Queen: 'Lessons to be learned' about security says royal expert
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Sir Gerald clashed with Republic CEO Graham Smith as the pair debated whether or not to abolish the Royal Family. But as Sir Gerald defended the institution, arguing they could rise above the politics attached to an elected head of state, the Conservative MP grew increasingly irate at his fellow panellist’s interruption. Sir Gerald then lashed out at Graham Smith, telling him to “be quiet” and comparing his arguments to “drivel”.
Speaking on LBC, Sir Gerald defended the Royals and argued people “feel valued” when they turn up to events – suggesting they avoid the political mess of an elected head of state who may be unpopular.
Sir Gerald said the UK did not have to worry “about a Trump or about a Xi” and that the UK should celebrate the “pageantry” of the Royals.
Mr Smith butted in, arguing those features of the Royals were not justifiable reasons to keep them in the position they are in.
He added how democracies across the world are stable without a monarchy and used Ireland as a good example of an elected head of state, Michael D. Higgins, who is popular.
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Host David Lammy then quizzed Sir Gerald on the costs of an elected head of state and whether that would be more than the maintenance of the Royal Family.
Sir Gerald replied: “Of course, there would be a cost, I don’t know how much the German president cost, I don’t think anyone in this country could name who the German president is.
“But there is a cost attached there too. But think about the credit side of the balance sheet, how many visitors come from overseas to come and see our royal palaces…”
Mr Smith then interrupted to challenge Sir Gerald on his point which appeared to irritate him.
As the Mr Smith called Sir Gerald’s argument a “red herring”, the Tory MP replied: “Be quiet will you, I didn’t interrupt you Mr Smith, don’t interrupt me…
“I let him carry on because he is speaking such drivel.”
Mr Smith also claimed the true cost of the Royal Family is much higher than reported due to some unrecorded costs.
One of the main ways the Royal Family receives money is through the Sovereign Grant which is funded by the taxpayer.
For example, the Sovereign Grant for the financial year 2020-2021 amounted to £85.9m.
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Mr Smith claimed in a Tweet earlier this month that the true cost to the taxpayer could be around £345m if additional costs like Metropolitan Police security was included.
Asked to comment on Republic’s claims, Buckingham Palace told Express.co.uk the security of the Royal Family is not a matter it discusses but, rather, is a matter for the Met Police.
The Palace also said to refer to the financial report being released every year and available on the Royal Family’s website.
A YouGov poll published shortly after Prince Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah Winfrey found young people’s attitude to the monarchy has changed substantially since 2019.
According to their polls, 41 percent of 18 to 24-year-old respondents say Britain should have an elected head of state.
Only 31 percent say they would like to see the monarchy continue.
Sandy Biar, CEO of the Australian Republic Movement, told Express.co.uk he has seen a “resurgence” in support in recent years.
He explained the Duke of Sussex highlighted the issue of “hereditary rule” where those in power are placed in those positions regardless of whether they or other people want them there.
Recently, Barbados became the world’s latest republic after they removed Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
The new president, Dame Sandra Mason, was elected last month and was sworn in on November 30 to be the new head of state.
Prince Charles was in attendance at the overnight ceremony and delivered a speech acknowledging the “appalling atrocity of slavery” Barbados was victim to.
Asked to comment on Republic’s claims, Buckingham Palace told Express.co.uk the security of the Royal Family is not a matter it discusses but, rather, is a matter for the Met Police. The Palace also said to refer to the financial report being released every year and available on the Royal Family’s website.
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