However, the monarchy wins – VG

POPULAR: We are very lucky with the royal family we have, the VG commentator writes today. Here, King Harald and Queen Sonja are pictured on a three-day tour of the county in late August.

Republicans win a rational debate on which is the most modern form of government. Why is it still utopian to believe in anything other than the survival of the monarchy?


Less than 20 minutes ago

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The attention surrounding Queen Elizabeth’s death is nearly impossible to put into words.

The death of a 96-year-old woman has overshadowed everything and everyone in the news, and these are not exactly quiet times.

Now the transition from her to Charles is followed with suspicious eyes around the world.

A lot can be said about the monarchy, but the royals of the island kingdom certainly do not lack attention.

THIS SUMMER: Photographer Jane Barlow took this photo of then Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth during their visit to Scotland.

Things are a little quieter in this country, but interest in royalty is palpable among the Norwegian public as well. But somewhere in the flow of conversations about the royal house, a deeper question also regularly arises.

That of the legitimacy and existence of the monarchy.

In the Wergeland Hall of Litteraturhuset in Oslo, the “Republikken Norge” association recently invited a “congress of the republic”.

On the agenda were topics such as “Does Norway have a full-fledged democracy?”, “Can monarchies be real democracies?” and “Why isn’t there a serious discussion about the form of government in Norway?”.

The gang behind the event should be credited for the effort, because these basic questions are obviously relevant.

Princess Ingrid Alexandra and the royal family photographed at the Oslo Palace in June.

However, there are few who are less likely to be successful than those who are fighting to abolish the monarchy in this country.

117 years ago there was a referendum on the form of government after the dissolution of the union. The majority for the monarchy was overwhelming, although some votes were likely due to tactical considerations. If we were to do the same exercise today, the realists would continue to sweep Republicans off the field.

A 2017 survey showed this 80 percent of Norwegians upholds the status quo. Until January of this year, NRK led A survey between 16-20 year olds, with almost as high support for the system we have.

In other words, the position of the royal family is rock solid among the people.

But why does it stay that way, given how easy it is, after all, to sustain fundamental change?

THE CELEBRATION: Princess Ingrid Alexandra and King Harald at the government holiday event in connection with the princess’s official day in June.

Of course, “blue blood” is an illusion if we look at the facts purely analytically. There is nothing genetically, verifiable, exalted in the princely line of Glücksburg, or in any other family that has a royal stamp.

They are human beings of flesh and blood, just like the rest of us.

Therefore, there is something fundamentally illogical and obsolete about the transfer of such a crucial social position through inheritance, in which an heir to the throne only has to be born to reach rank.

Still, that’s how we want it.

While church membership decreases from year to year, which can be interpreted as a greater secularization of a modern society, another traditional institution is therefore much more protected.

ON TOUR: King Harald and Queen Sonja on a county tour to Møre and Romsdal in late August.

One explanation is that we are very lucky with the royal family we have and that the royal couple have managed to carry on the legacy of King Olav in an exemplary way.

Another is that we know what we have and not what we get, and it can be easier to generate feelings for royalty than for a president of any kind.

Probably the key is right here: this question goes straight to the heart of what touches us emotionally.

There are probably many of us who are in the boat that I am in, as a form of non-practicing Republican. It is surprisingly easy to live with, and even more so, a form of government that you are in principle against.

Some battles are more important than others to fight, and in the queue of things to spend energy on, truly fighting for the republic is at the bottom of the list.

But it will be interesting to see what effect it will have on the monarchy as a form of government, now that the world’s most famous royal family has changed its mind.

Queen Elizabeth was in many ways the very archetype of something royal, and with 70 years on the throne she gave stability and credibility to the institution.

We do not know how much this was about her and how much the monarchy as such, and it is an open question as to how Charles will function in the role of king.

It would have been interesting, therefore, if the change of throne eventually led to a more general discussion on such a fundamental issue as the form of government. But the likelihood of this happening to some extent seems small.

Inheriting a position in this way will never be modern or easy to objectively argue, but you shouldn’t neglect inherited traditions and identity.

And perhaps it is better that not everything in the world is governed by logic.


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