I'm not a monarchist or a royalist. If I had my way, her majesty would be pensioned off to enjoy a well deserved retirement and we'd have an elected head of state with a role rather like the Irish President. As it happens, I think the Queen has done a good job and I fully accept that unless she actually wanted to retire, my suggestion would not be popular nationally. Having said that, I cannot possibly agree that a hereditary head of state is anything other than an anachronism in the year 2012. If there is to be a debate, the time for it will be when there is a vacancy for the job. I would like to see, at the very minimum, a referendum on Prince Charles taking over.
Many people say the monarchy are good for tourism. Sadly there are many things which are good for tourism, which would be better off not existing. There are tourist trips to the Battlefields of the Somme and many even far more grisely sites. Would anyone claim the first and second world war were good things because they created lots of tourist sites? Of course her majesty isn't a disaster in the way that the First and second world wars were. Only a fool would claim that. But it is crystal clear to anyone who studied history that the same cannot be said for her predecessors. If we look at the religious repression launched by monarchs such as Henry VIII, we can see the dangers of picking a leader by genetic lottery. Ultimately we've been lucky with Liz. Would we be so lucky again?
This brings us to what will happen when her Maj finally leaves the throne. Given her mum's gene's this could well be in 20 or even 30 years, given that she's shown no desire to retire. The next in line is Prince Charles. he is likely to be an old man by the time he steps forward. Then? Well at the moment it is Prince William in the hotseat. I am sure that Princess Kate is doing her best to provide a heir as we speak. But should something happen to Wills (which I hope to God it doesn't), then we could have King Harry.
What sort of King would King Henry IX be? Well if the current press coverage in the Sun is correct, like his namesake King Henry VIII, he has a bit of an eye for the ladies. What else do we know about him? Well he seems to have done a good job in his military career. He's certainly not shirked out of being in harms way. He seems like a jovial sort who generally brings mirth and merriment along with him (rather worryingly young Henry VIII had a similar public persona). He looks like he may actually be reasonably down to earth for a man raised with his background.
Which brings us to the current set of pictures in The Sun. I'm sure most of us have watched films about high jinx in Las Vegas. Those of us who enjoyed the film "The Hangover" are familiar with the plot. You go to Las Vegas, you get sloshed, you meet some pretty girls (who may or may not have the highest ethical standards) and all hell breaks loose. So what is the problem? Harry is a single man. Whatever happened, there was clearly no coercion and it seems like everyone had a marvellous time. Good for them all. Do I give a FF. Nope.
Last night before I went to bed we had the sight of the slapped arse faced editor of The Sun, claiming that they had published pictures of Harry in the buff to defend free speech and out of public interest. This is complete and utter hogwash. They published them for one reason. To flog loads of papers. I hope it backfires spectacularly. I hope that The Sun looses all of it's readership. I don't want to see the Crown Jewels over my bowl of porridge. If they really want to stand up for press freedom, then publish the truth about their own practices in the phone hacking scandal. Who wants to see the pictures? I doubt anyone does and if they do, it is only for the yuck factor. If you go into any newsagent, you will see a whole stack of magazines on the top shelf full of naked women. How many do you see with naked men in? I don't think I've ever spoken to a women who would bother to look at pictures of naked blokes sitting on haystacks, given the choice between that and something a bit more interesting. That is not to say they don't enjoy erotic stimulation, they just don't get it in that way. Of course there is also they gay porn market. My gay friends take a different view to looking at the male form, but their tastes are, shall we say, a little bit more "active" in the porn photo shot market.
When it comes down to it, the hypocricy of The Sun sickens me. Who has forgotten that it was the direct actions of the papparrazi which killed Harry's mother. The poor sod has already had his life hugely damaged by the tabloid press. Now they won't leave the poor sod alone. The desks at News International are doubtlessly stuffed full of young men who'd love to fly over to Las Vegas, get pissed, pull a bevvy of beautiful women and have a party in the buff.
Why can't they just lay off him. He may not be perfect, but he deserves a bit of privacy.