Monday, December 5, 2011

Are the Royals worth it?

As the author of the Royal Spyness series, I've been doing royal gossip Mondays on my blog. Today I'm going to be a little more serious, because the news of Prince William's brave and daring rescue last week made me want to counter all those people who complain that the royal family are not worth keeping around.

There is a small but vocal minority in Britain that thinks we should do away with the royals and make Britain into an efficient republic like America (pause to chuckle here).  These people think the royals sit around idly doing nothing in their expensive palaces and sip tea while receiving vast amounts of money from the working poor.

This may have been true in the days of King Charles Ist but the modern royals have a work schedule not many of us could emulate. I go on a book tour for about two weeks each year. Two weeks of waking early, flying to a new city, touring bookstores all day, sometimes doing some radio or TV interviews, then speaking at an evening event before collapsing exausted into a hotel bed. At the end of two weeks I am whacked. However the queen has been doing this every day of her life. Every day of making speeches, meeting new people, eating three meals a day with strangers watching and the press ready to jump if you make a false move. Let me tell you that it requires stamina.

And the other members of her family do similar amounts of goodwill and charity work. Princess Anne is the real family workhorse. Prince Charles was mocked twenty years ago when he started an organic farm. Now it seems he was way ahead of his time and his methods are being copied all over the world. And now Prince William is serving as an RAF search and rescue pilot and proved last week that this is not a grace and favor position but he is indeed walking the walk. I watched the video of him holding the helicopter steady a few feet above a raging ocean while his fellow officer rapelled down to pluck men from a sinking cargo ship. And his brother was fighting in Afghanistan until his presence was leaked to the press and he had to be whisked out for his own safety.

As the new Duchess of Cambridge (I refuse to call her Kate Middleton as the press still does) will find out, she won't have a life of leisure ahead. And I bet she'll perform splendidly.

So three cheers for the hardworking royals. Oh, and by the way.... they cost less than President Obama!


  1. Personally, I'd rather read about the Royals in England than the Kardasians or the Real Housewives folks or some of our other "royals" here in America.

    Does that make me unAmerican?

  2. Such an interesting post, Rhys. My late cousin Tony was Viscount Glegg-Hill of Shropshire and Shrewsbury. I will always remember his telling me of that stirring statement made by the Queen Mom during WW11: "The children won't go without me, I won't go without the King, and the King will never leave." It still gives me chills.

  3. Rhys this is so true and like mark id rather read about the royals that the so called "stars" we have here in the US.