Feb 22, 2023
Be it Resolved, it’s time to abolish the British Monarchy
With the death of Queen Elizabeth, one of the longest serving monarchs in world history, the commonwealth is adjusting to a new normal and a new face of the firm, Charles III. “God Save the Queen” is back to “God Save the King”, there’s a new face on postage stamps, a new face on the pound, and a slew of other changes big and small. But above all, Britain is grappling with their identity, and what the monarchy means for them today. For some, this means that the time has finally come to do away with the outdated parliamentary monarchy system in favor of a proper modern republic. They argue that the British Royal Family is out of touch with ordinary Britons, and represent an unsavory colonial history that must be left behind. The slew of scandals plaguing the Royal family hurts the country's image internationally. They argue the Royals represent the past, and Britain must move into the future. But others argue that the royals serve an important albeit limited function. Beyond representing a rich and storied history, the Royal family is a unifying force amid political and cultural divisions. And without the royal family, the UK loses an important piece of their cultural identity at a time when Britains are struggling to define themselves. The Royal family may have problems, but they’re existence is necessary.
Arguing for the motion is Polly Toynbee, columnist for The Guardian newspaper since 1998.Toynbee previously worked as social affairs editor for the BBC and also for The Independent newspaper.
Arguing against the motion is Richard Fitzwilliams, freelance royal commentator, film critic, and vocal monarchist. He has covered the largest royal events of the last two decades for the BBC, Sky, CTV, CBC, and Al-Jazeera.
POLLY TOYNBEE: “ If they are the sovereign and we are the subjects, we are subject to the absurdity of this extraordinarily ordinary family, who had after all the highest education available ended up being so very little intellectually interested in anything, beyond the polo and corgis”.
RICHARD FITZWILLIAMS: “There's nothing ephemeral about a reign such as the Queen, and there's nothing ephemeral about an institution that's lasted a millennia.”.
The host of the Munk Debates is Rudyard Griffiths - @rudyardg.
Tweet your comments about this episode to @munkdebate or comment on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/munkdebates/
To sign up for a weekly email reminder for this podcast, send an email to email@example.com.
To support civil and substantive debate on the big questions of the day, consider becoming a Munk Member at https://munkdebates.com/membership
Members receive access to our 10+ year library of great debates in HD video, a free Munk Debates book, newsletter and ticketing privileges at our live events.This podcast is a project of the Munk Debates, a Canadian charitable organization dedicated to fostering civil and substantive public dialogue - https://munkdebates.com/
Senior Producer: Jacob Lewis
Editor: Adam Karch