The role and influences of the Royal Family in UK society today. Introduction This report is analysis the role and influences of most famous family in the UK: the Royal Family. People always talk about the royal family. Royal activity, behavior and words, even the scandals are the hot topics in the public. Why Royal Family gets high attention from the country? What is different between them to us? As pointed out by Blain and O’Donnell, Royal family is very important part in UK. The Royal Family must support the government works and also has significant roles in public and charitable (2003).
In addition, Royal Family on behalf of the UK visits other countries to help strengthen the diplomatic relationship between the British and other countries. What is more, Royal Family has roles to maintain social stability and promoting national unity (royal. gov. uk, 2010). Therefore, the Royal Family not just a general noble family, also is the symbol and representative of the United Kingdom. Basic the British society, this paper research the duties and effects of Monarchy today. Background British Royal Family has long history in the Europe. Throne of England was first built in the ninth century.
In the long history, the Monarchy was the most supreme rule in the country until 1688. This year, the glorious revolution began and overthrows the Stuart dynasty. Leaders were building the “constitutional monarchy” in the United Kingdom. Gough (1999, p48) states that the “constitutional monarchy” was a mixed monarchy and the Sovereign’s power was limited. It means: the Sovereign was the head of UK, but the government controls the country and leader was the Prime Minister. The Monarch, Parliament, Prime Minister constituted a complete political system. Today, the Sovereign is Elizabeth II.
She was being Queen in 1952. According to the Constitution she is the head of the UK and commonwealth (Billig, 1992). The role of the Monarchy As we know, the British monarchy is a constitutional monarchy. This means, the sovereign is Head of State but a King or Queen does not have the real power in political and executive (Maer, 2010). However, the monarch and his/her family also play very important roles in the UK. The act of settlement said, the monarch undertakes State duties. In the British, The monarch represents the government and fulfills the formal roles of the country.
For helpful of national unity and peace, the Parliament legislate the monarchy can not stand to any political position, have no rights for election and never carry out personal advise in public place except the monarchy give up the Royal status (Blain and O’Donnell, 2003 ). The ‘Queen or King in Parliament’ is means a group of legal institutions. It includes of the Monarch, the House of Commons and the House of Lords in British. The Sovereign’s role are close the old Parliament before each election and opening a new one Parliament. Moreover, approval by new legal or proposition, also sign in it.
In addition to the role in the London, the Sovereign also have responsibilities in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and help for link them to London Parliament (Oakland, 2006). In the country, the sovereign represents justice, unity and honor. The British is a country which has many kinds of culture. The sovereign has important role to links the Churches and the Public, but also keeping friendly relationship with other faiths. What is more, the sovereign is the symbolic Head of the Army. The Army must swear to allegiance the monarch. The Queen and her family have duty to visits the veterans and the serviceman who had honorary ranks.
For example, the official website said, the Royal family usually visits the British Army. The latest, the Prince of Wales visited British troops in Afghanistan in 25 March 2010 (bbc. co. uk, 2010). In addition, the Royal family usual to supports voluntary activities and charitable activities. The data show, the Queen is the head of 53 independent countries’ voluntary services (royal. gov. uk, 2010). The Sovereign is also the head of commonwealth. The commonwealth was founded in 1949. The king George VI is the Head of this organization. After George VI, the Queen Elizabeth II becomes the Head of the commonwealth (Besant, 2009).
At the beginning, the commonwealth have 15 members. To today, 54 countries belong to the commonwealth. The duties of the Queen are to together their countries in the world and strengthen the exchange between countries. The Queen usual open or close the Commonwealth Games. This game could help build friendship between people all over the world. Most recently, the 2010 Commonwealth Games was begun in India and New Delhi in October 3 (royal. gov. uk, 2010). Moreover, the monarchy has diplomatic duties of state. The Royal role is building a friendly relationship with other country. Further, they can to support the development of the UK.
For instance, the Monarch and he or her family maybe represents the British to visit to other countries. Addition, the Sovereign have the duties visits Heads and foreign ambassadors. The news reported that in 1999, the Queen and Prince Philip were visited in South Africa (bbc. co. uk, 1999). Another news from Royal official website (11 November 2010), the Queen recently visit the ambassador from Estonian in Buckingham Palace. The influence of the Monarchy As pointed out by blain and O’Donnell (2003, pg58), The British Monarchy continue as a power balance the relationship between government and the public.
The sovereign do not have right to decide the political events and the usual maintain a neutral stand. However, Probably,because of this reason. The public more confident that the views of the royal family. Oakland (2006) states that, the royal advice on formal and informal ways maybe could be impact the public who did not support any leaders. In the end, Changes the composition of the government. What is more, if the government situation is unclear, the sovereign could make a choice. In fact, the royal could advise recommend an acceptable candidate.
Because of the significant influence of Monarchy, the Prime Minister usual communicates with the Royal Family. For example, the former Prime Minister Tony Blair regular hold a conference call with the Queen and to listen her advice (Blain and O’Donnell, 2003 ). The Royal Family is a strong symbol of unity in UK. When foreigners talk about UK, they usual linked the Queen and the Prince. Recently, Medias were report a new around the world: the British Queen ElizabethII has opened a Facebook in website. This is a new way to show the Queen and her family to world.
China Daily (2010) said that are the queen’s once social media venture. Facebook is a communication platform much yang people like lt. Queen choose to use Facebook maybe want more and more yang to follow with interest to Royal Family. USA today (2010) states that: “The decision went right up to the queen”. Moreover, when people go to travel to Britain, they always interesting in Royal Construction. For example, the Windsor Castle is one of the official home of the Queen. It is UK’s top 20 visitor places and each year it attracted nearly 1 million visitors (royalcollection. org. uk, 2010).
This is clearly the Royal Family have high attention from the world and have huge power to influence the British society. Public opinion about the Royal Family Billig (1992) states that one of the most interesting aspects of the royal family is that it are very families (as it is a family) and get very different: “These categories would seem to set the frame for the patterns of similarity and difference. Being royal ‘they’ are different from ‘us’; belonging to a family ‘they’ are familiarly similar” (pg 103). That is why the public feelings maybe mixed and complex when they talking about Royal Family.
On the one hand, they hope the Royals are perfect person who are elegant, stately also represent traditional culture and modern civilization. On the other hand, people like the Monarch as common people and looks more civilian. It is difficult to balance the relationship between different and similar for Royal family. For example, Princess Diana died in a car accident in 1997. When Princess Diana died, the Queen and her families did not attend the funeral of Princess Diana. At that time, the public are angry for the behavior of the royal family. A large number of People think the Royal Family are ruthless person.
The British Monarchy in a serious crisis of confidence. Finally, the Prime Minister Tony Blair’s help the Royal Family actively restore the image of the Royal in people’s mind. Even today, the public still talk about this event when they memorial Princess Diana. (bbc. co. uk, 2010) Nowadays, British society is becoming more and more equality and freedom. The public maybe have new opinion to the Royal Family. People are suggesting the Monarchy become more liberty, openness and equality. Last year, BBC poll shows a great number of people advise changes to the rules of succession to the Monarch in UK (BBC, 2009).
As the figure shows, nearly 90% people tend to change the line of succession and give the royal women some rights. Moreover, more than 80% present the public want the monarchy can have freedom to choose marry a Catholic or not. What is more, 76% people support the Royal Family and hope them could continue (bbc. co. uk, 2010). This means that the public not only want the Royal Family can longer exists, but also expect the old monarch system can progress with times in British society. [pic]1,000 people polled by ICM Research, 20-22 March 2009, from bbc. co. uk Conclusion
Royal Family is play very important roles in politics, culture and economy fields in UK today. This report introduces the role, influence and the public opinion about the Royal Family. Firstly, this report introduction today’s Royal Family and give the history of constitutional monarchy, then explain the structure of the British government. Secondly, the roles of the Monarchy are namely talk about the Royal roles in government, Church, Army, Volunteer Service, Commonwealth and foreign affairs. Thirdly, the influences of the Monarchy this paper mainly analyze the effects of Monarch and his/ her family in formal political and overseas.
At last, this report discusses the British public opinion to the Monarchy. The public are attitude about the Royal Family stand in positive and negative two sides. Analysis of survey data by BBC, this article shows that public expectations of the royal family. Overall, the Royal Family as a link connects two different parts. It supports communication between government and the public. It represents British interflow with the commonwealth. It helps to strengthen the friendship between British and other countries. Moreover, Monarchy as a normal family but also plays special parts.
Millions of other families pay close attention to Royal Family. Therefore, as one of the oldest Monarch system the Royal family still fulfill the responsibility in order to the people who are living and loving this country.
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