snopes.com  

Go Back   snopes.com > Urban Legends > Trivia

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 20 December 2007, 07:58 PM
snopes's Avatar
snopes snopes is offline
 
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,599
Royalty Elizabeth II becomes UK's oldest monarch

Queen Elizabeth II has become Britain's oldest-ever monarch, reaching a new milestone in a job she has held for more than a half century.

Elizabeth, 81, passed the mark set by her great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. Her son, Prince Charles, closed in on the title of longest-waiting heir to the throne.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071220/...en_s_milestone
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 26 December 2007, 03:23 AM
Silas Sparkhammer's Avatar
Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
Join Date: 22 September 2000
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 26,843
Whalephant

And if her reign endures another eight years, she would surpass Queen Victoria as the longest-reigning British Monarch. I would very much like to see that happen!

Silas
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 26 December 2007, 01:56 PM
Pogue Mahone
 
Posts: n/a
Default

And let's hope she's the last one. What a stupid, pointless job.

Pogue
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 26 December 2007, 02:10 PM
Andrew of Ware's Avatar
Andrew of Ware Andrew of Ware is offline
 
Join Date: 22 April 2003
Location: Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Posts: 7,986
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue Mahone View Post
And let's hope she's the last one. What a stupid, pointless job.

Pogue
As a Royalist the queen does a very valuable job. OK, she does not have any real power, but she prevents others having ultimate power. The alternative would be to have had 'President Blair' and (even worse) 'President Thatcher'.

She also earns more money for the UK than any other person.

Congrats ma'am and long may you reign over us.

(And if this post does not get me an OBE nothing will.)
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 26 December 2007, 02:17 PM
Jonny T
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
As a Royalist the queen does a very valuable job. OK, she does not have any real power, but she prevents others having ultimate power. The alternative would be to have had 'President Blair' and (even worse) 'President Thatcher'.
if she doesn't have any real power, how does she prevent others from having ultimate power?

personally I'd rather have "ultimate power" not rest with someone whose sole claim to it is that they happened to be born into the right family.

also, what do you think "President Blair" would have done that "Prime Minister Blair" didn't?

Quote:
She also earns more money for the UK than any other person.
how so?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 26 December 2007, 02:37 PM
Pogue Mahone
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
As a Royalist the queen does a very valuable job. OK, she does not have any real power, but she prevents others having ultimate power. The alternative would be to have had 'President Blair' and (even worse) 'President Thatcher'.
Are you implying that President Bush (of any president, for that matter) has ultimate power in the United States? 'Cause I think Congress and the Supreme Court may disagree with you a bit on that one.

As head of government (all three branches, if I understand the British system correctly) the prime minister arguably has more power than the president of the United States.

Pogue
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 26 December 2007, 03:45 PM
ULTRAGOTHA ULTRAGOTHA is offline
 
Join Date: 06 October 2000
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 3,996
Default

In the UK, the Prime Minister has both Legislative and Executive power (and, IIRC, some Judicial power as well.) So a President Thatcher, Blair or Brown would have more power than a President Bush does.

Of course, President Bush seems to think he has that more power. The power to ignore (erm, sorry, signing statements about how he will selectively enforce) laws, and to ignore Judicial rulings as well.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 26 December 2007, 04:03 PM
Insensible Crier Insensible Crier is offline
 
Join Date: 30 June 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,438
Default

I actually kind of like the idea of a purely ceremonial, ribbon cutting, morale boosting position. Sort of like a domestic ambassador. That way the President/Prime Minister can actually do some governing without having to go spend a day across the country giving a pointless speech to the Eternal Order of the United Brotherhood for Stuff. At least that's how I would like it to work in theory. In practice I have no idea what the UK monarchy actually does.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 26 December 2007, 07:27 PM
lord_feldon's Avatar
lord_feldon lord_feldon is offline
 
Join Date: 08 August 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 12,364
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue Mahone View Post
And let's hope she's the last one. What a stupid, pointless job.

Pogue
If it goes away, it must be replaced, and a replacement would be equally "pointless," probably with the added stupidity of it being an elected, stupid, pointless job.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 26 December 2007, 09:11 PM
Silas Sparkhammer's Avatar
Silas Sparkhammer Silas Sparkhammer is offline
 
Join Date: 22 September 2000
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 26,843
Whalephant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
As a Royalist the queen does a very valuable job. OK, she does not have any real power, but she prevents others having ultimate power. The alternative would be to have had 'President Blair' and (even worse) 'President Thatcher'.
I can halfway agree with this. The British Monarch fills a role which is partly real and partly symbolic. I've heard the Queen compared to the U.S. Flag, or the U.S. Constitution. She serves a small but non-zero check upon the power of the Prime Minister and his government. She can't exercise her power in any big way, but she does, as you say, hold it so that no one else can exercise it.

One might even say that the Queen fills the role of various slogans in U.S. government, such as "Division of Powers" or "Separation of Church and State" or "Innocent Until Proven Guilty." These ideas, too, are partly real and partly symbolic.

Quote:
She also earns more money for the UK than any other person.
The Monarch also serves a nice diplomatic role, which, in the U.S., is often filled by the Vice President: someone to go to attend diplomatic ceremonies in other countries. It is a long-standing joke in the U.S. that the Vice President is our official national mourner: whenever a foreign head of state dies, we send the Veep to the funeral. In roughly the same way, the Queen is Britain's official national greeter: she goes and visits foreign heads of state for their national anniversaries, for the openings of major dams or bridges, for their own royal weddings, and so on. She's the friendly face of the nation.

Quote:
Congrats ma'am and long may you reign over us.
I do confess, were I a Briton, I'd be a Republican. I'd like to see the Monarchy abolished and the Upper House dissolved. I won't absolutely insist on a public beheading...

Quote:
(And if this post does not get me an OBE nothing will.)
And if this post doesn't get me a PNG, nothing will! (Grin!)

Silas
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 26 December 2007, 09:54 PM
lord_feldon's Avatar
lord_feldon lord_feldon is offline
 
Join Date: 08 August 2007
Location: Ohio
Posts: 12,364
Default

The Queen doesn't even really get much of a private income from the state. She gets reimbursed for official costs that she incurs as head of state (which a President would incur as well), but she doesn't get her pocket lined by the state.

That's the role of the Privy Purse (which is funded primarily by revenue from the Duchy of Lancaster, which she holds in a far more private capacity and which would most likely stay with her if the UK became a republic).

The other members of her family (except her husband) are payed for out of a Parliamentary annuity which is then reimbursed by the Queen at the end of each year.

In addition to the Duchy of Lancaster, there are the Crown Estates, which nobody really knows what would happen to in a republic. Right now though, they run the state a pretty good profit, bringing in around 185 million a year, of which 8 million goes back to the Queen to cover the expenses of a Head of State, 14 million goes to cover occupied royal residences (which would still need to be maintained in a republic), and 6 million goes to cover travel expenses.

Financially, it seems like a pretty good deal, at least more so than a US-style presidency.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 26 December 2007, 11:08 PM
Andrew of Ware's Avatar
Andrew of Ware Andrew of Ware is offline
 
Join Date: 22 April 2003
Location: Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Posts: 7,986
Default

Not to mention the number of tourists who come to Britain (partly) because of the monarchy - and think of all those postcards and t-shirts she helps sell.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 27 December 2007, 12:08 AM
Kendra
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Canadian Monarchist here. She is an incredible statesman (person?) and really is great value for the money. The last article I read had the Monarchy costing each Canadian about $1 per year.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 27 December 2007, 12:57 AM
DesertBerean
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Happy birthday Ma'am.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 27 December 2007, 03:53 AM
Sweeney_Todd
 
Posts: n/a
Default

And the king of Thailand is the longest currently ruling monach. 57 years.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 27 December 2007, 08:06 AM
Jonny T
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
Not to mention the number of tourists who come to Britain (partly) because of the monarchy - and think of all those postcards and t-shirts she helps sell.
you reckon?

people visit Buckingham Palace and other Royal locations, yes, but I've yet to see anything suggesting this would stop if some old woman in a funny hat didn't live there any more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lord_feldon
If it goes away, it must be replaced, and a replacement would be equally "pointless," probably with the added stupidity of it being an elected, stupid, pointless job.
why must it be replaced? her "duties", such as they are, could easily be redistributed to whoever is most appropriate, or abolished altogether. what does she do that requires a separate individual?

and if someone's going to be representing the UK I find it ridiculous that the people of the UK should get no say whatsoever in their appointment.

Last edited by Jonny T; 27 December 2007 at 08:13 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 27 December 2007, 08:10 AM
Johnny Slick's Avatar
Johnny Slick Johnny Slick is offline
 
Join Date: 13 February 2003
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 11,628
Default

Well, you guys *could* always have a big long war of succession. Charles seems like kind of a fuddy duddy. Perhaps you could find a way to get Sporty Spice in line with the throne and she could kick off the Spiceian dynasty or something similar.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 27 December 2007, 08:16 AM
llewtrah's Avatar
llewtrah llewtrah is offline
 
Join Date: 13 December 2001
Location: Chelmsford, UK
Posts: 16,363
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pogue Mahone View Post
And let's hope she's the last one. What a stupid, pointless job.
But she's good for the tourist industry, though admittedly we could get by using the buildings as museums and attractions without an actual royal family.

None of the next generation look up to the role. Chas seems fairly clueless and out of touch (not unlike many recent British kings admittedly) and has been waiting around like a spare leg for ages. There are numerous rumours about Andy including rumours in the city over who sired him (a good argument for a matriarchal rather than patriarchal system of inheritance!) and which team he bats for. Eddy surprised everyone by marrying and having children, but tales of his company getting preferential treatment in winning contracts haven't endeared him to many.

If Liz hangs on for a few more years, the job might have to skip a generation anyway and go to Wills or Harry.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 27 December 2007, 09:13 AM
Andrew of Ware's Avatar
Andrew of Ware Andrew of Ware is offline
 
Join Date: 22 April 2003
Location: Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Posts: 7,986
Default

If Liz and her various relatives were pensioned off to some remote palace then whoever replaced her would cost a lot more than the monarch does. The Royal Estates belong to her family. At present they provide the country with a handsome amount of money, some of which the government then graciously returns to her. If the monarchy went then she and her successors would keep the land for themselves. Many of the Royal Palaces and castles also belong to her family and so if they are opened to the public they would be for her benefit, not the nation's.

Then the country would have to pay for someone to take her duties - perhaps, as said above, by a costly election. The cost of replacing the monarchy would far exceed what the institution costs us now - not to say the loss of tourism if we lose the monarchy.

(OK rant over. Carry on.)
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 27 December 2007, 10:47 AM
BlueStar's Avatar
BlueStar BlueStar is offline
 
Join Date: 07 August 2002
Location: Newcastle, UK
Posts: 3,024
Default

Can't stand the miserable auld trout to be honest, hopefully when people have to start singing "God save the King" and seeing Charles' chinless visage on money and stamps people may re-assess this ridiculous situation. Although it does make me laugh when people say "Charles shouldn't be king" or "Camilla shouldn't be queen" as if it's anything to do with them. It's a monarchy, You get what you're given, even if they're thick as mince, have a face like a wet weekend and speak absolutely cringe-making mangled English. If it was down to popular vote we'd have King Beckham and Queen Kylie on the throne.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew of Ware View Post
Then the country would have to pay for someone to take her duties
Or just do away with her pretty much wholey-for-show and usually rather embarrasing 'duties' all together and have a hard look to see if the land and estate belong to Herr Windor the person or "Royalty" the position. If American tourists only want to come over the see the royal family they can just go to Disneyland instead and see their version as far as I'm concerned.

Last edited by BlueStar; 27 December 2007 at 10:53 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 09:14 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.