The British monarchy is undoubtedly the most prestigious and famous in the world, and are admired the world over. Each year they bring in billions of pounds into the British economy and keep tourism levels high However recently some have questioned whether they are still needed as figure heads of the British Isles, particularly given the amount of money and security that they require each year to house and keep them safe.
Although the royal family that most people know about are bringing in a lot of money each year, there are also a lot of other relatives and lower royals who still draw money from the government to live. These people are for the most part unknown even to members of the British public, and although some of them earn their own livings, they can still claim a free estate and upkeep costs due to their royal ties. It is these people who many would like to see removed from their titles, or at least made to work for their own livings.
Others tend to take a more hardliner approach in that they want to remove the monarchy altogether, stating that the French palaces and gardens attract more visitors even without a royal family. While it is true that the French royal relics attract more visitors from within Europe, they don't tend to attract as many people from places such as the United states or Japan, both of which are often big fans of the British Royal family. At the same time it is becoming more and more of a rare thing for a country to have a legitimate royal family, as many others are getting rid of them.
From the standpoint of the British government, keeping the royal family is probably a good thing to do, and the political system in Britain has numerous ties with the kind of tradition and ceremony that the Royal family is a part of. Not only are they important as a part of British culture, but they also bring in a profit in terms of how much they spend and what they bring in through tourist revenues. Although places such as London do have tourism markets outside of the royal family, they are probably the main thing that attracts people to Britain. Mainly due to the fact that most of the historic sites dotted around the country are usually all relics of a time when the royal family actually ruled the country and have ties to royalty because of this.
History in Britain is always linked with royalty in some way, and every castle, manor estate and historical site is testament to this, Even ancient places such as Stonehenge were probably constructed under the instruction of the kings of the time, and right through until the days of the British Empire, Royalty still has a big influence on British culture and society today.
Most people in Britain, and indeed the wider commonwealth of countries that the uses the British monarchy as their own are in favor of keeping the royal family as they are. Despite the fact that they have little power or influence in the way that the country is run these days they still have influence in other ways over the country. For example they are still important for their work with numerous charities which they are patrons of. As well as this they are often useful for diplomatic occasions, and take many trips all over the world each year.
The reason that royalty are often more useful to send on diplomatic and humanitarian missions is simple. For any foreign representative meeting the queen in particular rather than a nameless emissary in a suit is a lot more prestigious, and is also a sign of trust between the countries. In Medieval times, when kings and queens actually ruled the world, sending a member of the royal family was a risky venture as they could be either killed or taken for ransom. Obviously these kinds of things don't happen these days, although sending a royal representative is still a sign of good faith. A good example of this might be that the ruler of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe still admires and respects the queen, while at the same time hating the British government.
In the immediate future, the current queen looks set to be succeeded sooner or later by her son Prince Charles. Whether he actually takes the throne or defers to his eldest son William remains to be seen, It has been suggested that Charles will probably step aside and let the young Prince become kind in his place, given that he is already in is early 60s. Also it has been suggested that other members of the royal family aren't keen on his new bride Camilla Parker Bowles, and dot want her to become queen. Although of course this is merely rumor and hearsay, and is hard to substantiate definitively.