“This Royal Baby Should Never Be Crowned”

Wednesday 26 June 2013, 2.47am | VIDEO NOW ONLINE

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Riding on the coat-tails of London 2012, and buoyed by the public response to the royal wedding and Diamond Jubilee, the British monarchy is enjoying a revival. The nation’s darlings, William and Catherine, are helping complete the transformation of an institution that had become crusty and out of date into a modern and popular phenomenon. With the arrival of their first child next month, Britain holds its breath for what could be our first head of state with a real connection to his or her people. After all, baby Wales’ great-great-grandfather was a coal miner. (On the Middleton side, needless to say.)

What rose-tinted nonsense, say the republicans. Hereditary office goes against everything a modern democracy stands for. Just because the new breed of good-looking Windsors know how to let their hair down (and get their kit off) doesn’t mean they are any less an expensive, unelected and largely unaccountable burden on our nation. Furthermore, do we want to inflict a life of tedious duty on yet another generation of royalty? This baby deserves the chance of a normal life. For its own good, and for ours, it should never be crowned.

Following our sell-out debate on the Catholic Church, we’re back for the latest in our series of monthly Versus debates with Google+. This time, we examine The Royal Family.

Combining the flair of Intelligence Squared debates with the innovative technology of Google+ Hangouts, we’re bringing the world’s best speakers to the fray, either hosting them on stage at the Sadler’s Wells Lilian Baylis Studio in London or beaming them in from wherever they are in the world. And you’ll be able to join us either at the venue or by tuning in at versus.intelligencesquared.com.

Speakers for the motion

Professor Stephen HaselerProfessor Stephen Haseler (via Google+ Hangouts)

One of the foremost authorities on, and critics of, the British monarchy. He has written numerous books on contemporary politics, including The Grand Delusion: Britain After Sixty Years of Elizabeth II

 

Joan SmithJoan Smith

Author and human rights campaigner, known for her writing on atheism and feminism. She is a prominent supporter of Republic, the campaign for an elected head of state.

 

Speakers against the motion

Jennie BondJennie Bond

English journalist and television presenter, who for fourteen years served as the BBC’s royal correspondent. During that time, she regularly reported on major royal events.

 

Rosie BoycottRosie Boycott (via Google+ Hangouts)

Journalist and feminist, who became the first female editor of two national broadsheets. In 2002, she campaigned for Diana, Princess of Wales to be voted the greatest Briton in a programme for the BBC.

Chair

Jonathan FreedlandJonathan Freedland

Guardian columnist, author and broadcaster.