Monarchy… seriously?

I was reading an old, but good post from Hamilton Nolan – that’s equal parts hyperbolic and entertaining as informative. I’m not sure what it was that made me think how bizarre it is that UK still has people who just are “better” than us mortals — for some unknown reason.

Writing at Gawker, Nolan wrote:

It is amusing to reflect upon the imperial past of England, and the inherent assumptions of racial and cultural superiority that fueled it, while also noting the fact that the UK still to this very day continues to offer slavish financial, political, and cultural support to a tiny family elite notable for nothing except the lineage of the particular person’s vagina from which they slunk. The persistence of the Royal Family, and the worshipful attention that it draws from the British public, is the sort of primitive superstitious voodoo that puts to shame any of the animist rituals that the colonial British would have derided as uncivilized.

The rest of it just gets better.

I am reminded of Christopher Hitchens’ beautiful plea to Kate Middleton to do a 180 and find life as a normal, actual person, not the puppet of desperation with hooks from history propping up this charade for reasons that confound many.

Hereditary monarch, observed Thomas Paine, is as absurd a proposition as a hereditary doctor or mathematician…By some mystic alchemy, the breeding imperatives for a dynasty become the stuff of romance, even “fairy tale.” The usually contemptuous words fairy tale were certainly coldly accurate about the romance quotient of the last two major royal couplings, which brought the vapid disco-princesses Diana and Sarah (I decline to call her “Fergie”) within range of demolishing the entire mystique. And, even if the current match looks a lot more wholesome and genuine, its principal function is still to restore a patina of glamour that has been all but irretrievably lost.



propThe Free Dictionary: An object placed beneath or against a structure to keep it from falling or shaking; a support.


  1. says

    I think at this point the royal family is basically part of their cultural narrative. The US versions being the Kardashians and such. It seems to me that there is a general human need to have a stereotyped, idealized version of everything for comparison purposes.

    Seriously? What is different between the families except time, historical events woven into the culture, and penetration into the structures of the society? At least part of their cultures identity involves this family and that is probably hard to let go of.

  2. lpetrich says

    I’m an American, a citizen of the rebel colonies, and I’m sometimes annoyed at how much attention my fellow Americans pay to the British royal family. It’s as if the American Revolution had been fought in vain.

    I think that the British royal family is a bunch of professional celebrities. I don’t follow their antics very much, except when I’m forced to notice them. I make a partial exception for Queen Elizabeth II, because she’s relatively likable. She has also been good at staying out of trouble, something Prince Charles has not been.

  3. Dave, ex-Kwisatz Haderach says

    Occasionally, there are rumbles here in Canada that we needs to oust the monarchy at long last, but it doesn’t go anywhere. The reason they need to go is the same reason it would be so problematic to get them out. “The Crown” is way too entangled in the law and particularly in the treaties with the First Nations to make it easy or painless. It would be nice to see those “unelected sponges” (Bill Bailey) toppled though.

  4. says

    Howdy! This article couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I’ll send this post to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a great read. I appreciate you for sharing!|