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Are constitutional monarchies still relevant in the 21st century?

In countries like UK or Spain, where monarchies have no longer real power, what is their role in the XXI century? Should they be abolished? Or are they really important in preserving the country's customs, political unity and representation abroad?

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  • Aug 4 2012: What do you guys think about the economic implications? Taxpayers contributing to their lavish lifestyles? But, they attract tourism, and are a whole industry on their own. For instance, Monaco was saved from economic disaster when Prince Rainier married Grace Kelly and the whole world turned to them, going there to spend millions, and helped to create this tiny paradise that it is today. What do you think?
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      Aug 4 2012: The British love their monarchy and it appears that they also support them financially. As I understand it Canada merely sends wedding presents and gives welcoming gifts but foots the bill for their trips here. We also have one royal (A Canadian girl who married in). and their child is in the line of succession.
      • Aug 4 2012: debra, how do you feel about your tax dollars being spent on this people's trips?
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          Aug 4 2012: We are discussing one of the richest families in the world and I feel strongly that they are able to pay their own way and someof our own poor should have the advantage of that money being spent on them or in support of things that benefit us all. They do not generate revenue through tourism here, I do not believe, Juan.
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          Aug 5 2012: I strongly agree with Debra. As she said, the British are fond of their monarchy and the Queen is a remarkable person. Although we all have long ago outgrown fairy tales of princesses and knights, I think monarchies are still surrounded by a certain romantic aura -- and the values they represent live on. I think Monaco definitely is a great example for that (a Cinderella tale).

          I also think that royal families are able to pay their bills with their own money and I highly doubt that taxpayers' money is spent on royal d├ęcor. As for tourism... why not? People travel everywhere and anywhere to see the most amazing buildings and to attend the most stupid events. It's great that we are curious to see what's out there, what's going on in the world. I wouldn't say no to a guided tour through the royal palace... :)

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