Police Take Sides
Princes Have Fun

Photo. A Bahraini king and British prince find each other's company congenial

If you tell a guy that he is a "prince" he may, if he is not too smart, believe that such foolishness is real. If he is smarter, but without much of a moral sense, he may decide to take advantage of the foolishness of others who believe in "princes".

Either way you have a problem when he acts with the arrogance that is to be expected of a "prince". That is because you encouraged him in such an inane idea in the first place. And unlike most of us he does not have to worry about how he behaves. The big prizes will be his no matter what he does. Maybe even if what he does is illegal for others.

Criminal Damage

The Thames Valley police force has said that it will not investigate an allegation that Andrew Windsor, a man the monarchists call a "prince" and a "duke", was responsible for malicious damage amounting to thousands of pounds to a gate at Windsor Great Park, a publicly owned property. There was no forensic examination of the gate, nor of the car of the alleged perpetrator. No one has been interviewed about the offence.

We do not know whether Mr. Windsor is guilty. But we do believe that if the owner of the car had lived in social housing, not in a mansion, or even had been the owner of an average private residence, the police would have shown more interest in bringing the miscreant to justice.

Our belief is based on more than the fact that Thames Valley police officers have "solemnly and sincerely" declared that they will serve Elizabeth Windsor, the mother of Andrew Windsor, rather then the people of this part of southern England.

And no doubt it is mere coincidence that this police force covers the town of Windsor, from which the feudal family took its name when it decided that the German one had low public relations value.

Rather our belief is based on a pattern of police failure to serve the people while protecting the feudal institution.

Police Prioritise Royals

In the News of the World telephone "hacking" scandal the police focus for long was on the hacking of telephones used by the Windsors. And in 2006 the Metropolitan Police charged two journalists with hacking the telephones of family members. It was not until 2011 that public pressure brought them to make arrests for the hacking of the telephones of what the monarchists like to call "commoners".

As well as swearing to "serve" Elizabeth Windsor, the officers of the Metropolitan Police who investigated the hacking had declared that they would uphold "fundamental human rights". But when serving Windsor conflicts with fundamental human rights many police officers seem to suffer from a lapse of memory about that clause. The privileges of the Windsor family and the protection of the feudal institution override human rights.

Public Wedding. Public Nuisance

In 2011 a leading Windsor got married in London. The marriage included a lavish public spectacle in the streets of London.

On the day of that wedding the police made the exercise of the fundamental right of free speech by republicans a "public nuisance". As many as 79 republicans were reported to have been arrested with the clear intention of stopping them from expressing their preference for democratic rather than feudal institutions.

In Cambridge Charlie Veitch was the victim of a "pre-arrest". He was seized by police the day before the wedding and held incommunicado in a cell for 16 hours. Mr. Veitch was then taken to London by the Metropolitan Police. The charge was conspiracy to cause a "public nuisance".

When Free Speech Becomes a Conspiracy

In a democracy where the right of free speech is properly understood it is the job of the police to protect that right. If some citizens become angry when they do not like what they hear, the police do not maintain the peace by stopping that free speech. They maintain the peace by taking action against those who would shut down free speech.

The British police, however, are more likely to shut up those exercising their right to free speech, at least if they happen to be republicans. Their excuse is that it is the republicans, not those who dislike what they say, who are disturbing the peace or creating a nuisance.

The British police show every sign of believing that it is their duty to serve their "queen", the feudal institution of monarchy and its followers rather than democratic principles and practice. So if necessary "fundamental human rights" will be suspended, free speech shut down, and crimes against "commonors" ignored.

The police have aligned themselves with the institution and with the family. Not with the people of a democratic nation.

To the hard-core monarchists this may all seem right and very proper. It is in keeping for the low regard for democratic values that monarchism requires.

For the apologists it may seem a small price to pay for an institution they see as having utility. The supposed end justifies the truly heavy-handed means.

Penniless, Envious Turds

When it is a crime for republicans to have the intention of expressing opposition to monarchy it should cause no surprise if "royals" are allowed to misbehave without penalty.

If those deemed "royal" do not often get into trouble with the law more often it may also be in part because there is little temptation when huge amounts of money are taken from the people and handed to them on plates of gold.

It can be rather different when they have lost their herditary privileges. In 2006 newspapers reported that Vitorio Emanuele, son of Italy's last "king", has been recorded admitting to murder. Mr. Emanuele is said to have told a cell mate that he had shot a 19-year old in 1978. A French court in 1991 had acquitted him of unintentional homicide. In the recording he says that he "conned those French judges" and described the magistrates investigating him as "penniless, envious turds".

The man who might have inherited the throne in Italy was at the time under house arrest on suspicion of recruiting prostitutes from eastern Europe and for corrupt business deals involving gambling. In another recording he asked a business associate to "give a good slapping" to a prostitute.

Here we saw what a "royal" can be like when obliged to make his own way in the world.

In those countries that have not had the good sense of the Italians to abolish monarchy there may be other ways to get ahead when you are not sufficiently senior in the "royal" hierarchy to put your snout too deeply into the trough.

In 2016 the conservative Daily Mail reported that the Andrew Windsor mentioned earlier had been "in line" for a "£4m kickback" in a deal involving a consortium in "corrupt Kazakhstan".

The Foreign Office said that the Daily Mail's allegation was being investigated. But it would be truly remarkable if much came of that "investigation".

That is what can happen when you have told a man that he is a "prince". He may act like one. And by then it's too late.