There are a number of reasons why I'm a monarchist. The sense of history, the pomp and circumstance, the fact that the Windsors, or the Bourbons or the Bernardottes are a tangible link to a past that was probably better than the present (if you were the mid-range aristo I'm sure I would've been).
But the overriding reason I like prostrate at the royal font is beauty; pure, aesthetic joy.
Take architecture as a case in point:
The system of royalty that governed Europe until about 1918 is responsible for the most beautiful buildings on the continent. Under a republican system, places so utterly exquisite I find it hard to believe man created them would never have existed.
The Schönbrunn in Vienna, Berlin's Potsdam complex, Schloss Eszterháza in Hungary, and, of course, Versailles, none of them would be here without the system of kings and princes that our not so distant forebears kicked out.
In my humble opinion the last one hundred years have resulted in some of the most aesthetically displeasing architecture in human history.
Rows of identikit buildings, designed by with set squares and rulers and precious little else. Architecture in this egalitarian age is a world of concrete Orwellian behemoths and glass superstructures which may be impressive but lack any sort of beauty.
Yes the architects of old built on a grand scale, (Frederick the Great built the New Palace in Potsdam primarily as an exercise in showing off, while Louis XIV's continual building over the course of his 72-year-reign left the French state on the verge of broke), but the architectural inspirations were entirely different.
Palaces were built to honour their owners, as temples to their triumph and churches to their family's good name. But the way they were building was inspired by glory, virtue, divine intervention, the desire to produce something as aesthetically pleasing rather than simply being huge for the sake of being huge.
Republicanism doesn't achieve the same results.
As far as I'm aware there are no buildings of outstanding beauty in Switzerland, anything built but the Russian Communists is monstrous and the if you use Berlin as your yardstick its clear that the Germans haven't built an attractive building since the fall of the House of Hohenzollern.
The remaining European monarchies are all constitutional, and the royal families have as much real power as you or I, perhaps even less in some respects, so their power to influence taste and design has waned.
Over here we've given power to people called Tony and Dave, and we've ended up with the 30 St Mary Axe, which people refer to as a gherkin, and the Lloyds Building, which, inexplicably, has been listed in spite of it looking like a giant Portaloo.
Throughout history, glorious men and women of the blood royal have left as with stunning reminders of their existence - we're leaving behind City Hall, which looks a bit like a testicle.
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