My colleague Shanghai Sailor is offended that anyone should have the temerity to describe the British monarchy as “antiquated and irrelevant”. Perhaps he’s been singing God Save the Queen so loudly he’s become deaf to both history and reality.
Like all hereditary monarchies, the House of Windsor (whose real surname was Battenberg) is an inbred collection of entitled spongers who’ve lived luxuriously off the public purse and their largely stolen private wealth. They are a high-end form of showbiz. In the UK they are the nation’s primary tourist attraction. They have no actual authority over anything other than their own pampered lives.
The whole notion of a hereditary monarchy is ridiculous. Installing someone as Head of State purely on the basis of who their parents happened to be is as nonsensical as accepting a hereditary brain surgeon.
Donald Trump was a dangerous dingbat but at least he was elected by the citizenry (who could then un-elect him when his unfitness for the presidency became obvious). British and Commonwealth subjects have no such choice. They must cop whomever the “line of succession” delivers next. These have included a madman, assorted sybarites and spendthrifts, and a woman who preferred to speak German.
The only recent senior British royal to earn any respect from the sailing community was Prince Phillip, a Greek who “married in”, taking the current Queen Elizabeth as his bride. He served in the Navy during WWII and was a keen yachtsman, racing his Dragon classer Bluebottle and an offshore yawl Bloodhound.
Phillip can be seen, above, helming the UK 12-metre Sceptre with Uffa Fox calling tactics. (A sceptre is the ancient ceremonial staff of imperial authority carried by a monarch.) Sceptre challenged for the America’s Cup in 1958 and was trounced 4-0. Says it all, really.
– anarchist David