What is it about royalty?

Harry and Meghan are currently Down Under. And seem to be drawing crowds.

I'm not into celebrities. But I found myself watching them arrive in Dubbo (regional town) when I was waiting for lunch at a café. And I was interested.

Why on earth I can't say.

Are you intrigued by the royals? Or celebrities? Would you camp out to get a good spot to see any?

Or is it "Off with their heads!"?
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Comments

  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    Not really. I don't care much, but enjoy silly jokes about them, such as the meme that put Trump's face on the Queen. I probably wouldn't be aware of royal weddings if it weren't for Facebook. There was one the other day, apparently.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I have never understood the bizarre human practice of elevating some people above others. With celebrity it just seems to serve to distract people from real issues; with royalty it offends my sense of democracy. Fortunately they don't get to legislate any more but it does seem a rather pointless waste of money.

    Why people without a pot to piss in have any admiration for those with all the pots is completely beyond me.
  • fineline wrote: »
    Not really. I don't care much, but enjoy silly jokes about them, such as the meme that put Trump's face on the Queen. I probably wouldn't be aware of royal weddings if it weren't for Facebook. There was one the other day, apparently.

    I spent that morning wondering why town was so quiet.
  • I am slight interested, and certainly more so than in the lives of footballers, pop stars or 'reality' TV show participants. I do enjoy weddings and babies, but wouldn't join a crowd to watch the royals and their hangers-on pass by.
    The Sussexes came here a couple of weeks ago, to a venue just ten minutes walk from our house, but I didn't go to watch.
    I have met the Princess Royal a couple of times, when she visited my then place of work - but it was she came to (incidentally) see me, not the other way round
  • Royalty, especialy the way it runs nowadays, is colourful, non-political, therefore sort of neutral, and, most importantly in my view, it is a system that ain't broke and does not need fixing! :) It brings in visitors and, as far as I know, the revenue their presence and activities bring in outweighs the money that goes to them. William and Harry are, for their personal needs, independently wealthy.
    And the alternative system would be dull, dull, dull!!! :)

    And I bet it would be more expensive.
  • KarlLB wrote: »
    I have never understood the bizarre human practice of elevating some people above others.

    It's older than humanity, and also exists in many other species of monkey and ape.

    Hell, even ant colonies are centred around a Queen.
    Why people without a pot to piss in have any admiration for those with all the pots is completely beyond me.

    Fantasy, mostly. For most normal, everyday working folk (and I definitely include myself in that number) their lives are just boring struggles against the boss, the bank and the landlord - but as long as there's a Royal Family out there then there remains a chance (molecule-thin though it is) that one day a Prince or Princess will notice them and whisk them away to a life of luxury. How many plays, books or movies has that essentially been the plot of?

    Get rid of the Royal Family and spread all the pots round so everyone has one, and everyone's life is still going to be a boring struggle against the boss, the bank and the landlord. But there would no longer be even that molecule-thin sliver of hope for something better.

    And it's that irrational, impossible hope that keeps people going through the drudgery of their daily lives; just as much as the irrational, impossible belief that "it'll never happen to me" was what kept soldiers going in the trenches of WW1 a hundred years ago. Sit down and think logically about either of them and it rapidly becomes apparent that they're utterly without a scrap of foundation, but even so if you fully abandon that hope then you'll likely curl up in a corner and cry yourself to death rather than face one more day of bleak, remorseless reality.
  • finelinefineline Kerygmania Host
    I suppose I am interested from a curiosity angle what it is like to be in different situations and roles in life, and if a good autobiography or biography is written of a famous person, I enjoy reading it. It can give a new perspective, because on TV you just see the stage persona, as it were, and it's all a bit larger than life, so it is interesting to get a behind-the-scenes perspective, if it is written in an intelligent and insightful way.
  • Programmed behaviour prompted by the R-complex.

    From another post of mine on another board:
    The R-complex, or reptilian brain, is also known as the "root brain". Its components include the Brain Stem and the Cerebellum (which includes the medulla oblongata, the pons, and the mid-brain). It's the oldest layer of the human brain and therefore the most primitive. It's known as the "reptilian system" because it makes up the entire brain mass of reptiles.

    Functions of the R-complex are related to stress, physical survival and body maintenance (autonomic functions like circulation, breathing, digestion, reproduction etc.).

    The functioning of the R-complex is related to instinctive, so-called "primitive" behaviour patterns associated with self-preservation including:

    automatic behaviours of territoriality,
    social dominance (bully/victim),
    status maintenance,
    deception,
    tendency to follow precedent,
    awe of might or authority,
    attraction to gaudy display (fitness, color, evidence of "good provider" or "fit mother") in mate selection,
    social pecking order behaviour (bully/victim again),
    compulsiveness,
    ritualism,
    prejudice and resistance to change

    After reflecting on this laundry list of daily dominant behaviours, David Icke seeing reptiles everywhere doesn't seem so daft to me.

    AFF

  • Royalty has nothing to do with monkeys and apes or any other animals. Animals in some species organize into troops or herds of which some powerful (usually) male is in charge of things, gets to mate more, eat more, has reproductive advantage. This is nothing to do with inbred Europeans and others who inherit their status and never have to physically fight it out to retain power. Ants are not a reasonable model either.

    Royalty is offered up as symbolic, but it could certainly be done at much less expense, and the UK ones certainly don't need all the buildings and lands they control and own. Some of them might be nice people, but so what?

    They aren't necessary and far more expensive than they're worth. Canadians pay for them when they show up for visits. Though I did enjoy the Netflix show The Crown. Poignantly (for me) it named directly and indirectly that royals can be uneducated and ignorant so long as they fill the role cast out for them.

    I was personally highly annoyed when Sarah Ferguson and Andrew Windsor of failed marriage showed up in 1989 to Lac La Ronge (northern Saskatchewan) and a police boat wanted us to canoe another route across the lake because they were houseboating, on the lake somewhere. And no, I won't put my shirt on.
  • Schroedingers CatSchroedingers Cat Shipmate, Waving not Drowning Host
    I have never had any particular thing for the royals (or other celebrities). But I don't have an issue with the royals either, despite my (sometimes shaky) socialist credentials.

    I can understand why people want to see these people who are famous. I do like seeing famous people, but only if they are people I actually ahve respect for as well - not just because they are famous. I suppose their fame or celebrity means that I know about them, and know they have something to see.

    So, last year we went to see Prof Alice Roberts, and I was really excited because she is famous. As well as lovely and intelligent and worth hearing.

    Would I go and queue up for ages to see one of the princesses? Probably not. But if I got a chance to meet them, I would be all excited. I do fan-boy peopel (very occasionally). I get it. I just don't do it for people who are JUST celebrities. They have to be celebrities because they have said and done stuff that is important.
  • Well I spent a weekend as the Queen's guest at Balmoral a few years ago. This is a thing that comes to quite a few, but not all, Church of Scotland ministers, for one reason or another. The reason I was asked was just because my parish is not far away, at least as the crow flies (the road is very much longer than the flight path). It is not a gig you can easily refuse, though I tried. You arrive on Saturday evening, meet her maj (who talks to you while playing a very complicated variety of patience)and any guests, have dinner (so-called barbeque by Philip in my case), take the services in Braemar and Crathie, have lunch, a walk, dinner etc. And leave on Monday after breakfast (with enormous relief - I was shaking with relief as I drove out).

    I went there as a non royalist and left as a far more vehement non royalist. All that power (yes, there is power, the power of always being deferred to) and that privilege is so bad for them, and so bad for us who give it.

    There were funny moments too, though. Her maj drove me across the estate in the gathering dark to the place of the barbeque, complaining all the way about the new car they wanted her to try, and the state of the road (it is her road, and surely she can afford repairs). As we drove, she twice went off the road a little, and the car was steaming up. I didn't dare suggest that I press the button for de-fogging. But when we arrived at what was once a cottage, she jumped out and said "oh, it's not foggy"". So on the way back I said "I think Ma'am, if I press this button we won't steam up."

    On the Sunday evening Philip suddenly asked who was looking after my teenagers. He didn't quite catch my reply, so her maj repeated "Her husband, Philip, he's a man who does things!"
  • Royalty has nothing to do with monkeys and apes or any other animals. Animals in some species organize into troops or herds of which some powerful (usually) male is in charge of things, gets to mate more, eat more, has reproductive advantage. This is nothing to do with inbred Europeans and others who inherit their status and never have to physically fight it out to retain power.

    Japanese macaques organise their societies into several groups centered around a single matriarch, the high-status groups get the best of everything, and a groups status persists through the generations. Other macaque and monkey species are the same - birth status determines life status.

    I'm not talking about transient dominance that lasts only until the next successful challenger, I'm talking about genuine family status that persists down generations.
  • Cathscats wrote: »
    All that power (yes, there is power, the power of always being deferred to) and that privilege is so bad for them

    I'd love to try having it for a few decades though. Can you honestly say you wouldn't?
  • Cathscats wrote: »

    On the Sunday evening Philip suddenly asked who was looking after my teenagers. He didn't quite catch my reply, so her maj repeated "Her husband, Philip, he's a man who does things!"

    I think this is my favourite ship quote to date!

    I’m not especially a royalist but certainly prefer the considered nature of (most) royals to the culture of self-important YouTube celebrities who video their teen angst and gaming or makeup routines and general quirks and then porn themselves out for advertising revenue and attention.
  • Royalty has nothing to do with monkeys and apes or any other animals. Animals in some species organize into troops or herds of which some powerful (usually) male is in charge of things, gets to mate more, eat more, has reproductive advantage. This is nothing to do with inbred Europeans and others who inherit their status and never have to physically fight it out to retain power.

    Japanese macaques organise their societies into several groups centered around a single matriarch, the high-status groups get the best of everything, and a groups status persists through the generations. Other macaque and monkey species are the same - birth status determines life status.

    I'm not talking about transient dominance that lasts only until the next successful challenger, I'm talking about genuine family status that persists down generations.

    It doesn't sound quite as you say from National Primate Research Centre, Japanese macaque
    Macaca fuscata
    fact sheet. There a matralineal ranks which persist across generations, but the alpha male is competition oriented with immigration and emigration. So I don't think it works really well as a comparative. --Though it is interesting to talk monkeys and royalty at the same time.
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Personally, I enjoy seeing the Royals on TV and reading about stories of their adventures. It's very nice to see them from afar, like watching pretty stars in the heavens...beautiful to look at, but impractical close up. However, today I would trade you all one Elizabeth for a Donald. Please?
  • PigletPiglet All Saints Host, Circus Host
    Dream on, JJ! :mrgreen:

    I'm quite a royalist - as SD said upthread, it ain't broke, so I don't see a reason to try and fix it. I don't think they're perfect - who is? - but on the whole I reckon they're a good thing.

    I'm certainly a lot more interested in them than in any of the reality TV "celebrities".
  • If I'm at the hair dresser and have forgotten to bring my book, often the only reading material available is People magazine. A little game I play with myself is to see how far I get through the magazine before being able to recognize a so-called celebrity. It's almost always a member of the British Royal Family (unless George Clooney is on the cover!)
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    edited October 2018
    I'm a republican - at least for here - and have been for well over 50 years now. Along with thousands of other school pupils, I was taken to some barren park miles away (pre-metric days!) to stand in the sun and heat of a Sydney February and glimpse at a large Daimler being driven around. Saw little else. Other royal visits since left me feeling just as cold until the the last time HM and the Duke were here. They went on an afternoon cruise around Lake Burley Griffin, an elderly couple sitting and looking at a very pleasant part of the world. It was quite touching. Then the couple here at the moment are giving an excellent impression of being happy to meet those standing around in a natural and unforced manner. Doesn't mean that I don't want a republic though and still the sooner the better.

    I think our Canadian friends might feel very differently about becoming a republic though. Not wanting to sound condescending, but I've always thought being a monarchy was helpful to maintain yet another distinction with their enormous neighbour. We don't have the same need.
  • [There a matralineal ranks which persist across generations

    In a matriarchal society those are the ones that matter.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited October 2018
    It’s a soap opera.

    I think we should spend a lot less on them.

    I’m no longer a republican ‘tho. We do not need a president!
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Boogie wrote: »
    We do not need a president!
    I'll give you a dollar if you take ours. ;)

  • Please. I'll up the ante to two dollars.
  • Make it five.
  • FirenzeFirenze Shipmate, Host Emeritus
    Still no takers?

    I was introduced to the Queen once. Not personally, just as a representative librarian. ‘How interesting’ she said in a tone bereft of the least scintilla of interest.
  • AndrasAndras Shipmate
    A friend of mine who before retirement headed an important national institution was rather bemused one day to receive a telephpne call from the Palace informing him that the Queen had graciously accepted his invitation to visit on such-and-such a day.

    There had been no such invitation; this is apparently the rather rude way in which these pompous know-nothings impose themselves on you and interrupt your work. And they have the gall to think that this is 'gracious'.
  • balaambalaam Shipmate
    Boogie wrote: »
    It’s a soap opera.

    I think we should spend a lot less on them.

    I’m no longer a republican ‘tho. We do not need a president!

    That's the reason I cannot be a republican. We spend a lot of money on palace living royalty. After the revolution the same money would go to palace living presidential families, even under communism.

    The end result is the poor, who cannot afford to pay are taxed to pay for those who do not need it. All systems are unfair.
  • The adulation by the media over the Harry and Meghan Australian visit has been cringeworthy. I'm a royalist, but I don't like turning the royal family into show ponies.
  • rhubarb wrote: »
    I'm a royalist, but I don't like turning the royal family into show ponies.

    Which to me is the moral argument for a British republic. Is it fair on anyone that through an accident of birth everyone else feels they have a right to intrude on their private lives? At least presidents (and prime ministers) choose to put themselves up for ridicule.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Well yes. If it's going to be arbitrary, by accident of birth, you might as well put every citizen's name in a hat and pick the next monarch for when Lizzie pops her clogs that way.

    The whole hereditary thing just seems daft. "I must bow to you because William the Conqueror got lucky at Hastings and James II blotted his copy-book by being too Catholic."
  • That's the system adumbrated by G.K. Chesterton in 'The Napoleon of Notting Hill'. Result- civil war.
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    Eirenist wrote: »
    That's the system adumbrated by G.K. Chesterton in 'The Napoleon of Notting Hill'. Result- civil war.

    Yes, because it's not like the hereditary system has ever broken down into bloodsh.. Oh, wait...
  • Well, all I can say is just don't try getting rid of royalty while I'm still alive or you'll have me to deal with!
  • KarlLBKarlLB Shipmate
    I'm already trying, in my own little way - spreading Republican views, trying to persuade people of the fundamental absurdity of it.
  • I don't give a stuff about the Royal Family, but I reckon Harry has done a good thing by being involved as the face of the Invictus Games. He's a good speaker too.

    I'm interested in the Royals sitting down, shutting up and doing their constitutional duty by and large. If necessary to save us from tinkering republicans, I think they should make Harry King of Australia. His kids will be Australians and the crap about being ruled by the English can be put to bed. There is nothing but fear and loathing to be gained from a Republic.
  • AndrasAndras Shipmate
    Simon Toad wrote: »
    I don't give a stuff about the Royal Family, but I reckon Harry has done a good thing by being involved as the face of the Invictus Games. He's a good speaker too.

    I'm interested in the Royals sitting down, shutting up and doing their constitutional duty by and large. If necessary to save us from tinkering republicans, I think they should make Harry King of Australia. His kids will be Australians and the crap about being ruled by the English can be put to bed. There is nothing but fear and loathing to be gained from a Republic.

    Well, the Swiss seem to have got it sorted.
  • People here (Israel-Palestine) quite often ask me questions about The Royals and so I keep up (via the Guardian thus mitigating the embarrassment of it all).
    It's quite an exercise keeping all the titles and relationships straight and will help me fight off Alzheimers I am sure.

    I see it as a public service (a ministry??!); but I am also the sort of person who would rather DIE than be caught without an answer, so there is that in it too
  • No real interest in meeting them but should if ever happen and I was asked "What do you do?" The immediate response would be "Regicide"
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited November 2018
    KarlLB wrote: »
    Well yes. If it's going to be arbitrary, by accident of birth, you might as well put every citizen's name in a hat and pick the next monarch for when Lizzie pops her clogs that way.

    The whole hereditary thing just seems daft. "I must bow to you because William the Conqueror got lucky at Hastings and James II blotted his copy-book by being too Catholic."

    I agree - but a republic would be worse.

    I’d rather have an inherited crown with no political power than a predisdent, with considerable power, who is a total narcissistic nutcase.

    ‘Tradition’ keeps the whole caboodle in line. Putting a name in a hat has its merits but there would be no tradition and politics would hold the sway. Not good.



  • Not all republics function like the USA. Germany's president, for example, has a much less executive role.
  • Boogie wrote: »
    I agree - but a republic would be worse.

    I’d rather have an inherited crown with no political power than a predisdent, with considerable power, who is a total narcissistic nutcase.

    I'm not sure I've ever really understood the advantages supposedly accrued by trying to make sure that those with power exercise it from the obscurity of anonymity. That seems like a recipe for unaccountable government.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    I agree - but a republic would be worse.

    I’d rather have an inherited crown with no political power than a predisdent, with considerable power, who is a total narcissistic nutcase.

    I'm not sure I've ever really understood the advantages supposedly accrued by trying to make sure that those with power exercise it from the obscurity of anonymity. That seems like a recipe for unaccountable government.

    There aren't any advantages, but I don't think that is what Boogie was on about.
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Outside the USA, France, pre-Caesar Rome and possibly historic Venice, are there other countries where being 'a republic' is seen as something that's actually a positive piece of constitutional ideology, a word with glowing resonances, rather than just what you are if you haven't got a monarch?

    Germany's constitution has been mentioned, but I get the impression it's the 'bundes' i.e. 'federal' bit that means more than the 'republic' one. Being a republic seems just to have come about because in 1918 the Kaiser abdicated. And even in Ireland, 'republic' looks as if it means 'somebody who's Irish and whose surname isn't Windsor'.

    So, for those shipmates who are citizens of countries that are republics, what, if anything, is it for you that are the positives that being a republic is for you? And how strong are they for you? Or is it just that you don't reckon owt to the thought of a hereditary head of state? Monarchy for you is a negative. So a republic is what you're left with?
  • It's all absurd. Some eye of the needle talk with the religious Elizabeth 2? Very rich through no fault of her own.
  • sionisais wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    I agree - but a republic would be worse.

    I’d rather have an inherited crown with no political power than a predisdent, with considerable power, who is a total narcissistic nutcase.

    I'm not sure I've ever really understood the advantages supposedly accrued by trying to make sure that those with power exercise it from the obscurity of anonymity. That seems like a recipe for unaccountable government.

    There aren't any advantages, but I don't think that is what Boogie was on about.

    I'm not sure if there's any other way to interpret Boogie's point. He doesn't seem to be advocating dissolving the state in anarchy, so he seems to be positing that it's better to have some powerless figurehead serve as the public face of the state while the real power is exercised from behind the scenes. Why a government where the apparent and actual holders of power are the same people is "worse" than one that maintains a pretense about the matter is never explained in depth.
  • Crœsos wrote: »
    sionisais wrote: »
    Crœsos wrote: »
    Boogie wrote: »
    I agree - but a republic would be worse.

    I’d rather have an inherited crown with no political power than a predisdent, with considerable power, who is a total narcissistic nutcase.

    I'm not sure I've ever really understood the advantages supposedly accrued by trying to make sure that those with power exercise it from the obscurity of anonymity. That seems like a recipe for unaccountable government.

    There aren't any advantages, but I don't think that is what Boogie was on about.

    I'm not sure if there's any other way to interpret Boogie's point. He doesn't seem to be advocating dissolving the state in anarchy, so he seems to be positing that it's better to have some powerless figurehead serve as the public face of the state while the real power is exercised from behind the scenes. Why a government where the apparent and actual holders of power are the same people is "worse" than one that maintains a pretense about the matter is never explained in depth.
    Where did @Boogie suggest that the real power of the state be exercised behind the scenes or with the obscurity of anonymity?

    I assumed she meant a system with a figurehead head of state and a prime minister. And I assumed she specifically meant she’d rather have a relatively powerless queen who inherits the position than risk an election that puts a Trump in the position of power.

  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    I assumed she meant a system with a figurehead head of state and a prime minister. And I assumed she specifically meant she’d rather have a relatively powerless queen who inherits the position than risk an election that puts a Trump in the position of power.

    That's a risk of any system of electoral politics. The only way to not risk electing an unsuitable leader is to not have elections. I'm not sure what having a figurehead monarch can do to prevent the election of a demagogue. If they could do so, they wouldn't really be a figurehead.
  • Yes, it is a risk of any elective system. I understood Boogie to be saying that it’s the reason why she prefers that the person who functions as head of state—the person who, theoretically at least, functions as the embodiment of national unity—be unelected and relatively powerless. It’s not because such a person can prevent the election of a demagogue, but rather so that demagogue isn’t head of state.
  • Nick Tamen wrote: »
    Yes, it is a risk of any elective system. I understood Boogie to be saying that it’s the reason why she prefers that the person who functions as head of state—the person who, theoretically at least, functions as the embodiment of national unity—be unelected and relatively powerless. It’s not because such a person can prevent the election of a demagogue, but rather so that demagogue isn’t head of state.

    Exactly.

  • CrœsosCrœsos Shipmate
    edited November 2018
    Nick Tamen wrote: »
    It’s not because such a person can prevent the election of a demagogue, but rather so that demagogue isn’t head of state.

    If the demagogue is the one holding and using the actual power of the state this seems like small consolation. I'm not sure kidnapping children and caging them (to pick one example not at all randomly) is "better" if there's a smiling-but-powerless monarch to put a good public face on the process.
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