This cartoon – taken from my daily newspaper on Queen’s day – visualises the humor of the Dutch situation, where the consent of the governed does battle with the divine right of kings. There is the queen, as always glued into a too-large hat and seconded by the Family Members on duty. Then there is us, the people. We are the ones wearing the crown(s )- inflatable ones to fit the occasion, underscoring Debord’s notions on the society of the spectacle. For this is what the monarchy has become: a spectacle.

Underscoring this are the following quotes from the article  the foundations of monarchy have disappeared (Trouw, 30 april 2011):

“It seems awkward for a monarch to have the continuation of his role depend on his popularity. This seems to be the case nowadays. Main cause for this, I think, is that the monarchy has no real power any more. We’ve been saddled with a powerless monarch for more than a century and a half; one of these days the memory of what a real king can do for his country will dissappear.”

” HJ Schoo calls the monarchy a ‘hollow institution’, because it has become dependant on the person and the performance of the monarch and her family. The King … has the rather tiresome task to renew his mandate time and again, like a politician or a pop star. This permanent popularity poll leads to a trivialised monarchy … The royal house is embedded in the ‘high society’, the ‘jet-set’, the ‘rich and famous’.

I propose a democratically elected king – every adult can put himself forward, including the members of the former royal house. Let’s make it a 5 year tenure .. after which period the king will be happy to become a normal citizen again.”  Whis is not meant as a joke: “until the late Middle Ages his was a common practice in the European countries

Everdien Breken koninginnedag geen kroning 11 30042011




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