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5 Anti-Monarchy myths busted


Republicans will always try their hardest to persuade us that Monarchy is harmful to the UK and that it does no good. Republic UK make a point of trying to ‘bust myths’ about the Monarchy which Monarchists use to argue in favour of it, so we thought we’d ‘return fire’ and bust the ‘myth busting’.

Is it though? Whilst the system of Absolute Monarchy is obviously undemocratic, Constitutional Monarchy actually compliments democracy.


The argument that Monarchy is undemocratic has been disproved many times, most notably in a recent survey of the ‘world’s most democratic countries’. This placed Norway, a country with a Monarchy, as the most democratic country in the world. Second was Sweden, also a country with a Monarchy and in fact of the top ten in that list, 7 are ones with Monarchies.

A Constitutional Monarchy can be vital to a country’s political system. Take a look at Belgium for example. Their former King, Albert II, famously worked to resolve a constitutional crisis in 2010-2011 when Belgium’s parliament was unable to agree on a government. When the crisis was resolved, Albert swore in the new government too.

Part of the system of how Monarchy works is through the Head of State being a fixed hereditary figure. Republicans would have you believe that this is entirely undemocratic and unfair.


They would say that people should be able to aspire to be leader of their own country… but they do. Frequently, you hear people aspiring to be the Prime Minister, because that’s where the real political power lies in a Constitutional Monarchy. The office of Monarch acts frequently as an arbitrator in Political matters, not as a leader of Government.

Having, as we do, a Monarch as Head of State, we prevent two things from happening. Firstly, having a fixed Head of State prevents any leader with ulterior motives from taking power and acts actually to keep the United Kingdom democratic. Secondly, keeping the office of Head of State apolitical means the King or Queen can take a neutral stance in any political conflict without being influenced by personal party preference.

Quite simply: yes it is. In fact, Monarchy is one of the cheapest types of Head of State. Below is a table comparing the British Monarchy with two other Heads of State who are not hereditary Monarchs.


  • British Monarchy – £36.1 million
  • French Presidency – £154 million (just for President’s income alone) per year
  • American Presidency – £917.3 million

A lot of presidencies don’t publish their travel costs, staff costs and sometimes President’s salary, so it was very difficult to get hold of other information to compare more presidencies. Conversely, The Queen’s expenses are always published in full every year along with other senior members of the Royal Family.

Each person in the United Kingdom pays just 58p (2012-2013) for the Monarchy – hardly ‘breaking the bank’.

This point is simply unarguable. Every poll taken by a reputable source will show that the Monarchy is more popular than the UK becoming a republic.


The most recent and reliable one from YouGov shows that 73% of people think Britain should continue to have a Monarchy and just 16% support having an elected head of state (11% unsure). There’s no hiding from the fact that Republicans in the UK are a minority – albeit a minority with a particularly loud voice sometimes.

And to say that no one is interested in the Monarchy is completely wrong. It was estimated shortly after its broadcast that the Royal Wedding was watched (at least partially) by a total global audience of 3.126 billion, or 45% of the world’s population.

Polls show that Queen Elizabeth II’s popularity is the highest in the Royal Family with around 90% of people approving of her.

HRH Prince Charles Meets the Crowds at the Armed Forces Day National Event Edinburgh

Republicans argument, because of the popularity of The Queen, is to say that nobody supports Prince Charles becoming King and that the Monarchy should therefore end after Queen Elizabeth.

Again, this is not true. Polls in 2012 show that 61% of people think Prince Charles will do a good job once he becomes King, with 26% thinking he won’t.

Even those who aren’t fans of the Prince of Wales aren’t anti-Monarchist because many people support the Duke of Cambridge, in fact 83% of people think Prince William will do a good job as King and just 5% of people saying they don’t think he’ll do a good job.

photo credit: hmcotterill, UK Parliament via , theharv58, PhotoGraham & Defence Images via photopin cc

  • Bill Foley

    Excellent article!

    • Agree.

    • Bob Loblaw

      Horrible article, not a single valid point. You are just anti democratic fanboys.

  • CP

    I support the monarchy, but point 3 is wrong.

    The US President is the political leader as well as head of state,so it is a dual role. The equivalent would be the joint cost of PM and HMQ. also the US costs include security and HMQs does not.

    the French President is closer to HMQ but again, that role is political and there is a PM as well ( off topic but are the French paying twice??).

    the BRF are vfm but I think comparisons as in this report are a mistake. Or include security costs.

    Otherwise, excellent article.

    • Royal Central

      I concede on the point about the US presidency, though I believe the French President has a similar role to Her Majesty in as-much as their powers are similar. France’s Prime Minister has the Governmental power.

      • CP

        but the French President attends meetings such as the G8. i admit to not fully understanding how the French system works.

        is there a figure for security forthe BRF or is it never published?

      • smath

        no that’s incorrect the president has real power in France including control over all the armed forces, suspensive veto and controls the appointment of prime minister. In fact the prime minister only really has power in France if there is cohabitation (i.e. the president and prime minister are of different parties)

    • Daniel

      In the US they have the Secretary of State, i.e. the equivalent of the PM

      • Bill Foley

        Yes and no. in the UK the prime Minister is a Cabinet Member and head of the Governemnt, in the US the Secretary of State is also a Cabinet Member but he or she is not head of the Government.

  • Mark O

    Well the Republicans in UK are welcome to come to the U.S. and see how great it is having a political Head of State. On a good day 50% of the people are disgruntled by the leadership and on a bad day even members of the party in-charge are disgruntled. I am very much in favor of Constitutional Monarchy.

  • I read that the Baby has already generated $40 million (US) in revenue for the London…and it’s not even born yet! 😉 xo Lulu

    • Optimusnorm

      No one is asking you to care, or spew vulgar appraisals of other nation’s internal matters.

      And it’s not a competition either. Britain is a trillion dollar economy by the way. And nearly all the highest ranked European nations in terms of prosperity, freedom and low corruption have Monarchies.

      By all means go back to not caring.

  • smath

    How can having a fixed leader stop ulterior motives? If anything it exacerbates existing ulterior motives as they are in place for life! Royals aren’t necessarily neutral e.g. George III or in fact Prince Charles and the black spider letters. Surely having an elected head of state is better on this front because it means we can vote out someone with ulterior motives rather than being stuck with them

    • Royal Central

      It means there is a mechanism there to stop powers from taking over the system. I.e. The Queen can dismiss Prime Minister etc. should it need to happen.

      • smath

        But who can dismiss the Monarch if they get out of hand (as happened with George III)? In the German system for example the president has a largely ceremonial role similar to that of a monarch but elected and the chancellor has a similar role to that of Prime Minister. That system has been running for nigh on 70 years and no ‘powers have taken over the system’

        • Royal Central

          Then a regent can be appointed – as with George III. – Regarding reference to German system, I don’t need to go into detail about what happened in the German system you’re talking about before 70 years ago, but suffice to say the British system has never suffered any kind of unwanted power take over because the Monarchy is in place and not just anyone can take power.

          • smath

            But George III’s regent was not appointed due to any democratic sensibilities and fear of him undermining the constitution it was done because he went bonkers at regular intervals. Are you really playing the Nazi card? British history hardly smells of roses in respect to Empire, and yes it has repeatedly since the dawn of time. The romans, the vikings, the normans, even the glorious revolution was an unruly power take over in favour of a protestant king rather than a catholic one. Any road, the German system today is very different from that in the 20s and early 30s, is much more stable and have no far right parties represented in any house of parliament, unlike the Dutch or Danish who both have monarchies and have had far-right parties in a ruling coalition in the last 20 years. What I’m saying is no system is perfect but if we can choose to change who governs us regularly then it safeguard us against tyrants and takes power away from those whose only qualification is who their dad was and back into the hands of hard working ordinary people who deserve to have a say in how they are ruled

          • Bill Foley

            I think it must be remembered that the Monarch does not govern. The monarch does not rule. They really have no political power and their role is symbolic and ceremonial. I would be much more worried about an elected politician abusing power. The way the monarchy is practiced today, if a monarch were to try and exersize political power it would not be seen as constitutional, it would not be tolerated and they would be gone and I think the monarch knows that.

          • smath

            they do have a large amount of potential political power, remember it is only through convention they are party political neutral but that hasn’t stopped prince Charles trying his hand at influencing politics, the monarch is naturally political in their role as head of the Church of England, a practise that should be stopped immediately! They may not govern or rule but neither must a president, one need only look to Germany for an example of a non ruling president, Switzerland has a non ruling president too (although that system is atypical across the entire world.) Just because a president is political it does not mean they will abuse power, especially if they are held by a written constitution and constitutional court. Even as their ceremonial and symbolic role they are damaging, they symbolise hereditary succession over hard work and aristocracy over plutocracy. I personally would like to live in country symbolised by a hard worker, someone who has not had a silver spoon in their mouth their entire life, someone like most of the British people. I’m not saying get rid of the parliamentary system and replace it with a presidential system, what I’m saying is get rid of a group of people whose only qualification is being born in the right place and at the right time and replace them with someone who has had to work hard to get there. You can keep the pomp and circumstance, you can even keep the coronation and title, but in this day and age we should be able to choose who we want to be represented by, its as simple as that

          • Bill Foley

            The hereditary aspect of monarchy is also part of its appeal. It gives a connection to the past , to history. It also points to the future. Also, the monarchy is represented by a family and as we today saw the birth of a future king, it is a family in which the entire nation can feel connected to and share in its joys as well as sorrows. That is something that can bring a country together much more than an elected family that is only there for a few years. Yes, these people are born to these roles but as you can see every member of the Royal Family is very hard working. From the queen on down they are all very hard working. Even with an elected Head of State you are still looking at people who, by and large are often born into wealthy families.

          • smath

            its not necessarily the case that they will be wealthy families, thats not a forgone conclusion, and even if they are they’ll probably be self made which is much better than being from some german family that happened to be protestant when all around were catholic. I would dispute the point that every member of the royal family is hard working, prince andrew made money from contraversial relationships, and prince edward dropped out of the royal marines after 4 months. The real hard workers are their staff, some of whom are on zero hour contracts, feudal employment laws for a feudal tradition.
            Every family has a connection to the past, but my family were mill workers not royals, that doesn’t make my past any less historical (just a bit less interesting :p ) we live in Britain we need no articifical connections to the past! you can walk in london and see ancient monuments, i live in birmingham and i can see our past and our history all around me with chamberlains buildings and warwick castle and baddisley clinton. We don’t need to cling to the past so verciforously because its all around us here! also it doesn’t point to the future it only looks back (i think we both know the whole pointing to the future thing is bull)
            @Amber-Lee, at least you have a vote, it may be one out of millions but its still a choice and your people as a whole are able to choose who they want, if thats lying politicians so be it, but you have the ability, in a written constitution, to vote for whoever you like so its up to you guys to get the good guys in and the bad ones out. I don’t want someone born and bred to lead to lead me. Its a dangerous thing for someone to know someday they will rule (just watch simba in the lion king :p ) i’d prefer someone that can relate to me, thats had to struggle by some days, thats gone hungry, thats been rejected for jobs and by universities, someone thats lived a little. The best leaders are those who can not just sympathise with their followers but can empathise because they’ve been there.

          • Bubba

            Guess what!? Most politicians and presidents can’t, wont and don’t care to relate to their own people. You are living in a fantasy world if you think that Presidents of the world are ordinary people. Let’s look at the 20th century for the track record for leaders of republics – Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Mobutu, Pinochet, Saddam Hussein, Ayatollah Khomeini etc. I’m sure you can relate to them!

          • Amber-Lee

            I suppose it’s a case of what you know. I hate being American and our system. We feel like our votes don’t count and all the politicins lie. Give me someone who’s born and bred to lead over that any day.

          • Bob Loblaw

            You don’t even understand a constitutional monarchy. They also have incompetent and lying politicians. This has nothing to do with any system but with being human.

        • Bill Foley

          Revolutions and abdications are what bring down a monarch when they get out of hand. George III had much more political power than Elizabeth II has. It was Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, that helped Victoria see that she needs to be above partisan politics and remain nuetral. Ever since then the monarch has done just that. The Prince of Wales can be outspoken but I am sure once he becomes king he will walk the path of nuetrality.

          • smath

            You’re right but there is no set mechanism for changing the monarch it takes considerably more effort to change a monarch than to vote out a president. Personally I’m not so sure, the lack of transparency is very worrying to me and with very little accountability who knows what might happen in the future

          • Optimusnorm

            How many monarchs since the UK was formed have needed to be brought down with violence?

      • rickd12

        She no longer has that power. She committed treason, as per the magna Carta, when she signed the Lisbon treaty in 2001.

  • Tom Seiler

    Keep in mind that a “Republican” in England is NOT the same as a “Republican” in America. It is two very different systems.

  • jovan66102

    Excellent article! It’s true of the Commonwealth Realms, as well!

    • Optimusnorm

      There are also countries not part of the old Empire who have joined the Commonwealth like Rwanda, Mozambique and Cameroon.

      Why we bother with the EU when the whole world is there to join and work together with is beyond me.

  • mandysroyalty

    I have always felt that the Queen (or any Constitutional monarch) is more accountable to the public than any politician. More accountable to all rather than just a particular interest group!

  • Rene T

    the only reason the royals continue to flourish is through a) vicarious fairytale living and b) an extreme case of cognitive dissonance.

    • rickd12

      Precisely. It’s obscene

  • Kristján Birnir Ívansson

    1.a) Still not elected, inheriting a public office which most importantly morally wrong.

    • How so? I do not see the imorality of inheritance. Could you please justify your statement?

  • J.P. Katigbak

    As far as I am concerned, why bother to think that democracy is sacred to those who believe in the republican ideals when people will realize that republicanism could spell a real disaster to their societies and economies around the world?

    I suggest that ideological activists and their motivated allies must feel very sorry for the shortcomings of democracy and republicanism that allow the kind of political correctness remain uncontrollable – it is a real disgrace to good, tried-and-tested traditional values and customs, traditional institutions, including the institution of monarchy, a more stable society, more durable economic principles, a more principled environmental protection consistent with sound science, and a lot more.

    People like me need to take action on mainly marxist political correctness before republicanism rears its ugly head again, and ensure that the monarchy will remain alive and well to this day. – J.P.K.

  • Cecelia O’brien

    the problem with a monarchy is that it creates and perpetuates the notion that some members of the society – by virtue of being royal – are superior in breeding to the so called commoner. One can see this sort of class prejudice in the UK routinely – even so called commoners will claim that so and so is better because they are the granddaughter of an Earl etc. This sort of elitism is very destructive in a society. Now the Royals themselves clearly do not appear to be elitists in this sense – it is the institution of the monarchy and the attendant nobility which perpetuates such elitism.
    The tabloid coverage of the younger royals especially trivializes the ancient meaning of the monarchy – turning it into a soap opera as if they were rock stars or such. Furthermore to say that the income brought in by the monarchy also justifies maintaining the institution further trivializes the monarchy – as if it were just a tourist attraction like Disneyland. It is also not helpful to have -mostly the younger royals – seen as being “imprisoned” by their status.
    If the monarchy is to survive it cannot survive as a tourist attraction or a tabloid soap opera. The ancient meaning of the monarch to the UK people is the only justification for the continuance of the monarchy – all these other extraneous things actually cheapen the meaning of the monarchy and endanger it’s long term viability. In times of such deep austerity it becomes especially important that the monarchy be seen as being on the side of the people and diminishing notions of elitism.

    • George

      Cecelia,is in this time of austerity that the so called “elitism” had to be in more force then ever.You need qualfied,experienced men in a gouvernment,lead of state companies etc to have succes,knowleadge to pass over a crisis,cheat the austerity etc.

      What you suggest is promoting and using the bolshevic ideology of putting a normal peasent as a PM only to look as of beeing on the side of the people.
      This is not how free countries,more so MONARCHIES work.In monarchies,you don’t flatter the people,regardless of how stupid the people is/are,only so they like him but after thefirst 5 “minutes” of adulation they see that people (let’s say PM) is useless and stupid,cuz that won’t cut it.Running a country is serious bussiness,not a beauty or popularity contest in a high school FGS.

      It’s better to DON’T CARE what so ever,of what person people find charismathic and proove to them,he is a skilled merituos guy capable of managing the crisis,especially and economic one,than a show off peace.

      You and the partis that promotes populism NEED to understand that and cut this support and promotion of populism.
      So called “elites” doesn’t mean a guy with a whip punishing you when you stop working (that are the nazi’s and COMMUNISTS,of who’s ideology you love so much) but a guy that not only tell you you’re wrong,but proves it to you and help you better yourself.

      They are like the Monarchs and Monarchy : Participating in and Assuring that the state HELP YOU HELP YOURSELF and IMPROVE YOURSELF.

      You GOT TO Understand that.

    • Optimusnorm

      For me it’s an inspiration to do better.

      And as an observer of humanity it is clear some people are better bred regardless of title and rank.

      Some of the fairest and most democratic nations are monarchies. This leads me to think monarchy in and of itself is not a problem – but it’s implementation. Having a load of God-Kings with absolute power running around is clearly not a good thing.

      But as a Briton I feel more disenfranchised by the European Union than my own government and monarchy. My voice is shrinking, the Common Law is dying under the weight of Brussell Roman Law and Administration. My freedom of speech is lower than it was 30 years ago and my anglo culture is not as highly regarded in my own land.

      Monarchy is the last of my worries as an Englishman.

    • rickd12

      Exactly. There is demonstrable evidence that the likes of charles and andrew (i wont use “Prince” because they are no princes to me. One is a nonce and the other cant keep it in his pants) absolutely despise the people that enrich them. Everything they have was stolen from the people of this country and the nations british rule enslaved. Old iron balls vicky made a fortune from the slave and opium trade, they dont teach that in gcse history but it’s true. They are scum

  • Roger Seath

    I would like a democratic system whereby I could decide whether that 58 pence of mine went to the monarchy or maybe, I don’t know, just maybe children that have suffered abuse? Or people that are suffering extreme hardship instead of living in complete luxury with every whim catered for? It must be difficult for the royal family during such hard times, but I’m sure they could all find a way to help the underprivileged if they could only see past their own traumatic lives whereby our beloved Queen has to live hand to mouth in the same manner as her ‘subjects’. The very fact that this parasite believes that she is our queen and ruler is the exact reason that this should not be the case. I hope that I have the honour of living long enough to witness the fall of the monarchy and I will happily torch her effigy in front of a baying crowd

  • Royal Central


    1) By definition, an institution which commands 75%+ support from British people and 90%+ support from out representatives (who were elected on a manifesto commitment to support monarchy) is not undemocratic.

    2) There is no more guarantee of merit in a republican head of state than there is in a monarch. And in many cases, people are forced to choose the least worst option. And they always get lumbered with a divisive party rep as Head of State.

    3) Republic’s report is entirely spurious. I’ve written about it before. Without going through every bit, one quick example… To calculate cost of engagements, they multiplied a figure taken from a local council which had an area done up in advance of a royal visit and multiplied it with number of engagements Queen undertook in the year (obviously also, a large number of Queen’s engagements are London based).

    4) Here’s an accurate and referenced article on the cost of Head of States – you’ll find, on examination, the institution type is irrelevant to its costs. There are ceremonial presidents with astronomical costs and Monarchies too. However, constitutional monarchy is invariably better value than a ceremonial president. -

    5) Leaders of Commonwealth have already stated they intend to appoint Prince of Wales in succession to The Queen.

    • Anne Reynolds

      All the political polls in the US and Canada indicate that Canada & Australia will leave the Commonwealth on the death of QE2. Demographics are changing most people want to live in the 21 century that does not include a constitutional monarchy. The Windsors spend more money & time on PR than supporting British businesses or charities.

      • Optimusnorm

        “The Windsors spend more money & time on PR than supporting British businesses or charities.”

        Do you have any evidence to support this claim?

  • VoltaDoMar

    Personally I think it is good that countries have Constitutional Monarchies; it keeps old traditions alive, it provides a link to the past, and it provides a personal symbol for people in the country to look up to without being disappointed by corruption scandals (Presidents and Prime Ministers go back on promises and make shady deals, but Monarchs don’t).

    On the 5th point, you could have also mentioned that the British Monarchy has to have the approval of the (very much elected) Parliament. A new monarch can’t ascend the throne without the Parliament’s approval.

    The only problem I have with the Monarchy is the religious restrictions, specifically the one forbidding anyone who was ever a catholic from inheriting or even being in line for the throne. There are millions of Catholics in the United Kingdom (5.7 million in 2011), and when there is a law in place preventing a catholic from ever ascending the throne (and the restriction ONLY mentions Catholics – a Muslim of Buddhist successor can convert to the Church of England and inherit the throne, but a Catholic can not) it basically tells all 5.7 million of those Catholics that they aren’t welcome or trusted in Britain.

  • rickd12

    Those figures are utter bilge. The old parasite and her inbred progeny cost waaaaaaaaay more than that. You people baffle me, you cheer and adore your own parasites. They need to go and the majority of the country are behind me. The only ones who want to see them stay are mad old biddies, puce faced former army officers and the privileged elite. REPUBLIC!!!

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