The Royal Wedding: A rare reminder of the royals' trivial impact on New Zealand

Opinion 15/05/2018
Photo: RTS.

By Graeme Hill, host of Weekend Variety Wireless

OPINION: The occasion of a middle-order royal wedding provokes a lot of thoughts and feelings surrounding monarchy and New Zealand’s place in it. What a lot of silly fuss over a couple of toffs.  

Why don’t we grow up and become a republic?

An unelected and arguably unqualified part-time resident of Westminster, who is precisely half a world away, runs our head of state.

A fair question but a more grown-up question is what ills would be cured by getting rid of her and her offspring? Is it just a mild disquiet at being looked down upon or are there real problems intrinsic to our constitutional monarchy?

A royal wedding is actually one of those few occasions that acts as a reminder we even have one. The fact that we need a reminder every now and then speaks volumes for the real impact the royal family have on us and that is - bugger all.

What a lot of silly fuss over a couple of toffs.

Not broken. Don’t fix. More hassle than it’s worth. I’ll cite just one thing that would be a major hassle that those promoting a republic almost always ignore.

The Treaty of Waitangi.

It’s with The Crown. Any authority it has would evaporate. We could get around it, sure, but anybody feel like taking that on just to feel better?

People love a show and the royal wedding will likely be one. I’m going to watch it for the Archbishop of Canterbury (Justin Welby) finally having to say what he’s supposed to believe. There’ll be a lot of Jesus stuff, “the sure and certain knowledge of Christ’s resurrection and return to Earth” and so on. When asked directly of his home turf he equivocates, or at least the last one did and I assume they’re singing off the same psalm sheet.

Just another thought. This Royal Family are often regarded as a relatively fresh German import, which they are, but one can trace a direct blood line right back to the original House Of Wessex (Egbert, Aethelwulf, Alfred et al). That is, if you play fair with the sexes and take on a couple of chicanes around Henry VII & William The Bastard.

His son Henry also fixed things somewhat by marrying a Saxon princess, Matilda, daughter of Margaret, sister of the last rightful ruler, Edgar the Aetheling who was quite a dude you likely haven’t heard of.

Then again, if you have any European ancestry at all you’re probably related as well, your majesty. 

Graeme Hill is the host of Weekend Variety Wireless