After the death of Queen Elizabeth II at the age of 96 and with the recent appointment of King Carlos III, some questions have arisen about the monarchy. Why does the figure of the king, queen, the royal family prevail in the middle of the century? 21st? The answers have their historical antecedents.
After the royal family confirmed the death of the longest-serving monarch, the newly appointed prime minister, Liz Truss , called on the British people to remain “in solidarity” with the new monarch, to whom, she said, “we owe our loyalty and devotion.
The United Kingdom, he concluded, thus begins “a new era in this country, just as His Majesty would have wanted. Long live the king”, which opens the debate, What is it to be a king?
To clear up some doubts, Expansión consulted Claudia Serrarano Solares, Postdoctoral student of the Academic Unit of Regional Studies of the Coordination of Humanities UNAM,
What does a king do?
The functions of the king are directly linked to each constitutional project. In the case of countries that have a parliamentary monarchy, they normally assume a figure of head of state”, explained the also professor at FES Aragón.
What does a king of the United Kingdom do?
“In this case, due to the constitutional project, the functions that are granted to the monarch have to do with representation at the international level, in certain protocol events in which they try to bring together different figures of public life, and that have an impact. at an economic level”.
The specialist explained that this relationship between the monarch and different leaders in different areas or specializations has to do with concerns that have to do with the environment, youth, etc.
“These are high-level meetings where the monarchy can be present.”
What are the powers you have as head of state?
“In the particular case of the United Kingdom, its functions are linked to international representations in protocol events, but there is also close communication on government decisions, which are made based on consensus between the Prime Minister, the cabinet and the legislative apparatus. ”.
“But there is no direct influence by the head of state, there is an accompaniment, but he does not get involved or does not interfere, the head of government (prime minister), does not interfere beyond his powers, and vice versa,” explained the internationalist .
Why in the 21st century, do kings, queens, monarchies continue to exist, what is their political relevance?
It was a political model that gave rise to a process of expansionism and domination over other territories, particularly in Europe over Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa, and after historical events such as the industrial revolution, or the French Revolution, the rights of citizens resulted. , generated those structures where the monarch was the head of state and the head of government the prime minister, and gave way to a parliamentary monarchy.
“The prime minister acts as head of government and the figure of the monarch as head of state was maintained. Its historical relevance has to do precisely with the historical process of each country, from the nation state that originated from that logic, and which maintains the monarchy as part of its formation process, together with territories that were colonized centuries ago and that they recognize the British crown as head of state because they became protectorates”, explained Serrano Solares.
Between April 2021 and March 2022, the royal family’s payroll costs, that is, the payment given to employees who work for the crown, was 19.1 million pounds sterling. Which brings us to the following question:
Where does the money with which the monarchy is maintained come from?
“There are three areas in which the monarchy obtains resources, the first of them is the sovereign subsidy, they are lands that were owned by the crown, but became the State, although there is a lack of definition, worse the economic performance generated by the land that belonged to the crown is allocated to the budget assigned to them”.
“Of the budget income the UK gets, 15% goes to the royal family, known as a sovereign grant. From that budget, money is allocated for protocol events and a salary is granted to members of the royal family depending on their hierarchy (by noble title) and their functions before the institutional bureaucratic apparatus,” explained the doctor.
There are two other items, it has to do with the properties that the crown had since 1265, this is a kind of private finance that the royal family has, which are other properties or land that are not directly in the center of Buckingham, but that have an economic return, but they do not generate a return to the State.