Monarchy, kings and queens

Monarchy in many countries is the symbol of national unity and identity. But as an institution, it should move with time. What makes some monarchies unpopular is when the monarch has disregard for popular attitudes, trying to keep privileges or authorities dating from centuries and which have little to do with the political aspirations of the new generations. But there are absolute monarchs under disguise in some republics like North Korea or Syria where the leaders continue to rule until their death, only to be succeeded by their sons without a popular vote for the presidency.

One negative aspect of absolute monarchy is when the king considers himself as the rightful guardian of society disregarding calls for change. It can be OK for a king to perpetuate a style of rule, subjugating his people by enshrining himself with sacredness. But in today’s world, there is no place for despotism. Monarchy in Nepal was abolished because the king was out of touch with the reality of his country. Perhaps he was counting on the spiritual sacred side of monarchy to survive.

In Japan and Thailand, monarchy is popular and a stabilizing factor because it is constitutional, leaving the choice to people to decide through elected governments in whose policy the monarch doesn’t intervene. As Thailand and Japan succeeded in progressing without relinquishing their traditions, monarchy is sure to continue in these countries.

In Morocco, the King has given the monarchy a new image through constant contact with the population in every region of the country. It is seen as the most liberal and democratic country in the Arab world after Lebanon. Although there are calls from many political parties for constitutional change to allow the prime minister and the government more powers, there is still the public belief that the king should remain the arbitrator in political matters. The majority of people have lost faith in the political parties. The king remains for them a unifying figure. Morocco still has many economic and social problems. There is still corruption and a great need to reform the education and justice system. However the king remains popular, even among the poor, who believe that his initiatives can improve their living standards. And there is also the general belief that the king alone can’t solve all Morocco’s problem. It depends on the determination of everyone to do their best for the good of the country. In other words, only hard work and honesty at all levels that can solve Morocco’s problem.

After all, what people need is a leader, be it king or president, who can ensure the stability and the welfare of the country. Even in republics, there are people who have the lifestyle of kings and princes. Naming a country a republic or a monarchy can be deceiving. France, for example, still refers to its past strong monarchs like Napoleon with reverence and royal heritage is still kept as a national treasure. Russia is reconciling itself with the past negative attitudes towards the Tsar Era. Monarchy even if it doesn’t exist in many countries, now becoming republics, still has its mystic appeal.

Although monarchy is abolished in many countries, successful and popular stars are described as princes, princesses, kings and queens. Prestigious places have titles starting with royal like Royal Hotels. So many countries considered as republics still have a yearning for royal splendour.

A large number of people like to have a role model. Many role models are almost worshipped by their fans. Stars in sport and art are like idols for their fans. Very rich football stars are loved by their fans however poor they are. They know how much they earn, but they support them. They don’t boo them at the pitch because of their extravagant lifestyle and earning, but only when they don’t play well.

On Larry King show, there was a debate about British monarchy. An American speaker criticised the British monarchy for its lavish style, to which a defendant of the monarchy asked him, “What about your imperial presidency?”

Monarchy is a matter of the past in many countries, but still they seek to have a distinguished person to rule their heats and mind. Monarchy, as a form of leadership, is an innate inclination to have one person turned to by the masses as personification of the glory the want to have in their lives.

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