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'Why, when the subject of royalty or monarchy is mentioned, do the British bid adieu to every vestige of proportion, modesty, humour and restraint? '

This is not a call for the monarchy's abolition by fiat; illusions cannot be abolished. This is an invitation to think.

In this scathing essay, Christopher Hitchens looks at the relationship of the press and the public to the royal family, unpacking the tautology and contradictory arguments that prop it up. In his inimitable style, Hitchens argues that our desire not to profane or disturb the monarchy is a failure of reason and a confusion of reality. Fealty to the magic of monarchy stops us looking objectively at our own history and hinders open-minded criticism of our present. It is time we outgrew it.

With the Queen's Diamond Jubilee upon us, during a time of recession, high unemployment and national debt, Hitchens' 10,000-word critique is even more relevant today than when it was first published in 1990.

Part of the Brain Shots series, the pre-eminent source for high quality, short-form digital non-fiction.

'Christopher is one of the most terrifying rhetoricians that the world has yet seen.' Martin Amis

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The Monarchy
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4 / 5
Or,Why We Prefer Mediocrity to Change
August 14th, 2015
Republican , Monarchist or not really bothered, please read Hitchens and you will surely at least form an opinion.In this concise analysis of Britains monarchy and how we view it, Hitchens gives the lie to the idea of the monarch sitting above the tawdry bickering of the politicians for the greater good .He points out that the toadying approach to our Royals of the last 100 years or so did not hold good in times past and we are invited to ask ourselves why we now accept what our relatively recent forebears challenged so openly .Hitchens aks the key question - If the British Monarchy truly sits above the political system, what use are they as part of a governmental system dictated by politics ? Alternatively, if they are key to our constitution , why do we leave to accident of birth as to whether these key roles are filled by anyone with a modicum of competence . Thought provoking and highly recommended, though perhaps not to Prince Philip .
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Old Softy
February 8th, 2013
A terrific argument against the maintenance of the monarchy but the tone is much tamer than we grew to expect from Hitch.
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