The Instigator
Con (against)
9 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

The Royal Family are an asset to the UK

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Post Voting Period
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after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/1/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,723 times Debate No: 19604
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)




First round is acceptance. Preferably my opponent will be British or have a fair knowledge of the topic.
I hope this shall be a fun and interesting debate.


I accept this debate. I am not of British citizenship or ancestry but I am currently studying British Government (as part of politics in general) at the University of Miami. I would be happy to debate this :)
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting this debate, I hope it will be a good one. This is my first debate on this website (although I have debated in school where the style was slightly different) but I will try my best.

Firstly a few definitions which I hope you will agree on, then we can get started.

Asset: A useful or valuable thing, person, or quality.
Benefit: An advantage or profit gained from something. May be social, political or economical.
Democracy: A form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives.
Monarchy: A form of government with a sovereign head of state eg. a King or Queen.
The Royal Family refers to the current Windsor family, with Queen Elizabeth II at the head.

If there are any other terms you wish to define or clarify please state them in your response.

Main arguments against the Royal Family being an asset to the UK:

1) The UK calls itself a democracy. This means that every adult citizen (besides those in prison or mentally disabled) can vote to elect the people it wants to represent themselves. This is done by means of an elected parliament. To have a Royal Family having powers by hereditary birthright undermines this. We did not vote for them to be there, and we have no say over whether we still want them there.

2) The Monarchy is outdated and no longer necessary. Britain no longer has an empire nor holds many of the values it had in place when the monarch was first instated. Times have changed and we need to move with this. An example of this is in the Royal Family where men have priority to the throne over female siblings. In the UK today, men and women are equal in almost all aspects of life, and they should be in politics too.

3) Britain is a multi-cultural society and that is not represented in the Royal Family. There has never been an ethnic minority in the Royal Family and I dare say it's unlikely we will see one in the near future. There have also been instances of racism in the Royal Family, to mention a couple a) Prince Harry dressing up as a Nazi for a party, which was meant as a joke but caused public outcry. b) Prince Philip on his China state visit in 1986 saying "If you stay here much longer, you'll all be slitty-eyed".
This is likely to offend many British citizens and is simply not acceptable, no matter if it was meant light-heartedly or not.

4) The Royal Family cost billions each year, which is funded by taxpayers. Some claim that they give this back in what we earn from their tourism. However, there is little evidence for this at all and Royal residences account for less than 1% of total tourist revenue. There is some speculation that even if the Royal Family were no longer in power, the tourism would still be there from the history they have given us.

5) Because of some of the terrible acts Britain committed during the British Empire (slave trade, slaughtering Indian civilians), it is offensive to the residents of those countries to have the Queen as their head of state. We do not need the commonwealth for trade as have our main exports partners in the Eurozone and United States which are mainly political alliances formed by bonds between our Prime Ministers - the Royal Family is not needed for that.


I look forward to your response.


I agree to the Con's definitions

1) You claim that UK calls itself a Democracy but many sources classify the UK as a Constitutional Monarchy combined with a Parliamentary system, so it is essentially a hybrid of monarchy and democracy,

The monarchy exists only as a celebrated figurehead, the actual influence the royal family has on passing laws exists through the Prime Minister, who represents the monarchy, and the Prime Minister is appointed by the monarchy while the rest of Parliament is elected by the people. The power of the Prime Minister is primarily to guides the law-making process within the Parliament, he does not have veto powers like the US president has.

To summarize the monarchy allows for democracy to thrive I the UK, and the royal family doesnt have supreme executive power, they exist as a figurehead.

2) The Monarchy in the UK existed more than just to run an empire. The monarchy reminds British people of their roots and where they came from and inspires patriotism among British citizens whether they live in the UK today or in the British empire in the past. Just because it is old doesn't mean it should be thrown away, should we get rid of the US national anthem because it is old?

The Monarchy does serve a purpose, they are very important factors in international politics and international negotiations, they inspire patriotism among British people, and the monarchy is there to lead people through hard times. In "The King's Speech" for example the Monarchy was central into leading the British people into and through the darkness of WWII, without them British people would have been less inspired and hopeful while facing the Nazi's.

Also consider the death of the sweet Princess Diana in 1997 was a tragedy for the UK because she was an idolized and beloved figure in the Monarchy to the British people and to the world over. Her wedding was televised to 750 MILLION people, twice the size of the entire US :O. When she died the world mourned, but it was the Royal Family who helped lead people past her tragic death and to continue on with their lives.

The royal family doesnt inspire just the UK, in fact the royal family is recognized as royalty by many nations, Antigua, Barbuda, Australia, Canada, Belieze, Granada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, etc all respect the royal family and see them as royalty. The Royal family not only serves a purpose to the UK, but to many parts f the entire world.

Lastly Men no longer have priority over women, that was actually changed very recently along with other archaic laws.

3) The royal family isnt always perfect, nobody is.... We havent had one president who was completely perfect does that men we should have gotten rid of them when they were in power? I certainly dont think so.

FDR for example at the start of WWII put Japanese Americans into camps, should we have immediately done away with him because he made a mistake even though he had done so much good for the country?

Also consider that these were just minor instances of racism. I doubt that the Prince's actually believe in the Nazi ideology or that people who go to china end up looking Chinese, it is just an instance of poor word choice that the media fed on.

4) " The Royal Family cost billions each year"
Price of the royal family = 60 million dollars (35 million British pounds)

The UK has a population of 62 million people, so financing the royal family per taxpayer literally cost less than 1 British Pound Sterling per person, so it is entirely manageable to maintain the royal family in Britain. Tourism generates well over 100 million dollars in the UK anyway so the economic footprint the Royal Family has on the UK is entirely manageable.

5) Those were dark times in history for humanity, but that was the economic system of slave labor that caused that, not the Royal Family, The Royal Family was also in existence when WWI broke out, but they didnt cause that either. Also the Royal family doesnt authorize or maintain trade between nations, therefore they do not pose any sort of "problem" to the trade system like you said. Why get rid of something that does not hinder trade?
Debate Round No. 2


1) But surely to be a true democracy we should vote for who we want as our figurehead? Also, the Queen does have political power - she can enact legislation, sign treaties and declare war. She may also choose the Prime Minister and refuse a government's request to dissolve parliament and call an election. Some of these are quite serious responsibilities, and to have an unelected figure in charge of them is potentially harmful to democracy.

2) Firstly, I am of the opinion that patriotism isn't a good thing (although that's a separate debate all together), but also that we have other things in our past and our present to be proud of. If the Royal Family lost power, would we all suddenly forget our country's history? Highly unlikely.

Yes, a lot of people mourned when Princess Diana died and it was highly publicized (just like Bin Laden's death was highly publicized, doesn't mean people were necessarily sad about it...) but that is not a reason to keep them in power. A lot of the younger generation do not care for the Royal Family much - older generations do because it is traditional. But traditions change and we shouldn't avoid change just in case it offends people. The fact of the matter is we have never asked everyone if they want a Royal Family in the UK, let alone all the other countries mentioned, so we can never know if they value it or not.

Okay, the rule has been changed about male succession but the fact it has only just changed shows that the values of the Royal Family are far behind that of the rest of the UK, where women began to gain equal rights some 40 years ago.

3) No, they are not perfect and perhaps they were just minor instances of racism but I can guarantee you if it were the Prime Minister who had done it, a lot more serious action would have been taken. You simply cannot get away with things like that in the UK nowadays.

4) The figures you have stated are inaccurate. Clearly not all 62 million UK citizens are taxpayers - under 18s and those from low income households do not pay income tax, unemployed do not pay national insurance tax etc.
You state that tourism generates over 100 million dollars in the UK - but how much of this is generated from the Royal Family? We do not really know, but as I said before Royal Residences account for less than 1% of tourist revenue.

Estimates for the price of the Royal wedding (Prince William and Kate) differ but one source here says the cost to the economy is about 5 billion, with a gain of 1 billion.

In such hard economic times, all public services are facing cuts which are extremely detrimental to the well-being of our people - largely affecting the poorest households the most - as well as our economy. Surely an easier thing to cut would be the Royal Family?

5) They may not have directly caused it but they are largely associated with it - they had a lot more power back then. The trade point was meant to say that they do not benefit it (some people claim we need the commonwealth for trade).


1) In a true democracy every person in the nation gets one vote. The UK has a representative democracy where the people vote to have other politicians represent them in law making and law voting. In a true democracy not only would the monarchy be done away with, but so would parliament and any governing body whose politicians were elected by voters and are not voters themselves.

As for the Queen, she can only propose legislation to Parliament, and the treaties she signs and wars she declares must also be ratified by Parliament. That does not give the Queen or the Monarchy any dire authority over governing the UK like you claim.

2) If the Royal Family lost power than millions of Britons would be severely demoralized because Britons love their royal family. the loss of the royal family would be a loss of Britons roots and past, not all of it but a very good part of it and you seem to have overlooked that

Lots of Britons, young and old, love and support having the Royal Family.

Even if they are a tad late, the change in laws does show that the UK royal family does change over time for the better, contrary to what you had claimed before.

3) So we agree that the Royal Family is not racist and are only human, like Britons themselves.

4) Fine then lets cut the number in half,
30 million Britons to finance a royal family that costs 35 million British pounds a year, about 1.2 British pounds per Briton to finance the Royal Family.

A British Pound is just less than $4 American Dollars, do you think that $4 a year for each taxpaying citizen is too much of a burden?

As for the tourism/economy argument, I have shown that the Royal family does contribute to the economy and does not leave a large economic footprint when it comes down to numbers. The Royal Family costs 35 million a year but Great Britain spends about 700 BILLION pounds a year....

So the Royal Family only takes up 35 / 700,000 or....


Seems manageable to me....

Let me summarize this here,
The Royal Family is an asset to the UK because
1) They are instrumental in foreign negotiations, politics, agreements, etc.
2) They lead the UK through difficult times
3) They make up a very marginal amount of total spending in the Uk (less than 1% of 1%....)
4) They do not hinder any kind of trade
5) They are really a figurehead
6) British people love them and therefore their removal would do harm to the patriotism of Britons
7) They do not have supreme utter authority over lawmaking in the UK
8) They do not hinder the practice of democracy in the UK

I Thank the voters for reading and I thank the Con for a very interesting debate :D
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by imabench 5 years ago
darkkermit see #1 and #2 of my last round, i think that counts as an asset....
Posted by logicrules 5 years ago
define asset.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Mr.Infidel 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter vote bomb.
Vote Placed by logicrules 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro contradicted himself and claimed reliable a nonexistent constitution,"Constitutional monarchy".
Vote Placed by darkkermit 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Based on the resolution, PRO had the BOP to show that the royal family is an asset to the UK. PRO did not fulfill the BOP and only showed that royal family might not be harmful.