Honest Thoughts on Constitutional Monarchy
Updated: Aug 4, 2023
A "Constitutional Monarchy" is a type of regime where the monarch's position of leadership is merely symbolic or limited. It's called "constitutional" because the monarch's power is limited by the law of the state, and therefore not absolute.
Fortunately, most of the world's monarchies today are of that variant, unlike in the distant past, when royals had actual political power, that was not limited.
Did you know? Apparently, another name for this type of regime, is "democratic monarchy." However, in this regime, the monarch is not necessarily elected by the people of the state.
It's called that way, it seems, because such a regime allows democracy to occur, because the power of its citizens far outweighs that of the monarch. While the monarch might still have some authority, it is diminished in comparison to that of his or her "subjects."
The monarch in question does not have to be a king or a queen. It could be a sultan or an emperor as well. Japan is a constitutional monarchy because, while it does not have a king, it has an emperor. Similarly, the Japanese Emperor of modern Japan wields little to no power.
I don't think constitutional monarchies are necessary for a country to function as a democracy, when it already is one, while a monarch is on board. If it were up to me, I would abolish all such monarchies, as I believe that democracies deserve to be republics, too.
Republics are essentially the opposite of monarchies, as they are regarded as belonging to the public, and not to a king, queen, emperor, and so on. Of course, not all republics are democracies, but I digress.
I do not like the British Crown. It's not because of its members, but because they seem to think that they are important, just because of their ancestry. To me, their contemporary stories are nothing more than celebrity gossip. Should I meet such nobles, I will still respect them, but, perhaps, only as human beings.
Even in a "democratic kingdom," there's no equality between members of the nobility and the rest of its citizens. When Prince Harry released his book recently, I wager that his voice was heard publicly, mostly because of his lineage.
The news of his book's publication made it even into Israeli news (I'm Israeli). It's quite amusing to think that you get more attention, mostly because of who your ancestors were, than who you are by yourself, as if the title of "Prince" even matters beyond a cosmetic purpose, in places such as Britain.
(I am aware that the prince separated himself from the Crown, but he wouldn't necessarily be popular, without the royal family).
Don't get me wrong. When Queen Elizabeth died, I was a bit sad, but more so, I was surprised when some people celebrated her death. I dislike monarchies, but not necessarily the people behind them.
If I were a nobleman in a symbolic monarchy, I would not settle for this status exclusively. I would seek to be of greater merit, in a way that would make me more than just the product of my noble heritage.
I prefer earning my place, rather than being born into it. I see no reason to see myself as privileged in that scenario, because I don't want to be just a noble, but Tomasio as well. If I were to choose between the two, I'd choose my own name.
All in all, I honestly think that such types of institutions are a waste of taxpayers' money. Tradition, culture, and national heritage may justify the continuation of such crowns, but practically and financially, they may be less than necessary.
Therefore, I think that abolishing them will help decrease taxes, and that these noblemen should recognize the fact that, in terms of power, they are equal to their "subjects."
And in such monarchies, where a monarch's position carries some power, he or she is technically a dictator, because he or she was not elected but was born into the position. Could we really say that an unelected leader is a democratic leader?
Because, really, many of them do not have "subjects" anymore, when they themselves are subjects to those that were elected to actual power by their own people. In Lichtenstein, a principality in Europe, you can at least throw the prince out through a referendum if you don't like him.
The ceremonial nobility basically lives as if their authority as nobles, means anything beyond cultural and symbolic significance. Of course, they seem to know that they lack such power anymore, and perhaps they will never have it either.
They live in a dream, in that way: A popular form of LARP (live action roleplaying).
And yes, I know that nobility exists even within democratic republics, such as Germany, but at least they are not necessarily part of the state's authority, just because they exist in a specific dynasty.
It's with my hope, that every country will one day be a democratic republic, or a country that has legitimate elections, does not pretend to be owned by nobility, and whose ancestry is no longer relevant in a practical matter. Whether or not that hope will be fulfilled is a different matter.
I am at least glad that there are only a few absolute monarchies, or countries where the monarch's word is absolute and above the law. If you happen to live in one, I can only wish for you to one day find yourself in a democracy.