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Old 4th December 2012, 07:07 PM   #1
Puppycow
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Why do Americans obsess so much about the British Royals?

I realize that this post probably makes me sound like an old man yelling at the kinds on his lawn, but I don't get it.

Morning shows go crazy over royal pregnancy

Quote:
Call it morning-show sickness: Both “Today” and “Good Morning America” appear to have gone a little mad over the news that Prince William and his wife Catherine, the duchess of Cambridge, are expecting a child.

“GMA” lifestyle anchor Lara Spencer was whisked off to London to cover the story, an assignment that mostly involved standing in front of Buckingham Palace while holding up British newspapers and fighting for space with gawking tourists. According to a report in the Guardian, Spencer wasn’t alone: ABC sent an 11-person production crew to London to cover the royal pregnancy. “GMA” also devoted several in-studio segments to the news, which made Spencer’s international journey seem all the more unnecessary.

But “GMA” was by no means the only show suffering from baby-induced madness – if anything, “Today” had an even more acute case of the illness. The show dispatched news anchor Natalie Morales to cover the story from London, though unlike Spencer at least she was lucky enough to score a prime spot in front of King Edward VII Hospital, where Kate was admitted Monday for treatment of hyperemesis gravidarum.

And just in case that wasn’t enough, “Today” also spent most of the broadcast speculating about the royal fetus – including the as-yet-unborn child’s name and gender, what kind of life he or she will lead and whether Kate is expecting twins.

For good measure, “Today” even had two of their own personalities, Ben Fogle and Camilla Tominey, camped out in front of Buckingham Palace, where they weighed in with some truly expert analysis.
There are also many thousands of articles on the internet about this subject. I'm not saying it shouldn't be reported at all, but the coverage seems way out of proportion to the importance of the event.

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Old 4th December 2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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I'm frankly amazed that they haven't been killed by their subjects yet. When are you people going to say "enough already"? Most Americans I know don't give two ***** about them. Of course, most Americans I know don't own television machines either.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:19 PM   #3
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I don't really get it either.

But I don't get the obsession with celebrities in general. And despite their loss of power over the years, the British royals are definitely celebrities.

British celebrities (unsurprisingly) seem to run right behind Americans in the eyes of the public; think Princess Di/William & Kate, David & Posh Beckham, the Beatles even to this day, and a long list of actors and actresses.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I realize that this post probably makes me sound like an old man yelling at the kinds on his lawn, but I don't get it.

Morning shows go crazy over royal pregnancy



There are also many thousands of articles on the internet about this subject. I'm not saying it shouldn't be reported at all, but the coverage seems way out of proportion to the importance of the event.


USAmericans realize they went a bit too far in 1776 and are trying to pretend it never happend. And are going a bit too far in the effort.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
I'm frankly amazed that they haven't been killed by their subjects yet. When are you people going to say "enough already"? Most Americans I know don't give two ***** about them. Of course, most Americans I know don't own television machines either.
Why would their "subjects" kill them? Their "subjects" aren't subject to them, the Crown as Head of State is little more than a figurehead with no real powers left, and the Royal Estates are paying far more to the Government that the stippend that the Government pays back.

On top of that as a Commonwealth we don't have to worry about Presidential elections with people spending billions of dollars to try and grab power and sway the country's politics all while taking the attention away from the real Government.
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Old 4th December 2012, 07:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
Of course, most Americans I know don't own television machines either.
That would be a really unusual part of America. Although there seems to be a recent trend to not own a TV, but still the vast majority do have one.

Ownership of TV Sets Falls in U.S

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For the first time in 20 years, the number of homes in the United States with television sets has dropped.

The Nielsen Company, which takes TV set ownership into account when it produces ratings, will tell television networks and advertisers on Tuesday that 96.7 percent of American households now own sets, down from 98.9 percent previously.

There are two reasons for the decline, according to Nielsen. One is poverty: some low-income households no longer own TV sets, most likely because they cannot afford new digital sets and antennas.

The other is technological wizardry: young people who have grown up with laptops in their hands instead of remote controls are opting not to buy TV sets when they graduate from college or enter the work force, at least not at first. Instead, they are subsisting on a diet of television shows and movies from the Internet.
They still watch video entertainment, but on computers over the internet rather than on a TV.
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Old 4th December 2012, 08:08 PM   #7
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OK, I'll weigh in as a historian who was born to a pair of broke Southern teenagers.

It's about ownership. Americans are interested in royals because they want the capacity to own people. Americans are also very ignorant about our history.
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Old 4th December 2012, 08:46 PM   #8
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Puppy cow, the media goes gaga.

How many Americans do you know personally who actually care?

I'd guess the number is dropping each year ...
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Old 4th December 2012, 08:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
That would be a really unusual part of America. Although there seems to be a recent trend to not own a TV, but still the vast majority do have one.
.
I'm exaggerating, but in all honesty, most of the people I know either don't get cable or broadcast television in their homes or don't watch it if they do. Most people I know choose their content from the computer. There is still much staring at screens though.

I do notice a lot of television presence in public places, and people seem to be annoyed by it.


But back to the original question, certain items get ridiculous amounts of coverage in spite of the fact that most viewers don't really care about it, or if they do care it's only because of the ridiculous amount of coverage.
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Old 4th December 2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I realize that this post probably makes me sound like an old man yelling at the kinds on his lawn, but I don't get it.

There are also many thousands of articles on the internet about this subject. I'm not saying it shouldn't be reported at all, but the coverage seems way out of proportion to the importance of the event.

Just what "kinds" do you dislike being on your lawn? Hmmmm...

Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
I'm frankly amazed that they haven't been killed by their subjects yet. When are you people going to say "enough already"? Most Americans I know don't give two ***** about them. Of course, most Americans I know don't own television machines either.
There's simply no reason to kill off the monarchy. We're not talking here about absolute monarchs riding roughshod over the peasantry, periodically shooting them and then complaining in their diaries that the muffins were a tad overcooked this morning. We're talking about, well...mikedenk pretty much nails it.

Originally Posted by mikedenk View Post
I don't really get it either.

But I don't get the obsession with celebrities in general. And despite their loss of power over the years, the British royals are definitely celebrities.

British celebrities (unsurprisingly) seem to run right behind Americans in the eyes of the public; think Princess Di/William & Kate, David & Posh Beckham, the Beatles even to this day, and a long list of actors and actresses.
Exactly, the Royal family are celebrities. Everyone's favourite granny, the dear ol' Queen and her batty consort whose un-PC pronouncements are smirked at. She had a bit of a wobbly stage, when the uber-celebrity of the cult, Princess Di, the blimmin' Queen of 'earts, got squished in Paris tunnel and she was seen not showing enough whiny weepy histrionics unlike the emotionally unstable majority of the country. But as she's game enough to turn up to a series of rock concerts in her honour, with James Bond and Paul McCartney and the celebrity aristocracy, the country still bladdy lavvs the dear ol' bird.

Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
Puppy cow, the media goes gaga.

How many Americans do you know personally who actually care?

I'd guess the number is dropping each year ...
My guess is that stupid, lazy media hacks can get this kind of "news" for free. As Nick Davies pointed out, just as the stupid, lazy British press knew they could have stories about OJ Simpson, who was almost unknown in Britain and famed mostly for playing a sport that almost nobody in Britain cares at all about, without doing anything more than watching CNN and regurgitating what comes out, so the stupid, lazy American press can do the same about Bill and Kate's foetus/foetuses by running everything the BBC and Daily Mail report and filling up the schedules and column inches without having to do any real reporting themselves.

Of course, there has to be some demand to pull it off in the first place, but by shovelling it out on a daily basis, the hope is presumably that the demand grows.
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Old 4th December 2012, 09:07 PM   #11
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I had television (sat, then cable) from 2000 until 2004. Before that, I think it was in the early 90's. Since then, not at all.

Haven't missed a thing. When I do watch TV in hotel rooms, it drives me absolutely crazy. The quality of the programming is down, and the ratio of commercials to programming is insane. I'm not ADD, but I can't make myself pay attention to a show in 5- or 7-minute chunks every 10-15 minutes. How anyone can stand it is a mystery to me.

I have watched some cable programs either online or at a friend's house. The Rome miniseries several years ago was the last. But since then, when I've tried, I find the bottom third of the screen is taken up by animated advertisements of other shows. It's so annoying, I won't watch.

We do buy movies, but we're still stuck in the DVD days. If I want to see a Java player screw up, I don't need Blu-Ray, I can just try running anything using Java on my computer. And what happend to fast-forward, fast-rewind, freeze-frame, and step? Finding a spot on a Blu-Ray player is ridiculously difficult. You have play, stop, scroll leisurely, and leap available. The leaps are more or less completely blind, and half the time you have to restart because the audio won't sync after leaping.

And, er, you kids get off my lawn.

ETA: I have missed some things because I don't have TV. Until the scandal broke, I had never heard of JoePa or Sandusky. The last tennis player I followed was Jimmy Connors. I don't have any idea who the Kardashians (sp?) are, other than aliens on one of the Star Trek series. Various celebs I've never heard of seem to get into/out of jail or rehab in the same quantities and frequencies as when I was a kid, but I don't recognize or care about any of them. I've never see one of the so-called "reality" shows, of any kind. I followed a link to Honey BooBoo once, and am still recovering. In short, I don't think I've really missed anything at all. I spend my time studying, reading, writing, taking classes, running my business, doing homework with my kids, watching the occasional movie, and reading fora like this one. Why the hell I'd want to sit on the couch and watch entertainment tailored for those with an IQ of 85 is beyond me.

I'm probably misunderstanding some cultural meme. It's like when I first moved to Dallas, and every Monday people at work would ask if I'd caught the game. I had no idea at the time that football was played on a regular schedule, or that anyone would do anything other than change channels when running across it. It just didn't come up when I was a kid, except for one uncle (whom I detested) who insisted on watching the Packers on Thanksgiving afternoon.

So, yeah, stay off my lawn.

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Old 4th December 2012, 09:13 PM   #12
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1. We don't.

2. They get some attention for being celebrities, which is--or should be--totally understandable.

3. Why have the British allowed their monarchy to be transformed into yet another celebrity-based reality TV show?

4. On the Internet, "thousands of articles" about a celebrity isn't really saying much.

HTH. HAND.
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Old 4th December 2012, 09:38 PM   #13
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They're celebrities.

Beyond that I suppose there's somewhat of an amusement factor from the charming antiquatedness of it all. Rather like people at Renaissance fairs who take "staying in character" WAY too seriously.
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Old 4th December 2012, 09:43 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Darth Rotor View Post
Puppy cow, the media goes gaga.

How many Americans do you know personally who actually care?

I'd guess the number is dropping each year ...
Good point. With the whole media blitz about the "Royal Wedding" I only recall having three actual conversations about it, two of which were both of us wondering why the news was making such a big deal about it.
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Old 4th December 2012, 10:16 PM   #15
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Americans care about the Royal family for the same reason we care about other celebrities... because they're important.
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Old 5th December 2012, 12:22 AM   #16
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I don't think the American public actually give's a rat's ass about the royals, whether they marry or divorce, how many offspring they have, what they name them, etc...

The media has nothing to report on, right now. Do you expect them to actually tackle hard news? They need fluff like which presidential contender called what other presidential contender a liar.

Further, for the most part, I don't know many Brits who really give a crap, either. For the Royal Wedding (in upper case letters, puh-lease), I don't know anyone in the former colony of Hong Kong who stayed up late to watch it.

It's a humbling thought, indeed, that with their money and with the advances in medicine (and their gene pool which seems to allow for people growing VERY old), not a one of us discussing this on these boards right now is likely to be alive when this heir takes the throne. Liz looks like she's got at least a decade to go, maybe more. Call it 2022 to 2027. Charles will NOT step aside for William. Charlie's been groomed for five decades to be King and he damned well isn't going to pass it by, even if he only gets a piddly two to two-and-a-half decades to have his picture on the money. So William takes over in, say, 2050. The as yet unnamed offspring won't get to the throne until about 2070. At that point, I'll be 121 and the Rolling Stones will be doing their 273rd Farewell Tour.

I did like the radio poll back when the soon to be papa was expected. A radio station in cincinnati ha a call-in to pick the correct name. The winner was going to get tickets to some pop show. In second, third, fourth, etc... they had the names like Charles, Richard, William, Henry... but the winner was "Bubba".
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Old 5th December 2012, 12:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
.............the Royal Estates are paying far more to the Government that the stippend that the Government pays back..........
I'm not sure this is true. Could you point me to some figures?

My understanding is that their net worth to the country is positive because of the huge numbers of tourists they drag in, but I have never heard it said that they actually pay their way in terms of money in from their estates.

Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
I'm frankly amazed that they haven't been killed by their subjects yet. When are you people going to say "enough already"? ..........
As has been explained, they are utterly powerless figureheads. They're great for opening things....usually bridges and supermarkets, but Olympics too. No, their main reason for existing is to prevent us falling for the stupidity of having an elected politician with power as head of state.

Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
........ and her batty consort whose un-PC pronouncements are smirked at. ........
One of the rudest, most arrogant and most unpleasant people I have ever had the misfortune to meet.

Mike
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Old 5th December 2012, 01:06 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
I'm not sure this is true. Could you point me to some figures?

My understanding is that their net worth to the country is positive because of the huge numbers of tourists they drag in, but I have never heard it said that they actually pay their way in terms of money in from their estates.

The Crown Estate earns the UK about 250 million pounds a year in profits (after accounting for the running costs, which are paid back to the Sovereign). Not to mention the Crown Estates are worth about 7 BILLION Pounds and as long as the UK keeps the Monarchy it gets to keep the Crown Estates.

Then there's the tourism (not inconsiderable) on top of that.
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Old 5th December 2012, 01:08 AM   #19
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I think the reason for the fascination is that it's a fairy tale. Note that the biggest interests have been Diana and her antics, and now her children and the pretty new Duchess.

Americans grow up on the Disney romantic fantasy of princesses and princes, and in the Royal Family - when you have handsome/pretty young things getting married - you get that Disney fairytale in real life.
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Old 5th December 2012, 01:49 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
The Crown Estate earns the UK about 250 million pounds a year in profits (after accounting for the running costs, which are paid back to the Sovereign). Not to mention the Crown Estates are worth about 7 BILLION Pounds and as long as the UK keeps the Monarchy it gets to keep the Crown Estates.

Then there's the tourism (not inconsiderable) on top of that.
Who would the UK have to give the Crown Estates to if they got rid of the monarchy?
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Old 5th December 2012, 03:14 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
I'm frankly amazed that they haven't been killed by their subjects yet. When are you people going to say "enough already"? Most Americans I know don't give two ***** about them. Of course, most Americans I know don't own television machines either.
Why would we want to get rid of the best form of government, a constitutional monarchy? Bit odd that.
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Old 5th December 2012, 03:30 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by joesixpack View Post
I'm frankly amazed that they haven't been killed by their subjects yet. When are you people going to say "enough already"?
We tried that and ended up with a fundy running the country.
So we got rid of him and invited the previous lot back, who were almost as fundy, but in the other direction.
So we got rid of them again and replaced them with some Germans (via the Dutch). Since then it's all gone swimmingly.

Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
3. Why have the British allowed their monarchy to be transformed into yet another celebrity-based reality TV show?
They've been a reality show for two for three hundred years.
Nothing new about all this at all.
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Old 5th December 2012, 03:38 AM   #23
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Girls have been told their entire young life that they're Princesses and today they can watch a real life princess and pretend its them.
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Old 5th December 2012, 03:57 AM   #24
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And the award for the tackiest-pregnancy-souvenir-which-looks-nothing-like-the-person-it-purports-to-represent goes to Italy:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20604126
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Old 5th December 2012, 03:58 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I realize that this post probably makes me sound like an old man yelling at the kinds on his lawn, but I don't get it.

Morning shows go crazy over royal pregnancy



There are also many thousands of articles on the internet about this subject. I'm not saying it shouldn't be reported at all, but the coverage seems way out of proportion to the importance of the event.

The article you posted isn't about Americans being obsessed with the British Royals. It's about the American media being obsessed with the British Royals. There is a difference, ya know.
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Old 5th December 2012, 04:01 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
That would be a really unusual part of America. Although there seems to be a recent trend to not own a TV, but still the vast majority do have one.
I have a TV, but it's just an Xbox-monitor, I haven't actually had service in a few years. Probably about half of my friends are the same way (aged mid-20s).
Also, I don't know anyone who gives two ****s about the royals .
It makes sense for the media to love the royals though, cheap way to fill a few hours of airtime.
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Old 5th December 2012, 04:03 AM   #27
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They are part of a "reality" soap.
"Royality Television".
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Old 5th December 2012, 06:48 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
They are part of a "reality" soap.
"Royality Television".
And nowhere nearly as intrusive or harmful as the USA show "Presidential Idol"
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Old 5th December 2012, 07:03 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
And nowhere nearly as intrusive or harmful as the USA show "Presidential Idol"
I saw that once. I think it was the episode with the rap battle between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. It was so one sided I honestly felt bad for Ryan. For like five whole minutes!
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Old 5th December 2012, 07:18 AM   #30
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Obviously, the Royals are better than you and me. They're stronger, smarter and breed superior off-spring... Just look at Charles! Americans love them because they're so incredibly white. American's love them because anyone -- Kate, Diana, Camilla -- can aspire to marry into the Royal family... just like Phil. Americans like them because they're really German... and we like all things German (Christmas trees) save for overt German (swastikas). American's like them because they're wacky good fun -- prince Harry -- doing things in Vegas that we only get to dream of or pretend to in movies like the Hangover. Americans like them because we're obsseed generally with the whole Saxe-Coberg-Gotha clan... personally crazy for that nasty old racist Leopold II of Belgium, but that's just me...what school child can't recount all of the Saxe-Colberg line or collect the cards? Americans love the windsors because of our prevasive if secret fetish for unifoms (and the SS uniforms by Hugo Boss are still sort of un-PC these days). The list is practically endles...
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Old 5th December 2012, 07:21 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by desertgal View Post
The article you posted isn't about Americans being obsessed with the British Royals. It's about the American media being obsessed with the British Royals. There is a difference, ya know.
Not really that much of a difference. People like to complain about the media dumbing things down and publishing about nonsense, but ultimately they only do what they do because it sells. The media publish what people want to see. If no-one cared about the royals, the media wouldn't bother to obsess over them.

Originally Posted by PhantomWolf View Post
Why would their "subjects" kill them? Their "subjects" aren't subject to them, the Crown as Head of State is little more than a figurehead with no real powers left, and the Royal Estates are paying far more to the Government that the stippend that the Government pays back.

On top of that as a Commonwealth we don't have to worry about Presidential elections with people spending billions of dollars to try and grab power and sway the country's politics all while taking the attention away from the real Government.
Very much this. I'm generally opposed to the concept of a royal family, on the grounds that no-one should be considered better than anyone else solely because their ancestors had a bigger stick. But I really can't think of anything better that could replace them.

Firstly, as Gumboot says, the royals are a net earner for the country, even before taking tourism into account, while a president is pretty much guaranteed to cost money. Secondly, again as already noted, they're really little more than figureheads. Various revolutions have been largely justified because the aristocracy was genuinely riding roughshod over everyone else. That's just not the case in the UK. We took their power without needing to take their heads. But thirdly, they're little more than figureheads, not completely without power. If the royals tried to take over and form an absolute monarchy, we'd kick them out as fast as we could find our kicking boots. But if parliament tried to pull a Hitler and make a grab for absolute power, the Queen could say hell no and, importantly, the armed forces and majority of the citizenry would almost certainly go along with her.

So basically, we have a government that works just fine with no interference from the largely powerless royals who just look pretty and bring in some cash, but still with strong enough checks on power to make sure no-one can screw things up too badly. It may not be perfect, but it ain't broke so why worry about it?
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Old 5th December 2012, 07:27 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
So basically, we have a government that works just fine with no interference from the largely powerless royals who just look pretty and bring in some cash, but still with strong enough checks on power to make sure no-one can screw things up too badly. It may not be perfect, but it ain't broke so why worry about it?
So, basically, you could elect or pick these people randomly out of the phone book -- little less designating some famous personage (like a nobel prize winning scientist or olympic athelete) and achieve the same purpose, no? While "tradition" may dictate favoritism toward a certain blood line/DNA... tradition can be stupid.
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Old 5th December 2012, 07:41 AM   #33
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because she's hawt....
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Old 5th December 2012, 07:48 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
We took their power without needing to take their heads.
Well, we did.
But it didn't turn out so well...
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Old 5th December 2012, 12:23 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
I think the reason for the fascination is that it's a fairy tale. Note that the biggest interests have been Diana and her antics, and now her children and the pretty new Duchess.

Americans grow up on the Disney romantic fantasy of princesses and princes, and in the Royal Family - when you have handsome/pretty young things getting married - you get that Disney fairytale in real life.
Okay, Diana was the pretty princess. I get that. But what about Charles? Is he a prince or a frog? One thing for sure. If he'd married Camilla in the first place, the heirs to the throne would not be good looking.

Last edited by CORed; 5th December 2012 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 5th December 2012, 12:36 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by commandlinegamer View Post
And the award for the tackiest-pregnancy-souvenir-which-looks-nothing-like-the-person-it-purports-to-represent goes to Italy:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-20604126
Jesus...that looks like the crazy she-dude from Sleepaway Camp.
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Old 5th December 2012, 12:48 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Cuddles View Post
Not really that much of a difference. People like to complain about the media dumbing things down and publishing about nonsense, but ultimately they only do what they do because it sells. The media publish what people want to see. If no-one cared about the royals, the media wouldn't bother to obsess over them.
Have to sort of disagree there. There is way too much air time to fill nowadays.
Just about nobody I know cares about or brings up the Royal Family in everyday conversation - if it wasn't for TV and the internet I would barely know anything about them. I would say that as a practical matter it is the media that obsesses about them - and the Kardashians, etc.
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Old 5th December 2012, 01:54 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
Okay, Diana was the pretty princess. I get that. But what about Charles? Is he a prince or a frog? One thing for sure. If he'd married Camilla in the first place, the heirs to the throne would not be good looking.
You seem to assume the current heirs are biologically related to their theoretical father.
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Old 5th December 2012, 02:27 PM   #39
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Australians are interested in the royal pregnancy as well...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wa5JQC8VNdw
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Old 5th December 2012, 03:37 PM   #40
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A segment of our population is obsessed with the Royals to the same extent and for the same reasons that a segment of our population is obsessed with our own inbred, moronic reality TV stars. Embarrassing, sure.
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