Vol. 1, Issue 14, August 19, 2003
Poll: England Wants Its Monarchy, But Not Its Monarch
A survey conducted by a British think tank has arrived at some controversial findings concerning the British monarchy.
The Fabian Society asked over 2,500 people whether they wanted to keep the monarchy in its current form, modify the role of the royals in British society, or dispense with it altogether. A majority of respondents, 55 percent, stated that they would prefer to keep the monarchy but name J.K. Rowling the new monarch.
"We are somewhat surprised by these findings, as we didn't inquire about possible alternatives to Queen Elisabeth," said Fabian Society General Secretary Michael Jacobs. "Ms. Rowling's name was spontaneously proffered by the respondents."
J.K. Rowling is the best-selling author of the "Harry Potter" books and is one of the richest people in the United Kingdom; her estimated fortune has recently surpassed the Queen's by some 30 million pounds. Although she has adapted to her sudden rise to fame and wealth reasonably well, Rowling has no apparent experience as a monarch.
"We do not feel that this poll, or the individual you name as a potential replacement, merit a response," said Buckingham Palace spokesmen in a press conference. "Furthermore we are confident that the upcoming release of Her Majesty's new book, 'Harry Windsor and the Order of the Garter,' will demonstrate that Her Majesty is qualified for her position on every front."
Independent analysts are mixed regarding the prospects of a Rowling monarchy.
"There does exist some precedence for the replacement of a royal household," said Oxford University Professor of Political Science Gareth Dunston. "However there are some concerns that the Scottish Liberal Democrats would seek to take advantage of such a change, as Ms. Rowling is from Edinborough and could potentially be sympathetic to the Scottish separatist movement."
Rowling's camp claims not to be considering such a move.
"Now, if the monarchy were to be offered to Jo, hypothetically speaking, I think we should see some changes in Parliament," said Rowling's representative Neil Blair. "The current dichotomy between the House of Lords and House of Commons would be dispensed with in favor of a more equitable and precise division based on individual merits and political stances. There would be many merits to a four-house system."
Dunston expressed caution about this notion too. "I seem to recall Ms. Rowling's house system includes one where all the ambitious and amoral people end up. Not too hard to see where our MPs would find themselves sorted, now is it."