The news this morning is that Prince Phillip, royal consort of the Queen of England, has passed away at the age of 99.
It caused me to wonder to what does the queen owe her own longevity in office. As I recall, my own limited knowledge of British history leads me to believe that the royal prerogative was once worth fighting wars over. But today, they let an old woman carry on until her own peaceful demise, despite the empire collapsing during her reign and her own Island nation being overrun by foreign powers to the point where the mayor of her own capital city is a foreigner.
The answer is, the British monarchy is a powerless sock puppet, emblematic of the UK itself. The second and third families are not fighting wars of succession because there is absolutely nothing left worth fighting over.
It is like in the Mike Myers movie where Dr. Evil demands “ONE MILLION DOLLARS”, and number two reminds him they get far more than that already from their Starbucks stock. Everyone with the power, wealth, and ambition for more are going into other pursuits rather than seeking royalty.
The funniest thing is how generations of royals have rested on the claim of royal blood, even when that only goes back a few generations to the last usurper. Funnier still that they claim divine right, in a nation that is increasingly atheistic (or Islamic). It’s not like the royals have manifestly greater wisdom, patriotism, education, or some sort of magical powers that their kingdom depends on to make it rain. They can’t even command a single dragon to lay waste to the armies of their enemies.
The British royal family is a live action entertainment venue that has zero value to anyone other than Disney.