Confessions of a young monarchist
I realise it is incredibly un-trendy to like the monarchy. Heck, sometimes I even wish that the French revolution had never taken place, if only for my personal amusement of watching England and France compete via the insecurities of their ruling leaders, as they did once upon a time.
Think of all the gowns; the pomp, drama and arrogance; and the lavish court parties that could have taken place, and, lest I forget, the option of eating cake when bread was not available.
But, personal amusement aside, watching The Young Victoria just reinstated how much I like having a queen on a throne, even if she’s technically not part of my country and much of a half world away.
Waltzing about on the cinema screen was a young woman, who like many young women before and after me, struggled to find her footing in the world as others bustled about her pushing their own agenda.
Riches couldn’t protect her from familial problems, servants couldn’t hinder her feelings of being alone in an incredibly untrustworthy world, and the many potential suitors that vied for her attention didn’t stop her wondering just who was ‘the one’, and whether he’d take all the feminine power she had as an independent woman away.
In fact, watching it felt like going through a ‘stars without make-up’ special of a magazine (which always does loads for the self-esteem of the plain jane inside me). Especially as I realised that having a massive palace, a crown on your head, the adoration of your prime minister and someone to make you a four-course dinner or so everyday did not exempt you from the typical problems experienced by us mere ‘commoners’.
Don’t get me wrong. I possess a very loyal love for my Australian nation, the Australian constitution, and the system that holds our country in place. In fact, I doubt you’d ever find a more patriotic ‘wog’ than myself. And should the Della Bosca’s of the world fail us when it came to scandal and drama, at least we’d have a Queen and her family to complain about. Or laugh at, when her son discusses his wish at being reincarnated as his then mistress’ tampon.
Truth be told, I don’t know much about what the republic would cost us taxpayers, but I do know that we’d have to fund the eviction of the governor, campaigns for referendums, the removal of royal arms from NSW buildings and the introduction of a new flag. And considering I can barely fund my car registration at present, I really don’t want to push for this agenda of massive change.
Either way, I am a big fan of our heritage, not to mention my infatuation with our beautiful flag.
Yes, I recognise that I am part of the new generation who is supposed to be all modern and anti-monarchy. A generation Y’er who says things like Aussie pride and tattoos a mini-flag on her cheek every Australia day (the cheek on my face mind you, despite the supposed lax attitudes of my youth), and wakes up at 3am to watch swimming races at the Olympics to see our relay team down the Americans and ‘strum them like guitars’.
And I am, but that doesn’t mean I still can’t heart good queen Liz, all that she represents and an Australia as a constitutional monarchy – even if there’s a little selfish reason for doing so.
Besides, what would women’s gossip magazines do if they couldn’t avidly follow Duchess Fergie’s weight loss or dissect the reasons why Kate Middleton still lacks a giant rock on a certain finger.
After all, there are only so many ‘sources’ and ‘close friends’ they could utilise to make up stories about Bec Cartwright and co. before things get a tad too boring and the cycle of gossip repeats itself.
Hundreds of years ago, people believed that kings and queens were ordained by God. These days, there are less people who believe in God and even less who believe in the monarchy and what it stands for.
No matter what side of the debate you stand on, at least one thing is clear. We can always look to their stuff-ups, misdemeanours and constant problems and know that even if they’re ordained by God, they’re still as human as we are, complete with problems of their own.
Sure, for some they’re a right royal pain, albeit a pain that make our own pain a little more bearable. Not to laugh at the misfortune of others, I mean, but in an age where we are served with every opportunity possible but still have massive rates of mental illness and headlines of suicide epidemics blaring out from the pages of our newspapers, it’s all too easy to find solace in the fact that despite our ‘common’ label, even those who attest to higher status than we still suffer from the human complex.
And that makes things a hell of a lot better when we have our own self-esteem plummets and personal crises at stake.
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