Tuesday, 6 February 2007

Ask About English!: Q6 The Royal Family

Hello Matt,

I want to ask what do you think about the British Royal Family? I was at London two times but my friend that lives there thinks it is unpopular and waste of money.



Hi L,

My opinion of the monarchy has changed over time. When I was a child I remember being very excited standing on a pavement waiting to see Princess Diana, but this was not long after the Royal Wedding. As I got older I started to think that the monarchy was out-dated, old-fashioned and worthless. Now I am neither for nor against. I think this is common amongst my generation.

In a poll conducted in 2000 (by the firm ICM for the Guardian newspaper), 3 out of ten people said that they don't have an opinion, and 44 percent of Britons thought that getting rid of the monarchy would have a negative effect on the country. This figure was well below the average of 70 percent in the 1990s. However I doubt that the general public is motivated enough to become a republic and from the financial perspective I think the monarchy makes more money through tourism than it costs taxpayers (although I don't have the exact figures).

On one hand, the monarchy is part of tradition, part of what makes us feel British, and it performs a useful function.

On the other hand they represent a religion which is increasingly becoming less popular in the UK, they seem out of touch with current British society and they live in a world that I can't even begin to imagine.

Maybe Prince William's marriage and the new film "The Queen", starring Helen Mirren, will give a boost to the Royals popularity, but I think I will always be indifferent.

Thanks for your question


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