It was clear, during the recent US presidential elections, that both the main candidates were pretty unpopular. However, American voters had to elect one of them – after all, what option did Americans have?
By having a monarchy, I have always felt that the UK has had a buffer against politicians. Politicians and prime ministers always know, in the back of their minds, that the people have an alternative to them. That, as far as I am concerned, is a very good thing. I’m not saying that I foresee a day where government is disbanded and the UK returns to being an Absolute Monarchy, but just knowing that it is there is enough.
When the United States kicked out the Crown and became a republic (shudder) they effectively had to create a new kind of monarchy – but one that the people had no real alternative to.
And as there was no alternative, these newly elected leaders did what any unsupervised politician would do: they went a bit rogue.
Just look at the current state of American politics – it’s become the clown act of the world circus. And look at those political families – “dynasties”, you often hear them being called – such as the Kennedys, the Bushes and the Clintons.
They are a new type of monarchy – the same family pushing for power over and over again, as though a nation of 360 million had no one else to choose from.
Who knows, maybe in a few years’ time Chelsea Clinton will be running for office? Or perhaps Melania Trump.
So having done away with a monarchy, the United States seems regularly to play with the concept. But unlike the UK, where the monarch is in the background, hovering like a strict teacher over their political pupils, ready to pounce if they get out of line, the United States has no such structure. They are stuck with their president; there is no other option and therefore their politicians believe that they can behave as they wish.
The United States could look north to their – mostly – happy Canadian cousins, to see how effectively a constitutional monarchy can work. (Canada is often declared as one of the best countries in the world.) And with the current gossip surrounding the relationship between Prince Harry and his American girlfriend, Meghan Markle, perhaps the US will once again regain at least a minor link to the Crown. And there is such a thing as The Royalist Party, USA – loyalists who long for a day when the United States returns to the Commonwealth.
Should the US ever opt to have a monarchy again (a sensible choice), the Queen and President-elect Trump would have something in common, for she is also a social-media guru, even if she has staff carefully wording tweets before they are sent. The Royal Family also follow UK Prime Ministers on Twitter, so politicians need to be careful with what they tweet – another area where a monarch could come in handy.
Just imagine Donald Trump having to attend the Palace for an audience, to explain himself, over some late night twitterings or even to request permission from the Queen to form a government, bowing down before the Head of State. Because that’s what the monarch is – the ‘Head of State’, and not some politician.
The monarchy guarantees politicians know their place. And that is no bad thing.