Imagine being born into a royal family. Would you want to be a prince, princess, king, or queen? Or would you want to choose your own path? For Prince Harry, this is a real-life question. He was born into the British royal family as the son of then Prince Charles and Diana, princess of Wales. A person’s role in a monarchy is inherited or given at birth. Recently, Prince Harry and his family have decided to step away from royal duties to have a normal life. Still, Prince Harry will soon attend an important event for his family and the world. He will attend the coronation on May 6, 2023, where his father officially becomes King Charles III.
In Britain, also called the United Kingdom, the government is a constitutional monarchy. That means the government is a democracy. Its government has a parliament elected by citizens to make laws. The prime minister is the head of the government. However, it has a monarch, a king or queen that is the head of state. The role of the monarch is mostly ceremonial. Yet the monarch does have some important duties. On most Wednesdays, the monarch and the prime minister meet at Buckingham Palace to talk about government issues. The monarch is responsible for giving important speeches. When world leaders visit the United Kingdom, the royal family meets with them and hosts special events.
As Charles III’s coronation approaches, some have questioned whether the United Kingdom still needs a monarchy. Taxpayers support the royal family’s expensive lifestyle. Meanwhile many people in the country struggle to pay their bills. Moreover, since people in the monarchy are not elected, the public cannot hold the royal family accountable for their actions.
Others note the positives of the monarchy. The royal family brings money into Britain. Tourists visit to learn more about the monarchy by going to places like Buckingham Palace. They also help with unity in the country. It is helpful to have a head of state that is not corrupted by politics.
Ending the monarchy would be decided by the British parliament and the public. A referendum, or vote, would be held. Polls show that if a vote was held right now the monarchy would be kept in Britain. However, most young voters do not support the monarchy.
What Do You Think? Do you think monarchies today have a purpose? Why or why not?
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