah Thomas is a monarchist, Lucy Tzouliadis a republican and Dougald Hine can see the advantages and disadvantages of both sides.

Our Jubilee Babes have been subjected to a variety of different opinions - from experts, celebrities and you.

We wanted you to try and change their minds on the monarchy by sending in your most persuasive arguments via the form at the bottom of the page.

Oxford Union

As part of the process, Deborah, Lucy and Dougald took part in a head to head debate at the Oxford Union.

The guest speakers were Count Nikolai Tolstoy, chairman of the International Monarchist League and playwright and critic, Bonnie Greer.

Our monarchy

Our Jubilee Babes also attended the BBC's special debate Our Monarchy: The Next 50 Years, which was screened on BBC One on 12th June.

Digital satellite viewers also took part to see Lucy, Deborah and Dougald discuss your points before the main debate began.

You can now rejoin them here to see if they have changed their minds.

Meet our Jubilee Babes...

Deborah Thomas
Deborah: Monarchist

Deborah Thomas is a chartered accountant from London and was born on 9 November 1977. She is a staunch royal supporter.

She did not change her mind about the monarchy after taking part in the debate.


Lily, England
I completely agree with Lucy!

The monarchy is outdated and unnecessary. Doesn't the system of privileges given from birth without earning them make a mockery of life as we know it today or at anytime?

James, England
I'm a conservative republican. I believe in opportunity for all, responsibility by all and freedom from interference from the state where practicably possible.

I think the monarchy is the final barrier to the fulfilment of a true nation built on opportunity, what does Deborah think?

Alon Or-bach, UK, London
The hereditary principle is outdated and wrong. It is the people that should decide the head of state in a vote - and the Queen can stand for election if she wants to.

Graham Paterson, Scotland
Is the monarch really apolitical? The monarch is intimately involved with the working of government in a way that a truly democratic society cannot sanction. What does Deborah think of this?

Rahul, UK
With so much poverty in the UK and class inequality, why is it right that the civil list gives the Queen's family £10 million a year and a further £90 million from Parliament for the upkeep of castles, boats and planes?

Could this £100 million be spent on solving poverty or on public services?

Paul Walter, UK
Look at the Palace of Versailles in France. It is because there is no monarch living there that people are able to roam freely around the rooms in their hundreds of thousands each year.

Lucy Tzouliadis
Lucy: Republican

Lucy Tzouliadis is a doctor from Weston-Super-Mare and was born on 7 June 1977.

She is a republican and did not change her point of view on the monarchy after taking part in the debate.


Peter Druitt, England
Who would be head of state?
Can we seriously have pride in an elected head of state; an ambitious politician?
Do many (any) of us hold our present elected representatives in high regard?

Philip, England
Which superannuated politician, local busybody, shagged out sports/pop personality would you have as head of state?
Posh and Becks, Thatcher, Blair?

Olivier Vuigner, Switzerland
Come and see Italy and France if you want to change your mind. They aren't any more democratic than the UK: France has always been ruled by a bureaucratic elite. Italy, is better not to comment...
The most democratic countries in Europe, where the government is really accountable toward the people, are all monarchies - UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway.

Ms Alex Hall, England
Lucy thinks she comes from an ordinary background which is not elitist but to many others she comes from a very privileged background.
Does she really think we live in a meritocracy?

Debra Edwards, California, USA
In California the present governor is a Democrat (Grey Davis).
His challenger is a guy nobody out here has ever heard of (Bill Simon) who has never held a political office. But he's a multi-billionaire. He hasn't lived in California except to campaign for the governor¿s race.
Wealth and power go hand in hand. It's got nothing to do with how hard you are willing to work. Is that what you really want for Britain?

Alan Guest-Smith, Australia
The key element in the power of the monarch is not the position that she holds, but the position she denies to someone else.
There can be no political or military threat to political stability, so long as the Royal Family holds the primary loyalty of the Military and is removed from popular politics.

Graeme Smyth, USA/UK
It is easy to identify problems with the current system (which, I think, are greatly exaggerated and usually somewhat intangible) than to carefully consider the serious drawbacks of the complications of a republic - e.g. who writes the constitution?

Nick Ashton-Hart, UK
I'd say the following to Lucy:
Do you actually believe that simply electing one more political figure will make the country more free in any way - and if you do believe it, what's the rationale?

Andrew Schrader, England
I doubt whether one e-mail is going to change the mind of a hardline republican but I do think Lucy is wrong.
The fact of the matter is, politicians need to be reminded that they are servants not masters, so forcing them to grovel occasionally is not only good for our democracy but it sends tingles of delight up my spine.

Gus Swan, UK
Some of the world's most progressive nations are monarchies: Sweden, Netherlands, Denmark.
Spain has become more prosperous over the last 30 years under a newly established monarchy.
Monarchies give them a unifying, long-lasting figure around which to unite and cement their identities: they act as an equalising not a divisive force.

Simon Harris, Ireland (English by Birth)
Lucy, you're correct in your opinion that the monarchy is an outdated institution and should be replaced by some form of president. What form of president should be the real debate.

Oliver Marigold, UK
Tony Blair was only elected by a minority of the British people. The Queen has no short-term, political axe to grind and is concerned only with Britain and the Commonwealth's long term interests.

Dougald Hine
Dougald: Undecided

Dougald Hine is a student from Sheffield and was born on 16 November 1977. He was a republican, but since the Queen Mother's death in March 2002 has become undecided about his views on the monarchy.

After taking part in the debate, Dougald revealed that he was swaying more in favour of the monarchy.


Simon Kubelec, England
The monarchy is at the very core of everything that makes us British, support the Royalists Dougald!

Kim Ellis, England
Divided on the whole by politics, a royal event can unite the whole of the United Kingdom by strength of feeling.
I detect you are swinging towards support for the monarchy, and would urge you to look to the past in order to look forward. Roots and patriotism are very important and a solid foundation on which to build.

Bill Thomas, UK (Living in Bosnia)
People here in Bosnia, and especially Croatia, envy the British and our system and I have often had it mentioned to me that "Britain has something special."

In the European Union, out of 15 members, 8 are republics and 7 are constitutional monarchies. I have seen absolutely no evidence that those who live in republics are any better off than those people who live under a constitutional monarch.

Simon O'Hana, England
I cannot put it better than Tony Benn: the subservience required by the existence of the monarchy (not any particular monarch) is debilitating and undemocratic.
Let us embrace Europe and have an elected head of those peoples. The prime minister will do for these Isles otherwise.

Stephen du Toit, London, UK
Dougald, my home country, South Africa, has had three constitutions in my lifetime (I'm 40) and only the current one is any good, so there is good cause to stick with constitutional monarchy, which has served this country very well for centuries, although there is of course room to adapt it to changing circumstances - we always have!

Peter Dyne, England
Dougald - why do you have to be persuaded that we would be better off without the monarchy? The monarchy and its hangers-on are major contributors to inequality.
Their world is remote from ours and they have entered it by chance, and we foolishly pay for them to play.
The monarchy will eventually go when everybody sees through their charade.

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