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AIBU?

...to say the monarchy should be subscription based

120 replies

donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 11:21

There is a lot of talk that the BBC should scrap the licence fee and go to a subscription service because not everyone agrees with the BBC's political positions or find value in it's services.

I think there is even more merit in this argument when applied to the monarchy. Many people feel that monarchy is a moral wrong, or don't find it beneficial, yet are forced to support it's activity through taxation.

Instead there should be a volunatry levy to support the lifestyle of King Charles et al. Perhaps if you don't pay into the monarchy you have to pay a smaller amount to support a slimmed-down, elected head of state?

Far from being the end of a proud tradition, I think the Monarchy might make more money from this approach, with some canny marketing: allow foreigners to pay in to become subjects, stop letting commonwealth citizens be subjects for free or set up a premium subscription with benefits for paying more.

Whereas the rest of us would happily make do on the basic package: with elected King Martin Lewis doing royal visits using Ryanair, and the letter when we reach 100 coming second class.

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donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 11:46

So how would it work with a subscription, given that there would also have to be some officially funded head of state? or would this be the Prime Minister (please no)?

As I suggested in the OP. There would be two ceremonial heads of state, costing the same per person as now, one of them elected. They would be funded according to who subscribed to each.

I reckon the elected one only needs about £20 million for a bit of basic head of stating (I'd do it for that) so if a fair number of people join that service costs would come down.

It's all about modernisation and using the free market to make an old, inefficient state monopoly work better. Thatcher would have approved.

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donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 11:48

How would be an election if you have already decided which person would be elected king? I sense a flaw in the plan

King Martin Lewis is only a serving suggestion. No Martin Lewis' are included with the 'elected head of state' package.

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SpinnersCircle · 22/09/2022 11:49

Sirius3030 · 22/09/2022 11:41

You are being ridiculous and utterly unreasonable. David Attenborough would walk it as elected king!

I think there’s a slight flaw in this plan that I’m too diplomatic to point out.

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KohinoorDiamond · 22/09/2022 11:49

Kanaloa · 22/09/2022 11:31

And half the draw of Versailles is in the lack of royal figures there. People visit Buckingham Palace because it’s a big interesting historically/culturally relevant building. Not because Prince Louis is outside dressed as a newsboy shouting ‘roll up roll up, creating revenue for tourism over heeere.’

But people are also easier to sell stories about than buildings.

The royal family sell papers. That’s how they generate publicity and tourism.

You’re not likely to see Versailles posing on the front cover of Vogue magazine. Or bring gossiped about in Hello magazine.

I can see how the royal family appeal as a human interest story. That’s why Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ does so well… people like to know about other people and the royal family claim to be ‘special people’.

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WalkingThroughTreacle · 22/09/2022 11:50

Where do we draw the line exactly? Should pacifists or CND members be allowed to opt out of the portion of tax that pays for defence and fund it instead through a voluntary levy? Should those xenophobes who wave the "charity begins at home" banner be allowed to opt out of tax that pays for foreign aid? Should those who think everyone on benefits is a workshy scrounger..................etc etc etc. It's a nonsensical idea.

If people don't want the monarchy to continue then they should use the democratic process - make their options known to the major political parties and then vote for one that decides there is enough support for abolishing or slimming it down to include it in their manifesto.

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Suzi888 · 22/09/2022 11:52

arethereanyleftatall · 22/09/2022 11:26

What about all the money they generate? Does that only go back to the subscribers?

This ^
Should apply to every tax paid😉let’s see how that goes.

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SpinnersCircle · 22/09/2022 11:52

The alternative to Premium Package King ‘Bloody Pen’ Charles is surely a slim-sized President with a biro? Like JKR.

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donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 11:52

But people are also easier to sell stories about than buildings. The royal family sell papers. That’s how they generate publicity and tourism.

Lots of celebs sell papers. Lot's of celebs opperate similar subscription services of one type or another. This would open the door to exciting new marketing colabs.

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Kanaloa · 22/09/2022 11:54

KohinoorDiamond · 22/09/2022 11:49

But people are also easier to sell stories about than buildings.

The royal family sell papers. That’s how they generate publicity and tourism.

You’re not likely to see Versailles posing on the front cover of Vogue magazine. Or bring gossiped about in Hello magazine.

I can see how the royal family appeal as a human interest story. That’s why Netflix’s ‘The Crown’ does so well… people like to know about other people and the royal family claim to be ‘special people’.

A lack of hello magazine articles doesn’t seem to have harmed Versailles as a tourist venue though, has it? That was my point.

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donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 11:55

Where do we draw the line exactly? Should pacifists or CND members be allowed to opt out of the portion of tax that pays for defence and fund it instead through a voluntary levy? Should those xenophobes who wave the "charity begins at home" banner be allowed to opt out of tax that pays for foreign aid? Should those who think everyone on benefits is a workshy scrounger..................etc etc etc. It's a nonsensical idea.

But the point is that this would save money. If you want a brown bin you pay my local council more. This is a similar idea.

You can't cut core functions of the state out of general taxation because they are collective goods; but brown bins, the BBC and the royal family are not core functions of the state.

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Kanaloa · 22/09/2022 11:55

Oh JKR would be a good one - she already has a ‘gimmick.’ Instead of a palace she could live in a Hogwarts and rather than royal weddings etc we could have a yearly trip across a stormy lake and sorting ceremony.

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KohinoorDiamond · 22/09/2022 11:55

donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 11:52

But people are also easier to sell stories about than buildings. The royal family sell papers. That’s how they generate publicity and tourism.

Lots of celebs sell papers. Lot's of celebs opperate similar subscription services of one type or another. This would open the door to exciting new marketing colabs.

But as it stands, there are strict royal protocols on what the family can and cannot say to the media. This is because the royal family are also supposed to be representing the state and church.

If they become commodities then they’re more likely to sell out. The whole ‘mystique’ of royalty will be gone.

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SpinnersCircle · 22/09/2022 11:58

I think there could be bolt-on packages. So the main one will be the Houses of Windsor and Wales, but there’s a York bolt-on for the strong of stomach and a much more popular Sussexes in Montecito one. Gloucester and Kent(s) are chucked in for free.

Interviews would be special pay per view events as pp suggested.

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 22/09/2022 11:59

Perhaps we could also consider a brand sponsorship model - the coronation of KCIII brought to you by Tesco. Whistles paying £50k to get a dress on Princess Eugenie. That sort of thing.

Certainly product placement could be lucrative - coronation sword by Black & Decker, throne by DFS premium range - and, before all the foreign dignitaries can take a pew, they have to come through a gift shop; always a gift shop.

Charles and William have now upped their banging on about us all doing as much as we possibly can to protect the environment - which is the equivalent of Leo DiCaprio going on a polemic about how we must all marry somebody our own age (or older) and stay with them for life.

They have previous for it, though: Philip was passionate about over-population, even stating that he'd love to come back as a virus to massively reduce the number of people on earth; his strong, passionate views somehow didn't stop him personally having four children, though, did they?

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donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 11:59

If they become commodities then they’re more likely to sell out. The whole ‘mystique’ of royalty will be gone.

I'm not sure that's true: One of them was friends with a child sex trafficker and we still pay for him. The current king cheated on his wife with a married woman and was emotionally abusive and is still head of the CofE.

Ultimately whether they keep their mystique is down to how well they manage their brand, like other celebs. I'm just suggesting it shouldn't be mandatory to have to pay into that brand if you don't see the mystique.

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WeBuiltThisBuffetOnSausageRoll · 22/09/2022 12:02

One of them was friends with a child sex trafficker and we still pay for him.

And one of his brothers (I won't say who, but not Edward) was great mates with a certain former TOTP presenter and unofficial hospital janitor.

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SpinnersCircle · 22/09/2022 12:03

They could launch a fragrance called Mystique. And a clothing range, with signature bits of military gold braid on it. I’ve seen a jacket in Primark like that and it seemed to be selling well, from the sizes left (always an 8 and an 18).

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stripeyzeb · 22/09/2022 12:06

The royal family costs the average UK taxpayer £1.29 per year. The BBC costs £159 per year.

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notaladyinred · 22/09/2022 12:06

arethereanyleftatall · 22/09/2022 11:28

Given 5 billion people all over the world watched the funeral, it's very possible that the (completely unknown and impossible to value) revenue and interest they create for the country far outweighs their cost.

This is completely untrue, a made up figure that has been deliberately misattributed to the BBC by some bonkers royalists. 5 billion people did not watch the funeral. Just think through what that would mean for a second.

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donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 12:15

The royal family costs the average UK taxpayer £1.29 per year.

That's the soverign grant. It doesn't include security, the other royal family, costs to government departments and councils, building costs or the fact that the profits from the duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall don't go to the state.

The total costs are estimated at £345 million.

The government are always looking to cut the fat. What could be a better candidate than this? Especially when we get to keep the same standard of service and provide consumer choice.

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donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 12:17

Sorry, forgot to include the link to the costs of monarchy breakdown. I should caveat this by saying that no-one actually knows the true figures, these are estimates. All the more reason for a more transparent, modern monarchy.

d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/republic/pages/66/attachments/original/1604050270/Royal-Expenses-Report-2017.pdf?1604050270

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Discovereads · 22/09/2022 12:19

donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 11:46

So how would it work with a subscription, given that there would also have to be some officially funded head of state? or would this be the Prime Minister (please no)?

As I suggested in the OP. There would be two ceremonial heads of state, costing the same per person as now, one of them elected. They would be funded according to who subscribed to each.

I reckon the elected one only needs about £20 million for a bit of basic head of stating (I'd do it for that) so if a fair number of people join that service costs would come down.

It's all about modernisation and using the free market to make an old, inefficient state monopoly work better. Thatcher would have approved.

And how would you deal with the problem of free loaders? Under this system, you’d have to force everyone to buy one subscription or the other. Otherwise the majority of people will choose to pay nothing at all.

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Joystir59 · 22/09/2022 12:21

DangerNoodles · 22/09/2022 11:26

I'm far from a die hard royalist, but realistically if we were to be given a vote, the people will want to keep the monarchy as it is. Half the world watched the funeral, most of the UK watched it, that's very telling of how popular they are.

Not necessarily. I binge watchd the funeral, enjoyed it thoroughly. Not a royalist though. Can't stand them.

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Eeksteek · 22/09/2022 12:22

Takingturnstogether · 22/09/2022 11:29

Disneyland attracts lots of people with its princesses etc. Could the monarchy be made to work the same way?

I think it more or less does. Without all the pomp and ceremony, tourists (from overseas especially) will likely not be attracted to the UK the way they are now. We’ll be comparable with, say, Luxembourg. Wonderful place, I’m sure. But tourist appeal? Nah. The RF definitely adds to our world ‘status’ and image, and definitely brings money here. As much as they cost to maintain? I don’t know. But they should definitely be few in number and putting the hours in being regal, and not be maintained if they CBA or disgrace themselves. Can’t have it both ways.

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donquixotedelamancha · 22/09/2022 12:24

And how would you deal with the problem of free loaders? Under this system, you’d have to force everyone to buy one subscription or the other.

That's fine, it's how it works now. Don't forget that most people want to pay for the experience of being subjects, not merely citizens and it really doesn't cost that much compared to, say, a sky subscription.

The elected HoS would be the lowest cost option providing only basic ceremonial duties. Unless the RF decide to cut costs.

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