Republic Versus Monarchy - part one, section seven

Connected to the people?
Foreign connections

Due to the isolating nature of the Monarch's high public office, and the accompanying rich lifestyle, it is understandable that Monarchs can be accused of being unable to relate to "the common people". But there can be other reasons as to why Monarchs can be considered to be "not part of the people".

From 1688 until 1952 England was ruled by German Royalty, except during Queen Anne's reign of 1702 to 1714. Between 1714 and 1837 the Monarchs of Great Britain, like many British sovereigns before them, were also the rulers of a foreign state. Queen Elizabeth II was the first wholly British Prince or Princess to be enthroned since Queen Anne.(16)

During World War One the British Royal Family were not only Princes and Princesses over British soil, but were also Princes and Princesses over German soil. This situation did not change until 1917 when George V relinquished the Royal Family's German styles and titles.(17)

The ranks of the British Monarchy have included a number who weren't even born in Britain, who were simultaneously "rulers" of foreign lands, and whose level of attachment to Britain itself was questionable. For example: William III (of Orange), and George I (from Hanover).(18) Indeed, it was said of Richard I that "his continental possessions had always meant more to him than England which he looked upon as a source of men and money for his wars" (although born in England, he had been raised in Aquitaine; and, of his ten years reign, he spent only six months in England).(19)

Richard I had "never learned to speak the English tongue"(20); and the ability of George I and George II to speak English was so poor that, when they attempted it, it "was a matter of ridicule to their subjects".(21)

That famous British matriarch Queen Victoria, although born in London and having ruled Britain for 64 years, had a mother, the daughter of a German Duke, who only spoke German in the home; as well as having a German-born governess - thus Queen Victoria was never able to speak English perfectly herself.(22) References to people speaking the "Queen's English" (or the "King's English") take on a whole new meaning, in the light of Queen Victoria and the foreign born British Monarchs.

It is in the realms of possibility that a future British Monarch may marry a Jamaican, a Red Indian, or an Eskimo. Unless, by that time, the population of Britain is largely Jamaican, it would be a fair guess to say that the British public would be surprised by the advent of a Jamaican dynasty as their "ruling" Monarchy. Such a scenario may appear ridiculous, but then so is the scenario of a Monarchical Australia.

Republic Versus Monarchy

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