From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Although Britain is a constitutional monarchy, there have been movements since the nineteenth century whose aim is to remove the monarchy and establish a republican system in which the British people elect a ceremonial president to act as head of state.
The most recent movement is led by Republic, the Campaign for an Elected Head of State.
The monarchy is still largely popular, but a sizeable minority of the British public are opposed to it, opinion polls in recent years putting support for an elected head of state consistently around 33%. However, scandals involving the Queen's children, and a decline in respect for traditional institutions, have led to a gradual shift in attitudes over the years. Websites are emerging such as British Republic and The Centre for Citizenship. After reaching a low point following the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, support for the monarchy rebounded during the celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in 2002. This effect of the jubilee celebrations was however all but wiped out following the collapse of the Burrell case and allegations surrounding the household of Prince Charles.
The Fabian Society published a report in July 2003 giving a number of recommendations for reform of the monarchy, but they fell short of arguing for its abolition.
Well-known contemporary republicans include Tony Benn, who in 1991 introduced a Commonwealth of Britain Bill in Parliament, Roy Hattersley, journalist and author Claire Rayner, Benjamin Zephaniah, Tony Banks MP, Norman Baker MP, and Michael Mansfield, QC. It is also believed a number of prominent politicians and journalists support abolition of monarchy.
Objections to the monarchy are often based on what republicans believe is the anachronistic system of choosing a head of state by birth, rather than merit or election.