READER REPORT:

Royals worth sticking with, for now

JO CAMERON
Last updated 05:00 20/11/2012
Chalres
ROSS SETFORD/SNPA
ON TOUR: Prince Charles showed he was a good sport while in New Zealand.

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I'll admit it. I'm not a fan of the royals. Why are we expected to kowtow to a bunch of rich, out of touch foreigners who have us tugging our forelocks simply because many generations ago, their ancestors used threats and dirty tricks to impose their power on others?

Elizabeth II descends from the likes of King John, who claimed the throne by removing his young nephew and rightful heir Arthur.

Henry VII claimed the throne by virtue of a liaison between ancestor John of Gaunt (son of Edward III) and his mistress.

He killed rival Richard III and married Edward IV's daughter Elizabeth to strengthen his weak claim.

Just over 100 years later, Henry and Elizabeth's great-great-grandson James VI of Scotland ventured south on the death of Elizabeth I to unite the thrones of England and Scotland, a move lamented by many Scots to this day.

Elizabeth II got the job because her uncle chose love over duty. In an earlier age, this would seem romantic.

Henry VIII chose his first wife for love as much as duty, and both enjoyed immense popularity for a time.

Today, Charles, Prince of Wales, has weathered the controversy surrounding the long-running affair that ruined the marriage of the heir to the throne and the self-titled "princess of people's hearts" (the wife who was duty-picked for her breeding, her virginity and her apparent malleability).

It's amazing what a pair of lovely eyes, peering out from under a blonde fringe, and accompanied with a pretty decent set of pins, will do when deciding who has to leave the island first.

There's no way Camilla could ever compete with that. I'll acknowledge that Princess Diana supported a lot of charities, and helped raise awareness of unpopular causes. Princess Anne works pretty damn hard too, but she's just not as appealing to look at.

But despite my personal belief, I reckon we should stick with them.

The Queen is 86 years old and apart from a few stumbles, has not put a foot wrong in a job she never asked for.

Once her ancestors got over all the nastiness over who should get the job, things have gone smoothly.

No more supposed previous marriages (the argument used to disinherit Edward IV's children) or "smuggle the newborn boy into the castle in a rush basket" (used when Catholic James II had a son, ending the hopes of the Protestant supporters of his two daughters) or the "anyone would be better than a Catholic - anyone" - argument that brought an obscure Hanoverian prince to England to become George I.

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Even if Edward VIII hadn't abdicated, he chose to marry a woman who was probably past child bearing age, meaning we would still have landed out with the current queen.

Elizabeth II has been doing a job I wouldn't fancy, and doing it well, for 60 years. That demonstrates her commitment to the establishment she inherited.

Charles has been waiting for most of his life to follow her. He deserves his chance. If he is anything like his great-great-grandfather Edward VII he will not have it for long. That's about when we should look at becoming a republic.


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