Remember how Matt Yglesias thought America might be better off with a king? Alex Massie, that provocative British pundit usually seen at The Spectator, has one upped him: he thinks the U.S. should rejoin the British kingdom. Writing at Foreign Policy this time, Massie takes as his departure point the excitement surrounding the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton:
As superfluous as it may all seem to the outside world, moments such as this are an apt reminder that even in the modern world monarchy does in fact serve a purpose. In Britain, the royal family has usefully freed prime ministers from simultaneously filling the monotonous diplomatic role of head of state. In the United States, where the president still fills that post, some paring down is in order.
So I offer a modest proposal--albeit to a country whose very founding was prefaced by disgust with a king. America needs a royal family: Britain's.
Simply put, "royalty is an anachronism that works," writes Massie. Meanwhile, the U.S.'s requirement that its president "be both the embodiment of the republic and some kind of priest-king" has, he continues, "a number of regrettable consequences." Then too, he adds with glee, Americans really like the British monarchy. His conclusion, unlikely to dispel the stereotype of British condescension:
Perhaps the Canadian model would be fitting: Abolish the presidency, join the Commonwealth, and make the speaker of the House of Representatives the prime minister.
This too would permit the good people of the United States to indulge their boundless fascination with all things royal without embarrassment or feeling that doing so throws their republican credentials into question. Since Americans are as fascinated by monarchy as Britons--perhaps more so in fact--why not come back to the fold and embrace it? I'm sure the Queen would, in her magisterial grace, forgive America's reckless adolescence. We all grow up eventually.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.