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21st Apr 2016

Happy Birthday, Lizzy! Is it time to ditch the Monarchy?

Game of Thrones IRL?

Jordan Gold

Do you really want King Charles III?

Today Her Majesty celebrates her 90th Birthday. Well, not her official birthday, her official birthday will be on Saturday June 11. This is more like her pre-birthday birthday. What? You don’t have one of those?

via Giphy / BBC

Every July, the Palace releases the Queen’s financial statement, a set of confusingly cluttered documents designed to show the people how little has been spent and how much ~value~ the monarchy brings into the country.

Between 2014 and 2015 alone, the Queen cost the UK tax payer £35.7 million. While some argue that’s only 56p per head, others say nobody voted for her, and that’s money our NHS, armed forces and education system could desperately use.

via Buckingham Palace

So just a couple mil on housekeeping then? Since the release of this year’s budget report, a Palace spokesperson has issued a statement to back it up:

“The Queen, The Royal Family and the Household continue to provide excellent value for money: at 56p per person annually. 

The Queen’s communication secretary also wade in on the issue with a statement admitting the price per head the Queen costs the nation is, in fact, going up. Last year it was only 53p per head. Can you put a price on royalty?

‘When the net expenditure of £35.7m is divided by the UK population, the result is an annual cost of monarchy of 56p per person. So just over 1 penny per person per week.’

For some however, it’s not about the money. The very idea of a Queen in a country which claims to be democratic is morally wrong.

via Reddit/u/Graun

The Royal family carry no IDs or driving licenses, despite owning fleets of expensive cars. The royal family still owns £8.1 billion worth of the UK’s property assets and are allowed to keep their private businesses and estates.

The Queen is exempt from prosecution in court because technically she owns the courts.

If you criticise the royals you’ll usually be met with one of two reactions: you’ll be asked whether you would really prefer a ‘slimy American president’ or – more likely – it’ll be suggested that you’re a heretic with an unusual beef against the British tourism trade.

JOE spoke to Graham Smith, CEO of Republic, the UK’s met prominent anti-monarchy campaign group, who is currently lobbying for a referendum on the issue of the abolishing the Monarchy when the queen dies.

For Graham it’s not a matter of if but rather when:

“If you asked an American in 2003 they would have said there was never going to be a black President. Times change. I think the idea that Americans are infatuated with the British royal family is faintly ridiculous. 

The royals are just exploiting the American celebrity culture to paint a quaint Disney view of Britain. Most Americans, like most British people, couldn’t care less about the royals. Tourism is studied at length and we are yet to see a single piece of evidence that the royals are good for tourism. Would losing the Queen make Americans change their holiday plans? I don’t think so.”

But Lizzy doesn’t have any ‘real power’ anyway, right? With all this money spent annually on pomp and ceremony, is it time to ditch the Queen?