If truth be told, although I am not a royalist by any stretch of the imagination, I am rather fond of Her Majesty, for several reasons.
Firstly the fact that tourists flock to see her. The number of people who come from the USA, China and other nations to look at the history of Buckingham Palace increases year on year – bringing in much needed tourism.
Secondly, although she is head of state, she has no open political agenda. Those who ‘create’ and ‘set’ the law are elected members of parliament. It is true that although the Queen has the ability to refuse to give Royal Assent to acts passed to her from the Houses of Parliament, this power of hers is rarely exercised. I think this is all well and good, those who oppose the monarch usually do so on the basis that she is unelected – which is true. But as long as the laws are set by those who are elected, their argument carries a little less weight.
Thirdly, the cost. The Telegraph reports that in 2012, The Queen cost each person in the UK only 52p. Now there are some who will no doubt say that any cost of the monarchy to the tax payer is too much, but I think its money well spent.
Fourthly, The Queen pays income tax, capital gains tax and VAT just as we all do (source). Although the wording of the article linked suggests that the Queen is under no obligation to pay the first two, she has volunteered since 1992, leading by example.
Fifthly, she gives the majority of us a huge sense of pride as a nation. 2012 was the year that the UK really came together as one, and was showcased to the world. Firstly we had the Diamond Jubilee, and later that year we had London 2012 – the Queen taking centre stage in both. I think everyone felt a huge sense as a country during that period of celebration, and as a whole, felt a low after they were over.
I don’t think there will be anyone who would rage that the Queen does not live a life of privilege, however one must also think that it must be hard work. Having every move analysed and broadcast to the world, being always on duty and not being able to truly express her opinion on certain matters. Although I would love having staff on call, I don’t think I would be able to stomach not being able to express my opinion.