Duke and Duchess Did their Duty

I find myself in the odd role of defending the British Monarchy. My colleague Rick Moran has published a deeply critical blog marking the birth of an heir to the British Throne, as is his prerogative. I beg to differ. I do so a bit reluctantly, as I am a devoted small-r republican, and glory in the fact that all Americans are created and born equal. But that said, Britain has its own history, institutions, and society, and it behooves conservatives to look closely at the function of a monarchy as part of our general reluctance to impose change without understanding the consequences.

At this point in time, the United Kingdom appears to be experiencing a fragmenting, with devolution handing power back to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Island, and massive immigration by Muslims desiring sharia. Perhaps at this moment, a renewed vigor for the monarchy is a good thing, a unifying force, something that could reinforce the traditional identity that is being lost.

Also, William and Kate seem to be doing a good job role modeling positive values that could serve to inspire others. William has served in the armed forces, as has his brother Harry, and Kate comports herself with dignity while apparently (I am not a royal-watcher) being accessible.

Face it: monarchy has been the norm of human politics. Republican governance was an invention that came later and is more evanescent. So deeply is monarchy imprinted on our consciousness that in its absence we create faux rulers and aristocrats in the form of celebrities to gawk at, admire, and emulate (or criticize, as the case may be).  I'd rather people focus on the likes of William and Kate than Kardashians.

The British Monarchy performs a valuable symbolic role in the United Kingdom. It costs a lot less to maintain the entire royal family than it does to care for President and Mrs. Obama.

I wish my many British and Commonwealth friends who care about the monarchy congratulatiosn, as well as to the happy couple and their families. There is now a directly-descended heir for the next generation.

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