Originally Posted by FoolInTheRain
What I've always wondered is if the "royal family" have any actual influence and power in British society. I know little, if not nothing at all, about British way of life, but it seems to me that British royalty is kinda like the Kardashians here in the US....just something for the tabloids and paparazzi to hound and harass. IMO, the idea of royalty just seems antiquated and irrelevant in these times.
I think the reality is that only about .00000001% of earth's population is genuinely concerned with this.
You're forgetting that the British Royal Family or at least the idea of the Monarchy itself stretches back well over a thousand years. Although I'm a Republican in many respects, the history
of the British monarchs is quite remarkable and quite a few old families (like mine) are able to trace themselves back to at least one of the royal houses and at least one monarch (I can with two, if I recall). In a sense, it is a big part of our identity as a nation.
One of the mistakes that people make when thinking about British aristocracy is that they're all wealthy. Most of them are but it's a quirk in the British class system that you don't have to be rich to be upper class - it's a lot more than that. In the same way, the role of the Royal Family is misunderstood.
They actually do
hold political power. The Queen is our head of state, so if a bill is approved by both houses of parliament, it still has to be ratified by her. In theory, she could refuse to sign a bill that has been democratically debated and approved. She probably never would
refuse a bill but I cannot stand the idea of one individual having that power.