Tag Archives: royal family

My advice to Meghan

In the spirit of the 12 Days of Christmas, which end tomorrow on January 5th, here are 12 bits of advice I’d offer our future royal family member. I myself married into the establishment 23 years ago from across the pond – a different sort of establishment, but nevertheless, the esteemed role of being an Oxford don’s wife.

  1. No matter how long you live here, people will hear your accent first. Not your words or what you’re saying, your accent. So just accept that you will always be ‘that American Harry married.’
  2. Keep your sense of humour. The British are

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Harry and Meghan are getting married. Vince is happy for them…

As a mixed race person, once divorced and a Catholic, I think that Meghan Markle will add a bit of diversity to our Royal Family, and she seems pretty grounded (she’ll need to be with our tabloid press!).

Vince Cable has added his thoughts via Twitter;

But what do our readers think? Over to you, everyone…

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 32 Comments

Royal indiscretion

This week it was reported in the Times that President Reuven Rivlin of Israel had invited the Royal Family to send a representative to the country this year to celebrate a hundred years since the Balfour Declaration.  There is intense speculation in the Israeli press now that the Royal Family might break its longstanding reluctance to visit Israel officially.  It would clearly invite controversy to visit a country in such flagrant breach of international law – defying the United Nations with its illegal settlements, child detention, blockade of Gaza and marginalisation of its ethnic minorities.  The Balfour Declaration, as well as promising a home for the Jewish peoples, also promised that the rights of the Palestinians must be protected.  This was ‘a sacred trust of civilisation’ under Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations which Britain took on when it accepted the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. We betrayed that sacred trust and, until that trust is redeemed, the Balfour Declaration should not be celebrated.  A petition to the Queen’s Private Secretary to discourage such a visit is circulating.

The idea that the Royal Family would give any sort of endorsement or honour to the State of Israel this year sadly fits with a pattern of inadvisable steps that have been taken in the last couple of years.  The weekend before her infamous visit to the White House, Theresa May told Andrew Marr that it was up to the Queen whether President Trump was invited to Buckingham Palace this year.  Within days she had extended an invitation on the Queen’s behalf, which was of course accepted, to great public outcry in the UK.  American presidents crave the publicity that goes with a State Visit to the UK – remember Ronald Reagan on horseback with HM at Windsor.  Normally US Presidents must wait until their third year in office – if indeed they get one at all.  That gives them a chance to show that they are a good friend to the UK and frankly deserve it.  George H Bush never had one at all.  Donald Trump hasn’t done anything for the UK yet, and is a major potential threat to the world order.  His visit, if it happens anytime soon, will be highly controversial and will embroil the Royal Family in politics.  It was unwise of the Palace to go along with Theresa May in approving Trump’s visit in his first year.

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Majority of Lib Dem members back monarchy – but 40% would prefer UK to become a Republic

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 600 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

44% want Charles as King, 9% prefer Wills: 40% want neither

Thinking about the future monarch, which of the following would you prefer?
Prince Charles - Some rights reserved by University Hospitals Birmingham

    44% – Prince Charles should succeed as King after Queen Elizabeth II

    9% – Prince William should succeed as King after Queen Elizabeth II instead of Prince Charles

    40% – Neither – there should be no monarch after Queen Elizabeth II

    6% – Don’t know

By 53% to 40%, our sample of Lib Dem members opt for monarchy over a republic. As ever, though, those headline figures include a span of opinion revealed in the comments.

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments

Nick Clegg on the Royal birth: “Good news to make the whole country smile”

Here’s how Lib Dem MPs responded to the news of the new addition to the Royal Family…

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments

An Open Letter to The New Prince

Dear Your Highness,
Kate and William
Congratulations on being born! It’s the first universal experience you’ll share in common with your subjects-to-be. From now on, your life and the lives of the 2,000 other babies born in the UK today will begin to diverge. You probably won’t notice this happen for a good, long while (nor will they). But, eventually, one day it will hit you: your life has been marked out to be different from the very start.

The reason is simple. It’s not just that, as every media outlet informs us, ‘the

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged | 31 Comments

Opinion: We should all be born equal

Royal familyOf course the birth of a baby is a joyous occasion and only the most cold-hearted of person would fail to wish any new parents and their newborn well.

But, that having been said, today’s sycophantic media coverage of the Duchess of Cambridge’s going into labour has shown, yet again, that all too many journalists appear to lose their critical faculties when it comes to anything Royal.

They seem to forget that polls consistently show that a sizeable percentage of the population support a democratic alternative to the Monarchy, a Republic.

I feel …

Posted in Op-eds | 20 Comments

LDVideo: Nick Clegg – Public won’t back Queen yacht idea

Conservative cabinet minister Michael Gove’s suggestion that a new royal yacht should be “a gift from the nation to her majesty” on the occasion of her diamond jubilee earned diplomatically short shrift from Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg today:

Posted in News and YouTube | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Overwhelming public support to end sexism in Royal succession

Last month Nick Clegg took up the issue which Lynne Featherstone and Evan Harris had previously been pushing, namely changing the rules of Royal succession so that men and women are treated equally, rather than men being given preference over women.

One of YouGov’s post-Royal Wedding questions was about Royal primogeniture and found overwhelming backing for the change:

Currently male children of the monarch take precedence over female children in terms of the succession. Do you think men and women should be treated equally in the line of succession to the throne?

Should 76%
Should not 14%
Don’t know 10%

A slightly different

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What Lib Dem members will be doing to celebrate the Royal Wedding. (Mostly delivering leaflets, it seems.)

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 530 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

Bank Holiday? If you’re a Lib Dem it’s just another Leaflet Delivery Day…

With Royal Wedding obsession reaching fever-picth in some parts of the media, LDV asked: Which, if any, of the following are you planning to do for the Royal Wedding later this month?

    5% – Attend a street party
    1% – Watch the wedding procession in London
    25% –

Posted in LDV Members poll | 13 Comments

In other news… Croatian justice, the monarchy, death penalty impeded and elections news

More good news on the increasing reach of international justice: “Two Croatian military leaders have been convicted of atrocities against Serbs during the break up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s” (BBC)

Both Lynne Featherstone and Evan Harris have previously pushed for the rules of royal succession to be changed to remove the precedence given to males over females. As Lynne has put it previously, the monarchy is about symbolism – so it should have the right symbolism. Now Nick Clegg is also on the case: “Mr Clegg, who is responsible for constitutional reform, told the BBC the issue …

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Huge public support for removing sex discrimination in royal inheritance

With the Royal Family very much in the news at the moment, a recent YouGov poll asked if people thought the rules favouring men over women when it comes to succeeding to the throne should be changed:

Currently male children of the monarch takeprecedence over female children in terms of thesuccession. Do you think men and women shouldbe treated equally in the line of succession to the throne?

Should 70%
Should not 17%

Both Lynne Featherstone and Evan Harris took up this issue in the last Parliament, with Lynne getting widespread media coverage for her mini-campaign and commenting:

For me the basic

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The Independent View: Liberals must embrace republicanism

Ever since the notorious Whig party, and her revolutionary platform, liberals have always embraced the very notion of constitutional reform and the democratic defence of Britain. The modern paladin of liberalism, Nick Clegg and his colleagues, must now take up the challenge and argue the formation of a British Republic.

The Monarchy is old-fashioned, undemocratic, unrepresentative of society, and lumpen. Prince Charles’ ambition to be a “political Monarch” not only violates the constitutional monarchy, but undermines the sovereignty of Parliament. Labour’s administration remains silent, as Prince Charle damages construction projects, and contradicts government health and environmental policy. Monarchists need to understand the concept that no member of the Royal household can give a public political opinion. It’s against the constitution.

To declaim the monarchy, and advocate its removal, is still a political taboo. But the threat of King Charles III should be challenged, especially if this individual is proclaiming the introduction of a political king. Britain cannot afford to turn back 400 years of reform by refusing to question the accountability of the monarchy.

Ask to see Her Majesty’s accounts or even the financial status of the Duchy of Cornwall? Notice the wall of silence and the refusal to announce basic, fundamental details. The public expressed deep anguish and antipathy towards Members of Parliament and their expenses, but what about the royal family?

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 25 Comments

Evan: Labour has dealt serious blow to reform of the monarchy

Even as the Prime Minister was, according to the headlines, proving his commmitment to ‘ending anomaly of royal ban on Catholics’, his Government was conspiring to ‘talk out’ Dr Evan Harris’s private member’s bill reforming the right of succession and the laws preventing the monarch marrying a Catholic. Evan was not amused:

Despite the spin from the Prime Minister about amending religious and sexual discrimination in our constitution being a higher priority, the Government has dealt a serious blow to the prospects of reform by talking out my Bill. Jack Straw was asked three times to provide either a timetable,

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Stormin’ Norman on the warpath again

That tireless Parliamentary terrier, Lib Dem MP Norman Baker, has been doing what he does best, once again: demanding answers to awkward questions. The man who forced Peter Mandelson to quit the cabinet last time around has now turned his attention to two new bete-noires:

1) Gordon Brown’s refusal to answer questions, which The Guardian’s Politics Blog notes – here’s what Norman said to the House of Commons, courtesy of Hansard:

The issue of openness is crucial for democracy. We touched on it in the previous debate about MPs’ expenses. After all my years in politics, both

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Evan and David: showing what liberalism is all about

There are times it’s good to be a Liberal Democrat. Take, for example, last December’s Private Members’ Bills ballot for the 2008-09 Parliamentary session. Four Lib Dem MPs were drawn in the top 20, with David Heath and Evan Harris in the top five. David announced the subject of his bill last week: ending fuel poverty.

And yesterday, as widely trailed in the media, Evan announced what he would devote his bill to – reversing centuries of discrimination against Catholics and women under the Act of Settlement and other enactments. Here’s an excerpt from Evan’s press …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , and | 21 Comments

Opinion: We should not be offended by keeping our noses out of other people’s business

Last weekend’s media was dominated by the earth shattering news that Prince Harry called a fellow soldier in the Pakistani army a “Paki”. The press have hounded him, people have accused him of racism, and the soldier’s father has spoken of his offence too.

As if this “race row” wasn’t enough to shock you to your very core, we learn that Prince Charles has been calling an Asian friend of his, Kuldip (Anglicised to Kolin in some reports) Dhillon, “Sooty” as a nickname for years without anyone taking offence at it.

As a society, we British are offended way …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments
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