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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.

Sincerely

L



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

Matt

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