The Republican moment.

I refer not to these dark Jubilee days, of course, but rather the fate that shortly awaits the nation of a King called Charles. And I no doubt exaggerate with mad optimism in even hoping for a mild disintegration of pro-monarchy sentiment.

Regardless, I know of no better direction to send you in times like these than towards the prose of Hitch. This particular rant was written in the aftermath of Charles’ speech two summers ago here in Oxford, blaming Galileo for climate change and claiming the solution lies in looking towards (any) religion. Hitch:

This is what you get when you found a political system on the family values of Henry VIII. At a point in the not-too-remote future, the stout heart of Queen Elizabeth II will cease to beat. At that precise moment, her firstborn son will become head of state, head of the armed forces, and head of the Church of England. In strict constitutional terms, this ought not to matter much. The English monarchy, as has been said, reigns but does not rule. From the aesthetic point of view it will matter a bit, because the prospect of a morose bat-eared and chinless man, prematurely aged, and with the most abysmal taste in royal consorts, is a distinctly lowering one… A hereditary head of state, as Thomas Paine so crisply phrased it, is as absurd a proposition as a hereditary physician or a hereditary astronomer. To this innate absurdity, Prince Charles manages to bring fatuities that are entirely his own.

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