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Long Live the Kings and Queens

The coronation of King Charles III highlights why constitutional monarchy remains a vital form of government in some of the world's most successful countries. Jamaica and others that are considering jettisoning it should do so only after careful consideration of its significant benefits.

CHICAGO – As Britain’s King Charles III is officially coronated, the “empire on which the sun never set” is looking a little shabby. In addition to the United Kingdom, 14 former British colonies still maintain Charles as their monarch and head of state, but many of his subjects around the world are reconsidering the arrangement.

Barbados became a republic in 2021, and Jamaica has initiated a similar process of constitutional reform. Others might soon follow. Why should countries from Belize to Tuvalu maintain as their nominal head of state an old white man living in a middling power far away from them?

Americans, of course, find it difficult to understand why anyone would accept hereditary rulers, or why a purely ceremonial office has any value. But constitutional monarchy is alive and well in some of the world’s most developed countries. It should be jettisoned only after careful consideration of its significant benefits.