A gilded cage is as bad as a rusted cage when it comes to freedom.
Rejoice for yesterday a new baby was born to one day be King of England. Possibly Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and other self governing dominions but that will probably dwindle in the next fifty years. A fading legacy shall be theirs.
As the marching band today play “Congratulations!” the ability of the common people to be enraptured and enthralled by a royal occasion is a testament to why monarchy endures – it even catches the attentions of equal citizens in a republic across the pond who should know better. It is a symbol of tradition, heritage and in these austere times, pride. Even republics try to encapsulate the regal authority of ancient monarchy, the trappings of a red “royal” carpet, a White House “palace” to live in. A flying “Air Force One” chariot of wonder and awe to travel the world and govern while in transit.
The thought of an elected politician living as head of state in Buckingham Palace would make any party goer today feel queasy. You do not need to be a republican to see that a revered institution stands in better stead with the people than politicians. Not agreeing what sort of elected head of state (Ireland’s, USA, Lord Protector?) adds to difficulties of selling a suitable alternative narrative.
Yet the gift I want to give the new born prince is one of equality with the common people. I want them to be free to choose their own religion, marry whom they will and choose their own career without causing an abdication crisis. That they have no duties to defend an established status quo but are at liberty to think for themselves, and use the best education money can buy to improve society as they freely go about their own business. If they are gay no issue about producing an heir they can marry the one they love and not put on a pretence like Kings of old.
These points seem lost as people stare into the gilded cage, celebrating that this baby will reign over us, we will sing praise to him, be enthralled to them bowing and bending the knee. That their life, duties and responsibilities are already mapped out and planned for them. Wave the flag, cheer, and watch a broadcast of an outside hospital door as someone tries to fill air time saying how difficult bathing a new born can be.
The celebration is that every foot step, every breath of this child will be watched as some kind of “Truman Show” for our entertainment and adoration. I might add some of us will be routing for them to escape and figure the world out for themselves. I wish the boy a long, healthy and good life with all the liberties that are for all at birth.
No more and most definitely no less.
Follow Up Post: Richard Dawkins Supports the British Monarchy
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog