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Paxman, Jeremy


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Die Zeit - Germany | 11/01/2007

Jeremy Paxman on the deeper justification for monarchy

With today's German premiere of Stephen Frears' film 'The Queen', BBC moderator and Elizabeth biographer Jeremy Paxman explains why he remains true to his queen, even if he thinks the monarchy is old-fashioned, illogical and undemocratic. "Basically, its strength lies in the fact that there is something to be said for a system in which the highest position lies out of reach of those who yearn for it. All people seek to express national feelings, whether through flags, anthems, or simple political phrases about the character of the nation. A presidential democracy as in the USA or - in another form - in France, offers this position to a person who wants to use it to fulfil political ambitions. In a monarchy, the prerogative to ride in a gilded carriage remains out of reach of politicians. And so it should be."

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