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EDITIONS
Friday, 7 June, 2002, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
Talk to us
We want to hear your views on the British monarchy
We want to hear your views on the British monarchy

We want to know what your thoughts are on the future of the monarchy.

We passed emails received so far to host David Dimbleby to discuss during the debate, Our Monarchy: The next 50 years, which was screened at 2100 BST on BBC One on 12 June.

The discussion explored some of the following questions -

Who do you think should be the next head of state?

Do you think Charles or William should be the next King?

Would Charles make a modern enough King?

Has the Jubilee weekend changed you?

Is the Queen a feminist icon?

Is having a civil list a good idea?

Does the Queen and her household cost us too much, or are they good value for money?

Are you happy with the status quo? Or do you think there is a credible alternative?

And, finally, how many people do you think would line the streets to celebrate 50 years of a British Republic?

But what do you think:

Have your say


Read comments so far


J.Lennick, UK

The Royals are a constant reminder of inequality, class division and the power of the rich to manipulate and control the masses via the media.

Britain will remain a pseudo-democracy, stuck in the past, until the Royals, the Lords and the whole corrupt system is swept away.


Adam Cooke, UK

The monarch has no real power and parliament could dissolve the monarchy at some stage in the future if it saw fit, so it really isn't undemocratic.

An elected president is not a good alternative - it is hard enough to get people to vote as it is, so what sort of turnout would there be for electing a president?

I say keep the Queen; I feel Charles and William will be good Kings when their time comes too.


Ken Barlow, England

All one needs to do is look back over the past 50 years and see who we would have had as presidents to realise that we are still the envy of the world for stability, reliability, history - to emphasise this & to drive the nail home - just look at France and their presidential excesses!


Mr G Walker, England

I agree with A N Wilson's comments in the Evening Standard, where he says he would hate to see a politician riding around in a good coach - we would be replacing tradition and heritage with champagne socialism - at least the Royals are that - royal.


Rahul, UK

What I and many others object to is the fact that the Royals are given 10 million from the civil list and a further 90 million for the upkeep of castles, boats, planes etc, yet many royalists complain that we do not spend enough on public services.

There is poverty in the UK and 100 million could go a long way to solving many problems.


Richard Merrin, UK

All heads of state cost money - fact. The fact that our head of state costs the taxpayer less than the French President is an often overlooked point by the republicans.

The costs associated with the Royal Family do not even add up to the running costs of one NHS hospital, so lets put this in context.


Darren Stephens, UK

To be elected president would require a national level campaign. Given this expense only the wealthy, and those backed by corporate or political patronage, are in a position to try. We can consider state funding for campaigns but the cost of this could make us financially worse off than with a monarchy.

There is no guarantee that someone elected to such an office would be fit to carry it. At least there is some comfort in knowing that monarchs in our system are trained for the job


Peter Judge, UK

Why is it so often assumed that the only alternative to the monarchy is to have a president?

The cabinet and the prime minister should become fully accountable to Parliament, firstly through what is presently called the Commons, and secondly, as a further protection, to a revised, democratically-elected second chamber replacing the House of Lords.

Perhaps the leader of that second chamber could become the ceremonial head of state for a year, rather like the mayors in most councils (prior to the advent of elected mayors).


Chris, USA

How about a monarchy funded entirely through private donations? Let those that like the monarchy put their money where their mouth is.


Norma Jean McCloud, UK

I think that the monarchy is worth the money. Why would we want to be the same as all the other countries in the world? They all envy us and can't wait to live here!

I would not go to see a president in the same way that I would always want to see the Queen. She didn't ask to be born into the monarchy and would you or I like to live in a goldfish bowl all our lives?

I don't envy their position but I am glad they are there!


Rich, UK

How many presidents have question marks hanging over their conduct?

President Archer anyone?

As long as monarchs are happy to continue representing us so well, I am happy to pay for them.


Ron, England

What we need to do is look at our whole political structure and aim to modernise this, to inject a better connection between the public and government than we currently have.

The monarchy stands as a major impediment to reform, as its unelected nature means it needs to stay detached and apolitical, effectively rendering it redundant.

It is not about any personal distaste for unelected privilege, instead it is realising that the way a state is structured and governed has to keep pace with a changing world.


David Hamilton, Northern Ireland

I love the Royal Family, particularly the Queen and immediate family. I believe they represent everything Great Britain stands for. The Jubilee was a testament to this.


Francis Rainsford, Peru

The British people are not known for their demonstrative behaviour, thus allowing the Press to chip away at the monarchy when there's nothing important happening.

When the moment comes to celebrate our Royal heritage, the people are out in force confounding both the Press and republican-biased politicians alike.


Kevin, UK

How many people would line the streets for a republic - about two dozen? I should think that most people will end up complaining about fuel prices and the state of the NHS and thinking about how good it was in the Nineties under Queen Liz.


Richard Paisley, England

I believe monarchists are ignoring some basic facts in their assertion that the one million-plus people on the streets of London were there to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee.

The majority of people I spoke to were there because it was a four-day weekend, the weather was glorious and there was high quality and continuous entertainment.


Martyn, UK

The Jubilee only proved that, if you spend enough money on a free concert and fireworks, people will come. It had nothing to do with celebrating 50 years of our Queen.

All the money was spent in London. There were few if any celebrations anywhere else. We all like a party. England matches prove that. A republic would give us something we the people could all celebrate.


Iain Middleton, Scotland

To speak of abolition is small-minded, short-termist and ignorant, quite apart from being the most insulting thing imaginable to those who have fought "for Queen (or King) and country".


Justin Cliff, England (Welsh Exile)

As a Welshman, the celebrations left me cold. How can an individual from one country be the queen of another (would the English public accept having a Welsh queen?).

Moreover, as we are not represented on the Union Jack, nor do I recall seeing our flag, Y Ddraig Goch (The Red Dragon) included, when the flags of England, Scotland & Northern Ireland were superbly imaged onto Buckingham Palace, then perhaps the Queen herself shares the same view.

I guess I'm envious in a way, as wouldn't it be great if the people of Wales still had their own royal family, as opposed to a foreign one ?


Niall Campbell, Scotland

I was in London during the celebrations, which highlighted to me how out of touch the English really are with the Scottish people. Apart from the usual kilt jokes, I was told to leave England in less than pleasant terms by brawling groups.

Further, the playing of Land of Hope and Glory during the Tuesday processions shows a clear Englishness about the crown, not British.

An independent, republican Scotland to me solves all these problems.


Mark MacDonnell, England

The pageantry and spectacle of the state has been used deliberately to manipulate public opinion in favour of a family of limited charm and ability, who are in no way representative of modern Britain.

The Royal Family do not keep a vibrant and challenging democracy in place, all they do is keep the old establishment in power and the people in deference and subordination, too unmotivated to want change.


Adrian Tomlinson, Italy

I am a deacon of the Roman Catholic Church living in Italy. Our Royal Family has learned the lessons of the past; they have moved on and become a modern and vibrant symbol of our nation.

How far we have travelled, when for the Jubilee every Roman Catholic Church in England is instructed by the Roman Catholic Bishops of England and Wales to offer Mass for the Queen and the Royal Family and to sing the National Anthem!


Ron, England

I know many Catholics who find the continued support of the Act of Settlement by the Royal Family highly offensive and clear evidence that they are, as a body, anti-catholic.

Also the whole issue of royal prerogative by which the prime minister can simply bypass parliament, and agree with the reigning monarch to commit the country to war or a state of emergency, needs to be addressed.

With recent events in Afghanistan this is a concept that astounds me.


Simon, British born in USA

On the international stage, our monarchy really helps us retain our status of a world power, it symbolises Britain's stability, and marks something that troubled countries can aspire to. Look at the enthusiasm the Afghans have to restore their monarch from exile, for example.


Ricki Kiff, UK

As Britain has had internal stability for 350 years, a fact very few other countries could say they have had, shouldn't we congratulate ourselves on the balance we have struck in relation to our constitution and live by the maxim "if it's not broken, don't fix it"


Shrina Shah, England

I think it is appalling that the Queen made her first ever visit to a temple during the Jubilee. How can we seriously assert that we live in a multifaith/ multi-cultural society when our so-called role models make no effort whatsoever (in a 50-year reign) to learn about other faiths?

I think her new series of visits to temples/mosques is a case of too little, too late.

Robert Bond, Australia

The connections across the Commonwealth, which the Queen has almost single-handedly forged and secured are not mentioned nearly enough.

We are all lucky, and especially the British people, to have in the person of Her Majesty such an energetic, committed and capable monarch and head of state. Long may she continue.


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