A British royal wedding is upon us, but some people in the UK are less than happy about how much it will cost taxpayers. The bill for security is estimated to be more than 20 million euros.
Fury Guzel, an unemployed chef in London, feels the money could be better spent: “I think that’s all messed up, you know. They need to spend that money on us. Give us opportunities, so we can get jobs.”
For a long time there have been arguments for and against the monarchy based on their cost, and the wedding is reigniting the debate.
One man in London, who is not a fan of the Britain’s top family, complained: “I am not a royalist, I am a very anti-monarchy. Well, in this day and age, I think it is very outdated unfortunately. And I think the money it’s costing the taxpayer far exceeds the income that they are generating from just being royalty.”
Another man we spoke to was less scathing: “It’s good for all the pomp and ceremony. People say it’s good for tourism, but then we’ve got all the palaces anyway to sort of sell to the tourists, so I don’t actually know what their place in society is anymore.”
The public may be jaded after all the excitement of Prince Charles’ marriage to Princess Diana in 1981. Their wedding led to an unhappy marriage which ended with divorce.
Guardian newspaper journalist Stephen Bates says nowadays people are more realistic: “Over the last 30 years, the fairytale has faded somewhat in the cold light of reality, and people know that the image is not quite as the substance is.”
It is not just the debate about the cost of the royals, their constitutional powers are being criticised as well – even though they are rarely used.
Blogger and filmmaker, Tessa Mayes, is one of the people concerned about that. She said: “I don’t think it is democratic to have a royal prerogative, which is a group of powers that can be used without consulting Parliament. Parliament represents all of us, the people. And I think if something happens in this country it should be with consultation with the people and its representatives, not with one family that happened to be born into his position and obviously top members can be head of state. No good in a modern democracy.”
Many people will be making their way to Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace to join in the celebrations, and not all of them are foreign tourists. There will be street parties across the country. As journalist Stephen Bates points out, despite tough times in Britain’s economy, there is no great political will to abandon the monarchy: “It is profoundly undemocratic, but there is no particular democratic will to change it at the moment.”
If social networking is any indication, most people are happy with the way things are. A recent poll on Twitter shows 67 percent support for the royal family.
British royal wedding causes fervour and fatigue