Why Do We Still Have Monarchies?

On Sept 9th, 2015, Queen Elizabeth the Second surpassed her great-great grandmother Queen Victoria to become the longest running British monarch in history

But although the Queen is quite popular in the United Kingdom, about one in 6 Britons feel the monarchy should be completely abolished So, why do we still have monarchies? Well, the United Kingdom isn’t the only country to retain a royal family In fact, there are around 40 nations worldwide with monarchs – with various titles like King, Queen, Sultan and Emir Many of these countries are leftover British colonies who still acknowledge the authority of Queen Elizabeth the Second Several are still ruled through absolute monarchies

Nations like Swaziland and Qatar have hereditary rulers who exert full control over legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government One of the most successful absolute monarchies is in Vatican City, which is governed by the Pope The rest are primarily in the Middle East and Africa These nations tend to be plagued by human rights abuses because there aren’t sufficient checks on the monarch’s supreme power But in most nations with royal families, like Sweden or Japan, monarch power is minimal, and they have few if any official state duties

They retain mostly symbolic power, and exist as the face of the country for ceremonial functions Known as the “head of state,” they differ from the “head of government,” who would be the actual political leader of the government In the United Kingdom, one expert summed up the Queen’s duties as, “the right to be consulted, the right to encourage, and the right to warn” The Queen’s political powers DO include appointing the Prime Minister and declaring War or Peace However, traditionally, the monarch’s decisions in the UK have aligned with the constitutional government’s

If they ever were to disagree, these laws could change to remove the monarch’s authority For example, in 2008, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg refused to sign a euthanasia bill into law, although it had been approved by parliament Luxembourg's parliament then promptly amended the constitution so that bills no longer needed the signature of the Grand Duke Today, one of the most important royal duties is with philanthropy Queen Elizabeth the second is said to have “done more for charity than any other monarch in history”, helping to raise more than a billion dollars in aid

Overall, British royalty is said to contribute to more than 3,000 charities worldwide Royal families also play a role in preserving a nation’s culture and history The British crown jewels and a number of castles and palaces are owned by the state, but they are used by royalty to keep the UK’s historical traditions alive Monarchies may be a thing of the past, but royal families are invaluable for cultural preservation, diplomacy, and philanthropy Some British citizens, however, think that monarchy is outdated

Should Britain still have a king and queen? Learn more in Seeker Daily’s video Thanks for watching TestTube News! Be sure to like and subscribe to keep up with new videos daily

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