The cover of Parade this week posed the question "Do we need royalty in the 21st century?" I skipped the article because my brain was already going and I didn't want to muddle my thoughts. I'm such a responsible journalist, don't ya know!
Do we need royalty? Maybe not. I mean what do they do but wave and smile and serve a ceremonial purpose? But on the other hand maybe we do need them.
Who is the standard of proper behavior?
The Queen. Think about it. Anytime anyone visits her or if she visits the States like she did last spring, everyone is mindful of proper protocol, behavior and manners. You stand a little taller if The Queen is looking your direction. You make sure you scrub behind your ears if you are going to even be in the same state as The Queen.
I contend then that we do need the royals. We need the Queen anyway. Charles and Harry? Maybe not. William has been doing ok so far so we'll keep him around.
Perhaps it isn't the royals themselves that we need around but what they represent - a higher standard. Maybe we need people to expect more of one another. Maybe we need people to call one another out on manners and behavior more often.
But that would require people to stop being offended by every criticism. That would require people to acknowledge that not all behavior is acceptable. Folks would have to actually live like they had pride in themselves and cared about what other people thought about them. And not just on a superficial "how do I look" level. People would have to care if people respected them.
People would have to be willing to earn others' respect through respectable behaviors.
So you tell me. Can it be done? Can a higher standard be presented and grown? Will people actually start to put a napkin in their laps before they eat? Will they take their elbows off the table? Can sophistication and honor be restored?